Equipment

Drum Cylinder Press 24″ x 36″

Drum Cylinder 24" x 36" | International Printing MuseumThis typical “News and Job” press, of the English Napier style, had various manufacturers from the 1860’s to about 1910. These drumcylinder presses operated on the single-revolution principle, in that only half the cylinder is utilized for impression while the other half clears the type during the return movement of the bed, hence the large drumlike cylinder. The complete printing cycle takes one revolution of the cylinder, and since the cylinder does not have to be raised to clear the type on the return move, as in a two-revolution press, there is no throwoff mechanism.
This early Potter uses a complex of levers and springs to buffer the reversals of of the bed. Later models employed air cylinders. Delivery is to the rear of the cylinder, printed-side-down, “bob tail” style. The printed-side-down feature alleviates turning over the sheets for backing-up. Since the cylinder packing was usually of felt, this type of press was not intended for quality work such as the two-revolution presses could provide.

From the 1900’s on, country newspapers graduated to small webfed presses such as the Cox. Nevertheless, some drum-cylinder presses survived, as did this C. W. Potter, Jr. which was printing the Cucumonga Times in California as recently as 1964. (63 inches high)