William Jansen Blaew, the inventor of the press which bears his name, was a native of Amsterdam. Experiencing the inconveniences attending all the presses in use in his time he caused nine new presses to be made, each of which he called by the name of one of the muses. As the excellence of these improvements soon became known to other printing houses, they were soon imitated, and in the course of a few years were almost general throughout the Low Countries, and from thence they were introduced into England. He died at Amsterdam in 1638, aged 67.
The peculiarity of the Blaew Press, at the time of its invention was: The Carriage holding the form was wound below the point of pressure, which was given, by moving a handle attached to a screw hanging in a beam having a spring, which spring caused the screw to fly back as soon as the impression was given. An engraving of this press will be found in “Johnson’s Typographia,” Vol. II, p. 501.