KOENIG: his first Powered Printing Machines 1803 - 1818 (continued)

The Improved Single Cylinder Machine (for bookwork)


__Koenig designed and superintended the construction of a single cylinder 'registering' machine for book-printing, which was patented in June, 1816.  It printed a sheet 25" x 36" (640 x 910mm) and turned out 900 - 1000 sheets per hour, printed one side. The 'completing' [perfecting] machine, built on the same principle, was also built at this time [see following page]. Koenig dispensed with the large diameter drum cylinder and replaced it with a smaller one; this however made two revolutions for every one bed cycle, the first 'two-revolution' machine in fact. The cylinder packing covered slightly less than half the circumference, allowing the bed to return on the return stroke without impeding it [and did not therefore require a cylinder lifting device]. An endless-tape feeding apparatus, with stop-start action, fed the sheets accurately. Another system of tapes also delivered the printed sheets to a 'taker-off,' stationed beneath the feed-board area.
Mr. Richard Taylor, the editor of the 'Philosophical Journal' received it and employed it for many years in printing his other books. Later, when Taylor obtained the contract for printing the 'Weekly Dispatch', Koenig and Bauer altered it to a double machine, although by this time they were back in Germany and had to send the parts to London.

Scale Model 1:2

__Koenig, however, did not live to enjoy the fruits of all his study, labour, and toil; during these formative years he was taken ill from a nervous disorder. Brain disease carried him off on the 17th of January, 1833; and this good ingenious, and admirable inventor died at the early age of fifty-eight, respected and beloved by all who knew him.
__His partner Friederich Bauer survived to continue the business for twenty years longer. It was during this later period that the Oberzell manufactory enjoyed its greatest prosperity. Orders flowed in from Berlin, Austria, Denmark, Russia and Sweden. The 600th machine was turned out in in 1847; in 1865 the thousandth machine was completed at Oberzell, on the occasion of the celebration of the fifty years' jubilee of the invention of the 'steam press' by Koenig.
__The sons of Koenig carried on the business; and in the biography by Goebel, it is stated that the manufactory of Oberzell has now turned out no fewer than 3000 printing machines. The greater number have been supplied to Germany; but 660 were sent to Russia, 61 to Asia, 12 to England, and 11 to to America. The rest were despatched to Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Holland and other countries.
__It remains to be said that Koenig and Bauer, united in life, were not divided by death. Bauer died on February 27, 1860 and the remains of the partners now lie side by side in the little cemetery at Oberzell, close to the scene of their labours and the valuable establishment which they founded.

The firm of Koenig & Bauer AG is the longest serving printing machine manufacturer in the world, having traded continuously since 1817.