Rotary web printing presses revolutionized newspaper publishing. The technology enabled larger, faster newspaper printing at a far lower cost. However, digital distribution of news via the world wide web has dramatically decreased demand for paper newspapers.
Hoe’s web press printed in a continuous sheet, a roll, then machines cut the paper into sheets. When connected to a steam engine (later electric engines), web presses vastly accelerated print speeds, reigning in the modern news era. Print quality wasn’t as nice as sheet-fed presses but was good enough for newspapers.
Later, Hoe refined his press to print on both sides at once (called “perfecting”), increasing speed further.
By speeding printing times and lowering costs, Hoe’s web press allowed newspapers to continuously print different versions as the news would change throughout the day. Many newspapers had morning and evening editions, while larger papers had editions throughout the day.