The ‘Adana Agency’ was founded in 1922 in Twickenham by Donald Affleck Aspinall.
Adana was distinguished by catering for the hobby letterpress printer, at a time when some suppliers did not approve of the hobby printer.
The type founder Caslon stated that ‘We are not among those who are alarmed at the increase in amateur printing in this country, though we will not encourage it.’
The first official Adana machines were advertised in November 1922 in the Exchange and Mart.
The machine was a development on the Parlour Presses of the late Victorian period, and retailed for 45/- (£2.25).
Over its life, Adana made different types of machines — the unique flatbed machines (like the Adana QH or Adana HQ); treadle and powered presses; and their famous lever presses.
Adana also supplied specialist show card presses (for display boards); and sundries for the amateur printer.
Adana cast its own type from 1925 and used four Monotype Casters and two Supertype casters. Aspinall, who had no formal engineering or business training, has a number of patents, including one for Adana’s wire gauge pins.
As well as being used for hobby printers, Adana presses found their way into other spheres — education, occupational health and light industry. A fleet of Adanas was used by the Leeds Permanent Building Society to over-print pass books.
Their most well-known machine is probably the Adana Eight-Five.At its height, the firm had agents across the globe; and branch offices in London and Manchester.
In 1996, after changing hands many times, Adana was absorbed into Caslon. That firm still sells some Adana supplies, but the last new machine was sold in 1999 by their agent in Japan.