Printing: In Austria, the first printer, a S. Koblinger or Koglinger, worked in Vienna in 1482. From 1559 to 1565, the Jesuits had their own press in Vienna; in 1555 the first punches and type fonts were manufactured in Vienna. One of the oldest prints of sheet music in Austria was made in 1509 by J. Winterburger. The first press in Vienna specialising in printed music opened in 1791. During the Reformation, the Lower Austrian Estates had their own printing presses (1570 in the so-called Scheibenhof near Stein and from 1580 to 1618 in the Landhaus in Vienna). The Styrian Estates had a contract with a printer in Graz, and G. Widmanstetter set up an important press in Graz in 1585, which was taken over by A. Leykam in 1806.
Printing was one of the free crafts. The Austrian printers were answerable to the Emperor and until 1767 to the university. Most of the printers were also booksellers ( Book Trade).
The most important printers in Austria in the 17th and 18th centuries were M. Cosmerovius, J. van Ghelen, J. Gerold and J. T. Trattner. Trattner dominated printing in Austria for almost 50 years. He set up presses and opened bookshop branches in all the major towns of the monarchy and established his own type foundry in Vienna. Many Austrian printers made valuable contributions to the technical improvement of printing in the 19th and 20th centuries.
L. Mueller (1799-1844) from Vorarlberg was a pioneer in machine printing. He completed the first high-speed printing press in Austria in 1833 and established Austria's first factory for producing printing presses, the second such enterprise on the European mainland. A. Strauss (1775-1827) improved punch cutting and type founding as early as 1800, made several attempts at stereotype printing using the technique developed by Didot and in 1815 invented a high-speed press. F. Raffelsberger was the first in Austria to produce printed multi-coloured maps in 1835/1836. C. Gerold introduced lithography into Austrian printing in 1816. C. Angerer invented a new method of etching zinc, the "Viennese etching process", introduced the chalk manner and mezzotint techniques and in 1882 invented autotype technique simultaneously with G. Meisenbach in Munich. A. Angerer developed the technique of colour printing, A. Huebl invented the darkroom and the revolving studio and the galvanoplastic process. E. Tschulik built a typesetting machine for the Staatsdruckerei government press. J. Loewy invented the production of multi-coloured pictures by combining lithography, photography and the gelatine emulsion plate, and in 1872 set up the "First Institute of Lithography" in Vienna. In 1866, C. Reisser replaced direct type printing by printing from stereotype plates which were molded from papier-mâche matrices. In 1873 he printed for the first time on a rotary press, which he had constructed together with G. Sigl. J. V. Degen, the first director of the Austrian Staatsdruckereistate printing press. He also invented the multi-colour printing process (from 1821) and banknotes containing guilloches and watermarks. This technique was to become the basis of banknote and securities printing for many countries. A. Auer-Welsbach gained international renown for the Staatsdruckerei government press with a number of important inventions. At the beginning of the First World War, Austria had a leading position in the production of guilloching and watermarking machines. The Institute of Military Geography (Militaergeographisches Institut) in Vienna also contributed to Austria's good reputation in the field of printing, especially in the production of maps. Austria also led in the production of playing cards.
The printing of works in foreign languages, in particular in oriental languages, has had a long tradition in Austria, for example by the Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei and the print shop of the Mechitarists. In 1675, the first Arabic press was set up in Vienna. Until A. Senefelder's discovery of lithography before 1800, woodcutting and (particularly since the mid 16th century) copper engraving dominated the field of book illustration. ( Graphic Arts).
At the beginning of the 19th century there were also notable achievements in bookbinding in the empire style. At the beginning of the 20th century, artists of the Wiener Werkstaetten, in particular J. Hoffmann and K. Moser, became known for their artistic book cover designs.
In the wake of the various EDP developments during the 20th century, especially the widespread use of PCs, Hochdruck has come to be replaced by offset printing. Latest developments in electronic printing, such as cross-media publishing and digital printing, have also had a major impact.
Literature#M. Denis, Wiens Buchdruckergeschichte bis 1560, 1782-1793; A. Mayer, Wiens Buchdruckergeschichte 1482-1822, 1883-1887; Bibliographie der oesterreichischen Drucke des 15./16. Jahrhunderts, 1913; G. Fritz, Geschichte der Wiener Schriftgiessereien, 1924; A. Durstmueller, 500 Jahre Druck in Oesterreich, 3 vols., 1982.