The Illustrated London News, c. 1842.

Printer and newsagent Herbert Ingram moved from Nottingham to London in early 1842. Inspired by how the Weekly Chronicle always sold more copies when it featured an illustration, he had the idea of publishing a weekly newspaper that would contain pictures in every edition. Ingram’s initial idea was that it would concentrate on crime reporting, […]

“The Smelly Melting Pot.”

This is not me. The bloke pictured here is about nine inches taller than me, handsome and built like a “brick shithouse”. One of my first jobs of a morning when I entered the “dog box” which we called the Comp Room at National Paper Industries. Port Road, was to switch on the Lead melting […]

Adelaide’s Weekend Newspaper “The Mail.”

The Mail was founded in 1912 by Clarence Moody. Moody initially set up three newspapers – the Sporting Mail, Saturday Mail and the Mail. The first two titles lasted only two years and five years respectively. The Mail went into liquidation in late 1914. Ownership passed briefly to George Annells and Frank Stone, and then […]

Printing in Medieval Venice c.1490s.

Venice, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493). JRL R1786. Medieval Venice was a major city state and an important trading port where East met West. Situated on a marshy lagoon at the head of the Adriatic Sea, for centuries it had traded extensively with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim World. By the late thirteenth century, […]

Melbourne printing museum goes under the hammer.

The biggest event to occur in a generation or more was the auction of the Melbourne Museum of Printing at the end of November. While Australia has a great number of printing museums scattered around the country, there has only really been one that could lay claim to being a national printing museum: the Melbourne […]

W. Bullock was killed by his invention the Web Rotary Press, 1867.

On 3rd April, 1867, William Bullock, an American inventor – whose 1863 invention of the web rotary printing press helped revolutionize the newspaper printing industry due to its great speed and efficiency – was making adjustments to one of his new presses. Bullock tried to kick an unguarded drive belt onto a pulley. However, his […]

Very Heavy Journalism, Old School–a Gift from H. Mencken

Here’s another lesson in the continuing and forever-expanding series on not judging by appearances: the following terrific images were found in a very tall and slender, stiff and demure 1920’s publication celebrating the Thomson Printing Works of London (and Glasgow, Dundee, and Manchester). The calf-bound book has the feel of an antique wallet, and even […]

The Birth of the Christmas Card, 1843.

Cultures have enjoyed sharing written New Year’s greetings for centuries. The English-speaking ritual of sending holiday cards, however, dates back only to the middle of the 19th century. Some sources say it originated with Thomas Shorrock, of Leith, Scotland, who, in the 1840s, produced cards showing a jolly face with the caption “A Gude Year […]

The Art of the Printed Book Through Time.

This facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible is one of several pieces of “The Art of the Printed Book Through the Centuries” exhibit at the Garnett Library on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus. The exhibit, which features pieces from the collection at The St. Louis Mercantile Library, was brought to campus through The Missouri Center […]

Albrecht Pfister, Printer and Publisher c.1400s.

Daniel in the lion’s den, from the Historie von Joseph, Daniel, Judith und Esther (Bamberg: Albrecht Pfister, 1462), f.19r. JRL 9375. Pfister is an even more shadowy figure than Johann Gutenberg, and what is known of him comes from analysis of the nine editions he is generally thought to have printed. Trained as a cleric, […]