The Albion Press at Museum Victoria is a table model hand lever press. The original Albion Press was invented in Great Britain around 1820 by Cope (died 1828).
The Albion at the Museum was manufactured in 1859 by the company Hopkinson and Cope. It was donated by the Victorian Government Printing Office in 1979. Its previous use is unknown but a similar press was used at the Post Office in Melbourne and was offered to the Printing Office in 1862. It appears to have been used by the Government Printing office for minor jobbing work and proofing of galleys.
A forme was placed on the iron bed of the press and inked by roller or ink ball; a sheet of paper was placed on the open tympan (packing used to equalise the type pressure) the frisket (strong paper used to prevent the non printing areas of the forme appearing on the impression) was closed down over the tympan to hold the paper in place and the whole folded down over the type forme, resting slightly above the inked type.
The bed was then wound under the platen by a handle attached to a central rounce (handle) under the bed, the handle when pulled forward brought the platen down and an impression was taken. The handle was pushed back and impression lifted and the bed wound back out, where the tympan was lifted off, frisket was lifted off and the printed sheet removed.