Stanhope, Charles, 3rd Earl

b. 3 August 1753 London, England
d. 15 December 1816 Chevening, Kent, England
English politician, scientist and inventor.
Stanhope's schooling at Eton was interrupted in 1764 when the family moved to Geneva; there, he soon showed a talent for scientific pursuits. In 1771 he contributed a paper on the pendulum to the Swedish Academy, which awarded him a prize for it. After his return to London in 1774, he threw himself into politics, earning himself not only a reputation for promoting the liberty of the individual, but also unpopularity for championing the French Revolution.
Stanhope is best known for his inventions in printing. In 1800 he introduced the first successful iron press, known by his name. Its iron frame enabled a whole forme to be printed at one pull, thus speeding up production. The press retained the traditional screw but incorporated a system of levers which increased the pressure on the platen up to the moment of contact with the type, so that fine, sharp impressions were obtained and the work of the pressman was made easier. Stanhope's process for moulding and reproducing formes, known as stereotyping, became important when curved formes were required for cylinder presses. His invention of logotypes for casting type, however, proved a failure. Throughout his political activities, Stanhope devoted time and money to scientific and mechanical matters. Of these, the development of steamships is noteworthy. He took out patents in 1790 and 1807, and in 1796 he constructed the Kent for the Admiralty, but it was unsuccessful. In 1810, however, he claimed that a vessel 110 ft (33.5 m) long and 7 ft (2.1 m) in draught "outsailed the swiftest vessels in the Navy".
Further Reading
G.Stanhope, 1914, The Life of Charles, Third Earl Stanhope, London.
H.Hart, 1966, Charles Earl Stanhope and the Oxford University Press, London: Printing Historical Society (a reprint of a paper, originally published in 1896, describing Stanhope's printing inventions; with copious quotations from Stanhope's own writings, together with an essay on the Stanhope press by James Moran).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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