Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

Heidelberg History Part 1

Andreas Hamm was a bell-caster who started up a factory in Southwest Germany in 1850. His company produced steam engines, forging materials, casting materials, bells, and mills. It wasn’t very long after founding his company that Hamm brought in machinist Andreas Albert to begin producing printing presses like the flatbed cylinder press.

When the 1800s ended, the company was moved to Heidelberg, Germany. Thus it took on the new name of Schnellpressenfabrik AG Heidelberg, referred to generally as simply “Heidelberg.” The company started making a real reputation for itself when it presented the new Tiegel platen press at the International Book and Graphic Industry Exhibition of 1914, held in Leipzig, Germany.

Twelve years later, in 1926, the company Heidelberg began using assembly-line production, the first printing press manufacturer in Germany to utilize this new manufacturing technology. As a result, they began manufacturing 100 Tiegel platen presses per month.

Heidelberg was not done putting itself on the map, however, as the creative mind of Heidelberg’s Hubert Sternberg would soon prove. He mounted one of the presses to a demo car and drove it all across the country. This idea was expanded to demo cars traveling across the United States, in other countries throughout Europe, Australia, and South America. Japan also got on board buying Heidelberg presses.

Because of all this unusual marketing and the impressive technology, the international market took over the majority of Heidelberg’s sales by the mid-1930s. Thus began the Heidelberg legacy of producing and selling one of the best-known printing presses in the world.

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