Press

Because two ladies asked about or expressed  interest in the header picture, Ponita and Eryl Shields, here is the full image:

It shows the scale of a Druckanzeiger, a pressure gauge. I am not sure whether it is the same as a manometer (Ger., Eng.). Also I am not sure about the unit pressure is measured here (Druck/h).

It is part of a Heidelberg Druckmaschine, here you see the machine in full:

It’s a 18 x 23 Heidelberg Cylinder (Ger., Eng.). Basically there are Zylinderpressen and Tiegelpressen (Ger., Eng.), Heidelberg built all sorts.  In fact modern newspaper printing is based on cylinderpresses, and the Herren KOENIG (Ger., Eng.) & BAUER (Ger., Eng.) (KBA, Ger., Eng.) have earned their place in history here. Everything else, like accidentials (Akzidenzdruck) and books and whatnot – what is not newspaper – is, or better: was best made on a Heidelberg.
Black. Heavy. Reliable. Seemingly indestructible. Those who learned on them, loved and respected them … recklessly.
The Drucksaal, where these pictures were taken, does not exist anymore: The whole equipment was sold via a specialized Belgian broker: A crew came by and within 48 hours the hall was empty. A (big) part of the machinery was to be shipped directly to Karatchi (Ger., Eng.), an entrepreneur had bought it: The machines were put into wooden crates, these stuffed into containers, put on a truck (it took two trucks for the whole thing,  four small containers) and off it went to Amsterdam. It is possible that the machinery was working again within four weeks. That is what we call globalization.

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7 thoughts on “Press

  1. Interesting post. Such technology were cutting edge in their days. It is not a manometer though. Manometer is only used for measuring atmospheric pressure whereas the pressure gauge in the picture is for much higher pressures.

  2. Hey, that’s an interesting coincidence! They currently have a display of pressure gauges and barometers at work. I work in a rather interesting place in some ways. They change the display case monthly to reflect interesting collections of items that the residents who live in the community own.

  3. So it’s a book machine, how wonderful. I hope it’s going to make lots of books in Karachi. Thank you, Mago, for this little bit of history of a machine that is beautiful in more ways than I imagined when I commented on your header.

  4. I think they had to work with a lot of pressure, LGS. All natural science, especially physics and chemistry, is a black hole for me. I know near to nothing.

    I confess that I have never heard this before and the name Richard Wahnfried – oh man, his girlfried Bunny Bayreuth and his best friend Willy Wotan just came by – would have not seduced me to click it. I am deeply impressed! Thank you for the link, XL.

    I once worked for an archive that also housed a collection – of amperemeters, water meters, gas-meters … black boxes with scales. Many of them, Fayce.

    It was a nice little printing shop, Eryl, existed since the 1920. Two friends founded it. One gave it up for good, the other died. His son took over, but died very soon, so his widow came in command. She originally had learned something totally different and kept her normal job, so it was run in a way by the workers themselves. They flourished through the 60s, 70s and still 80s because they specialized in art, made small editions etcetc They printed anything. In the basement they had the old wooden Setzkästen and tons of leaden sets.Guess it’s all melted now.

    Very impressive, MJ! Operable by the “entry-level-employee”, what means that a person needs to be able to refill papers and toner and navigate a graphical computer screen, the rest is done by the little wonder. Strictly speaking it’s not a press, it’s a book-producing machine. In the 80s one needed a pretty large apparatus for this (“Bedford” flashes up in my memory, but I do not know whether this was the name of a producer). It works with letter and A4 – incredible that a Deutsche Industrie-Norm became a worldwide standard. I have to write about this.

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