/ pres /
printing press · public press · pressure · pressing · military press
(Irregular plural: presses).
1. Any machine that exerts pressure to form or shape or cut materials or extract liquids or compress solids.
2. A machine used for printing; SYN. printing press.
3. Clamp to prevent wooden rackets from warping when not in use.
4. Printed matter in the form of newspapers or magazines; SYN. public press.
5. The news media in general.
6. The act of pressing; SYN. pressure, pressing.
7. A weightlift in which the barbell is lifted to shoulder height and then smoothly lifted overhead; SYN. military press.
8. The news media, in particular newspapers, journals, and periodical literature generally. The term is used also to describe journalists and reporters.
/ prɪntɪŋ /
1. Reproduction by applying ink to paper as for publication; SYN. printing process.
2. Text written in the style of printed matter.
3. The business of printing.
Reproduction of text or illustrative material on paper, as in books or newspapers, or on an increasing variety of materials; for example, on plastic containers. The first printing used woodblocks, followed by carved wood type or molded metal type and hand-operated presses. Modern printing is effected by electronically controlled machinery. Current printing processes include electronic phototypesetting with offset printing, and gravure print.
In China the art of printing from a single wooden block was known by the 6th century AD, and movable type was being used by the 11th century. In Europe printing was unknown for another three centuries, and it was only in the 15th century that movable type was reinvented, traditionally by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany. From there printing spread to Italy, France, and England, where it was introduced by William Caxton.
steam power, linotype, and monotype
There was no further substantial advance until, in the 19th century, steam power replaced hand-operation of printing presses, making possible long “runs”; hand-composition of type (each tiny metal letter was taken from the case and placed individually in the narrow stick that carried one line of text) was replaced by machines operated by a keyboard. Linotype, a hot-metal process (it produced a line of type in a solid slug) used in newspapers, magazines, and books, was invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler 1886 and commonly used until the 1980s. The Monotype, used in bookwork (it produced a series of individual characters, which could be hand-corrected), was invented by Tolbert Lanston (1844–1913) in the US 1889.
Important as these developments were, they represented no fundamental change but simply a faster method of carrying out the same basic typesetting operations. The actual printing process still involved pressing the inked type on to paper, by letterpress.
In the 1960s, letterpress began to face increasing competition from offset printing, a method that prints from an inked flat surface, and from the gravure method (used for high-circulation magazines), which uses recessed plates. The introduction of electronic phototypesetting machines, also in the 1960s, allowed the entire process of setting and correction to be done in the same way that a typist operates, thus eliminating the hot-metal composing room (with its hazardous fumes, lead scraps, and noise) and leaving only the making of plates and the running of the presses to be done traditionally.
By the 1970s some final steps were taken to plateless printing, using various processes, such as a computer-controlled laser beam, or continuous jets of ink acoustically broken up into tiny equal-sized drops, which are electrostatically charged under computer control.