Glossary of Printing Terms:
Rubel, Ira Washington

Considered the inventor of the offset printing process.

The owner of a small print shop in New Jersey, in 1903 Rubel accidentally discovered that he could obtain better results with indirect printing using a blanket cylinder than with direct printing.

He covered the impression cylinder of a printing press with a rubber blanket and paper sheets were then fed incorrectly several times during a printing run.

The impression from the printing forme ended up on the rubber blanket and from there was passed on to the back of the sheet.

Rubel discovered that these misprints were of a better quality than the regular prints, and consequently went on to develop the first offset printing press.

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