Print culture saw several changes in the 19th century. With a high literacy rate, a large number of children, women and workers became a part of the reading culture. School textbooks and reading material like folk and fairy tales for children formed a major part of the publishing industry. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a popular collection of German folktales was published in this period.
In 1857, a press was set up in France that printed books only for children. Women also showed a huge interest in literature and apart from reading they also took up writing. Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Mary Ann Evans were some of the best known female novelists.
Their writings defined the new woman as a person with strength, personality, intelligence and determination.
Lending libraries also became a means of educating people of the lower middle class. Printers and publishers came up with new strategies to sell their products. They started publishing serialised novels, advertisements and notices were printed and pasted on common places to attract buyers. There were also series of innovations in the printing technology.
By mid-19th century, Richard M. Hoe of New York developed a cylindrical press which operated on electricity. It could print 8,000 sheets per hour and was useful for printing newspapers.