David Napier, Scottish engineer, mid 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plaster bust. David Napier (1785-1873) was instrumental in the development of printing machinery in the 19th century. Napier introduced an automatic inking device, the first printing machine to Ireland, and his cylinder machine was the first in North America. In 1824 Napier was commisioned by Thomas Hansard, a printer of Parliamentery debates, to make a pres which printed on both sides. The result was the 'Nay-Peer' . In 1830 Napier and Son introduced the most popular pres, an improved form of bed and platen pres; one remained in use at the Oxford University Pres into the 20th century.