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The First Rotary Offset Lithography Printing Press

The origins of our modern offset printing can be traced back to 1875, when Robert Barclay of England combined the mid-19th-century transfer printing technology with Richard March Hoe’s rotary printing press from 1843. The result was the first rotary offset lithography printing press which replaced the flat stone by a metal cylinder. This offset cylinder was wrapped in a specially treated cardboard that transferred the printed image from the stone to the surface of the metal.

The subsequently developed offset printing is attributed to two independent inventors: the American Ira Washington Rubel and the German US-immigrant Cašpar Hermann. Around 1904, both of them created printing presses that printed indirectly, that is from the printing plate on a rubber roller and then on a sheet of paper.

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