La Press Dutartre
Devised and Patented 1852, Paris, France

The first Stop-Cylinder Press?
This machine was claimed by Stephen D. Tucker, a respected employee of press manufacturer, Hoe & Company, to be the first Stop-Cylinder Press. (The first 'operational' cylinder press designed and patented by Frederick Koenig in 1811/12 was in fact a primitive form of stop-cylinder but very different inasmuch as having a different drive mechanism, cylinder arrangement, eg, the cylinder having three printing surfaces and the sheets were fed to points on tympans). Tucker states, in his memoirs: 'While abroad I visited many printing offices, and saw in an office in Paris a press made by Dutarte (sic), with which I was much pleased. It was a Stop Cylinder Press, *the first I had ever seen, and it seemed to me that the plan of having the cylinder, while stationery, seize the sheet, and then to gear direct into a rack on the side of the type bed, must make perfect register. The bed was driven direct by a crank, and this required a crank arm so long that in order to keep the press low the crank ran partly in a pit in the floor. This was objectionable, but I thought it might be avoided . . '. Robert Hoe, in his 'A Short History of the Printing Press' 1902 states: 'The press of the present day from which the finest letterpress and woodcut work is turned off is known as the "Stop Cylinder". This was devised and patented by a Frenchman named Dutartre, in 1852, and introduced into this country about 1853 by Hoe & Co., who have since patented many improvements upon it.' (Robert Hoe was not known for his humility!) Samuel Bremner, a British press manufacturer admitted to the superior inking power of the Dutartre machine. The above drawing is rather crudely drawn, evidently some illustrators of the time were not mechanically minded! The later steam driven version below, gives a better perspective and shows the improved forme roller arrangement. This, and later 'top-feed' stop-cylinder presses had the front feed guides (lays) incorporated in the impression cylinder - a boon for accurate registration. The method for slowing and holding the impression cylinder was not a brake but a fork on a lever (controlled by an eccentric on the main shaft), which engaged with a stud on the outside of the cylinder-gear wheel. It also appears that these presses had feeding platforms on both sides of the press to enable the printer to lay to either side guides, which were mounted on the feed-board. A fly-boy lifted the printed sheets off the delivery tapes onto a table.

*Addendum (Sept. 2007)
Tucker might not have checked them all!  In 1845, Reichenbach'sche Maschinenfabrik (Carl A. Reichenbach and C. Buz) sold their first 'crank motion' press to Nikolaus Hartmann, of Augsburg. Name was changed to Maschinenfabrik Augsburg in 1857. This was most definitely a  stop-cylinder machine. (see Press Gallery)