Nearly 400 years after the birth of letterpress printing in Europe, a press came ashore with early settlers in New Zealand.
William Colenso (1835), was the first real New Zealand book printer with his “Stanhope” press, creating Maori and general ecclesiastical items.
A drawing of the original Stanhope press design. None of these are known to exist today.
Samuel Revans published the first newspaper “The New Zealand Gazette”, in 1840 near the Petone foreshore.
Printing is the medium which reflected the growth of this new country (170 newspapers came into existence by 1870) to meet the communication and information needs of a growing colony.
The development of letterpress printing in New Zealand can justly be said to mirror our nation’s history, we are determined that the principles and processes should not be lost.