Rotary machines, printing from an endless web of paper from curved stereotype or electrotype plates, principally used XXII.
An alloy consisting of 9 parts of lead, 2 of antimony and 2 of bismuth is used for stereotype plates.
The first printing surface used was ordinary type, because the difficulty of curving the stereotype plates had not been surmounted.
Near at hand you could fancy it the most melancholy sound in Nature, as if she meant by this to stereotype and make permanent in her choir the dying moans of a human being--some poor weak relic of mortality who has left hope behind, and howls like an animal, yet with human sobs, on entering the dark valley, made more awful by a certain gurgling melodiousness--I find myself beginning with the letters gl when I try to imitate it--expressive of a mind which has reached the gelatinous, mildewy stage in the mortification of all healthy and courageous thought.
But not alone has this Leviathan left his pre-adamite traces in the stereotype plates of nature, and in limestone and marl bequeathed his ancient bust; but upon Egyptian tablets, whose antiquity seems to claim for them an almost fossiliferous character, we find the unmistakable print of his fin.
In rotary printing from the curved stereotype plate and from the endless web of paper much can be done to assist the printer if good stereotype plates are supplied to him, and, if the forme contains any illustrations, both the artist and the engraver can help him if they keep in mind the particular character of illustration which they are preparing for the press.
The sudden determination of those in power, who had hitherto advocated reform, to stereotype the existing system, closed the avenues of hope to those who had expected an improvement of their lot from constitutional changes, and the disaffected temper of the populace that resulted was taken advantage of by the London Corresponding Society, emboldened by its triumph in the courts, to organize open and really dangerous demonstrations, such as the vast mass meeting at Copenhagen House on the 26th of October.
The number of duplicate sets of stereotype plates to be worked from by these presses is determined by the size and number of the pages to be printed, and this in turn is regulated by the capacity of the machine.
The introduction of the autoplate is of great advantage to those using rotary presses, because it allows the production of a large number of duplicate stereotype plates of satisfactory quality speedily.
In his machine the stereotype plates were not made to fill the whole periphery of the forme cylinders so as to allow of the sheets being cut before printing, a difficulty w'iich the first machines did not satisfactorily overcome.