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Friedrich Koenig

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Friedrich Koenig
Friedrich Gottlob Koenig

(1774-04-17)17 April 1774
Died17 January 1833(1833-01-17) (aged 58)
Koenig's 1814 steam-powered printing press

Friedrich Gottlob Koenig (17 April 1774 – 17 January 1833) was a German inventor best known for his high-speed steam-powered printing press, which he built together with watchmaker Andreas Friedrich Bauer. This new style of printing press could print up to 69,000 sheets per hour,[1] printing on both sides of the paper at the same time.

He moved to London in 1804 and in 1810 was granted a patent on his press, which produced its first trial run in April 1812.[2] The machine was set up in their workshop, and invitations sent out to potential customers, notably John Walter of The Times. Amidst much secrecy, for fear of upsetting the existing pressmen, trials were carried out with great success. The first issue of The Times printed with the new presses was published on 29 November 1814.[2]

In August 1817 Koenig returned to Germany because of a disagreement with Thomas Bensley, a London book printer partner, who Koenig believed sought sole rights to the new machine. After consideration he chose an abandoned monastery in Würzburg for the premises of the factory. The firm was called Koenig & Bauer.


  1. ^ Lyons, M. (2011). Books : a living history. Los Angeles : J. Paul Getty Museum, c2011.
  2. ^ a b Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1998. (pp 130–133)


  • Bolza, Hans (1967), "Friedrich Koenig und die Erfindung der Druckmaschine", Technikgeschichte, 34 (1): 79–89
  • Wolf, Hans-Jürgen (1974), Geschichte der Druckpressen (1st ed.), Frankfurt/Main: Interprint

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