The fundamental advantage of a cylinder press is that the impression of paper on type only has to be delivered in a small strip — the point where the cylinder touches paper and type. Other presses have to get an impression across the whole area of the type at once. This means cylinder presses can use a greater force with greater precision that their platen equivalent.
Heidelberg cylinder presses are claimed by many to be the peak of precision letterpress work at volume. Their 1958 offerings are detailed below in specification and pictures from brochures.
Heidelberg Cylinder Specifications
|Original Heidelberg Cylinder 15″ x 20½”||Original Heidelberg Cylinder 21″ x 28″|
|Largest Paper Size||15″ x 20½”||21.25″ x 28.375″|
|Smallest Paper Size||4.125″ x 5.875″||4.5″ x 6.375″|
|Inside Chase||14.25″ x 18.75″||20.25″ x 26.375″|
|Maximum Running Speed||5,000 iph||4,000 iph|
|Floor Space Required||8’4.5″ x 4’7.125″||11’2.25″ x 6’3″|
|Power Required||5.5 hp||7 hp|
|Net weight||7,950 lbs (gross)||13,650 lbs (gross)|