Gutenberg Press or Wooden Press - Later called a Common Press
Printing: Letterpress printing occurred on wooden or "common" presses throughout the hand press period. Letterpress is a relief printing process, and involves taking an impression from raised types or blocks. The earliest printing presses were platen presses, and remained largely unchanged for 350 years. Typically, two men worked the press, taking turns inking the forme and pulling the bar. Working in pairs, pressmen could produce around 240 impressions per hour, or four impressions per minute. Over the course of a 10 hour work day, a press could routinely produce 2,400 impressions, or 1,200 two-sided sheets.
Jack Williams, of Effingham, New Hampshire, demonstrates his wooden common press at Strawbery Banke in Porstmouth, New Hampshire on Friday, October 24, 2008. The demonstration was part of the New Hampshire Writers' Project's Portsmouth Literary Festival.