The Stanhope Press lands in South Australia, 1836.

The first printing press which was landed with the Free Settlers of South Australia in late 1836 was a Stanhope (hand driven) Press, which was located in a crude tent occupied by the Thomas family on the North Bend of the “Paddywallunga” River at Glenelg. The Stanhope Press was owned by Mr Robert Thomas and […]

Old Guv Machine Room, circa 1910.

Image Capture: Excellent quality photograph of what is believed to be the Machine Room at the Government Printing Office when it was situated in King William Road, Adelaide. Photo taken possibly 1910 or thereabouts. This Photograph was kindly Supplied by Mr Alex Riley, a wealthy resident of one of Adelaide’s more upper class neighbourhoods situated […]

“The Stanhope” First Printing Press in the Colony.

The first Printing Press in the Colony was landed at Holdfast Bay on 8th November, 1836, from the barque “Africaine”. The Press was offloaded on to the Beach just South of the Patawalonga mouth. The Stanhope was a Demy Press invented by Earl Stanhope at the beginning of the 19th Century and superseded the wooden […]

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, […]

Little Lew Morrison.

The late Little Lew Morrison accidentally ended up in the “Royal Navy” during World War II. Whilst pretending to be a Sea Scout he got drafted and soon was entertaining all the sailors and troops. Not many knew it, but Lew looked like Fred Astaire and he danced like him as well. Well, almost! He […]

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 […]

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, […]

Chromatic Wood Type and Borders 1874.

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type and Borders (1874) Some select pages from the exquisite Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. (1874), a specimen book produced by the William H. Page wood type company. Chromatic types, which were made to print in two or more colours, were first produced as wood type by Edwin Allen, […]

The Vandercook Proof Press.

In the early 20th century, printers were still pulling crude proofs from hand presses and simple galley roller presses that depended on gravity for the impression. In 1909, R.O. Vandercook was the first to develop a geared, rigid-bed cylinder proof press, a machine capable of providing the industry with high-quality proofs from metal types and […]

John Baskerville, Type Designer.

Born 1706–Died 1775, English type designer and printer. He and Caslon were the two great type designers of the 18th century in England. He began his work as printer and publisher in 1757 and in 1758 became printer to the University of Cambridge. Baskerville’s first volume was a quarto edition of Vergil. His type faces […]