The Best One Paragraph Summary of Nineteenth Century Bookmaking?

The entire nineteenth century history can be seen as a continuous struggle against bottlenecks, many of them caused by the sudden speeding up of a single operation previously performed by hand in a more or less leisurely manner.  Thus, the invention of the papermaking machine, which produces a continuous web of paper, calls for the rotary press into which this web can be fed; then there was need for the stereotyping process which allows the production of curved printing plates; and last but not least, composing machines which can produce a sufficient amount of set type to feed hungry presses.  And of what good to anyone would have been the accumulation of printed paper if there had not been machines developed which would cut, fold, sew and bind the sheets?

Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut.  The Book in America, Second Edition. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1952. (p. 147)

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