1692        Richard Bentley's fifty "modern novels" reprints an early example of serial installments

1698        Edward Ward's London Spy appears in eighteen parts; inspires few successors

1732        Boom in cheap publications begins about this time

1740        Publishing in parts well established by this date

1760        Smollett publishes Sir Launcelot Greaves in his British Magazine -- "first large piece of fiction written expressly for publication in a magazine" (Patten, 52).

c. 1800     Stanhope tests iron printing press

1803        Gamble and Donkin's Fourdrinier cylindrical paper-making machine, which leads to cheaper, more quickly accessible paper.

1804        First book printed by stereotype process

1810        Steel-plate prcess for printing large numbers of illustrations patented; takes a decade to become popular

1811        Friedrich Koenig patents steam-powered cylindrical printing press

1814       The Times of London is printed on the Koenig-Bauer high-speed press, thus initiating the age of mass media.

1820        Pierce Egan devises scheme to issue monthly colored plates by the Cruikshanks.

1822        Church's composing machine for setting type

1826        Photographic processes used in making illustrations

1830        Edward Chapman and William Hall establish bookselling establishment

1831        Captain Maryat's Metropolitan Magazine "first to make a regular feature of original serial stories" (Patten, 50-51).

1831        Depression in book trade

1832        Penny weeklies built large circulations; Charles Knight's Penny Magazine builds enormous circulation by providing illustrations

1836        Dickens's Pickwick Papers accidentally invents Victorian boom in serial publication       


Patten, Robert L. Charles Dickens and His Publishers. Oxford: Clarendon Press: 1978.

Last modified 4 June 2016