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Rotary Perfecting Press
1863

The beginnings of the modern, web-fed newspaper press
This patent model rotary perfecting press was made by Philadelphia's William Bullock in 1863. Two years later, he constructed his first model for his local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bullock's invention represents the beginning of the modern, web-fed newspaper press, which works from curved, stereotype plates and prints on both sides of the paper in one pass through the machine. It achieved the speed of rotary printing, and by feeding from a continuous roll of paper, it eliminated the laborious hand-feeding required by presses like Hoe's rotary press. Bullock's press was capable of delivering, per hour, about 10,000 flat sheets printed on both sides. Unfortunately, William Bullock did not enjoy the profits from his innovative invention. In 1867, he died as a result of injuries sustained when he got caught in the gears of his press.

Notes
U.S. Patent No. 38,200, 1863
Web display only

Learn more!
· Patent Models
· United States Patent and Trademark Office
· United States Patent and Trademark Office Website
· Printing and Graphic Arts, an NMAH Virtual Exhibit

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