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The Albion press was originally designed and manufactured in London by Richard Whittaker Cope around 1820 and continued to be manufactured, in a range of sizes, until the 1930s. They were used for commercial book printing until the middle of the nineteenth century when they were used more for proofing, jobbing work and in small private presses, but redundant machines were also eagerly sought by artist printmakers for woodblock, lino and type printing.The Albion press was originally designed and manufactured in London by Richard Whittaker Cope around 1820 and continued to be manufactured, in a range of sizes, until the 1930s. They were used for commercial book printing until the middle of the nineteenth century when they were used more for proofing, jobbing work and in small private presses, but redundant machines were also eagerly sought by artist printmakers for woodblock, lino and type printing.

Obtaining a vintage Albion Press in 2012

 The Albion press is for relief printing woodcut or linocut blocks and is a model of early hand printing press.   The one I have was built in 1865.

It works by a simple toggle action, unlike the complex lever-mechanism of the more cumbersome Columbian and Stanhope presses.  Albions were used for commercial book printing until the middle of the nineteenth century, and thereafter chiefly for proofing, jobbing work and by private presses. The toggle-action, and the distinctive shape and 'crown' finial make it instantly recognizable.

After Cope's death, Albion presses were manufactured by his heirs and members of the Hopkinson family (trading initially as 'Jonathan and Jeremiah Barrett' and later as 'Hopkinson and Cope'), who are said to have improved the design. From the 1850s onwards Albion presses were manufactured under licence by other firms, notably Harrild and Sons, Miller and Richard, and Frederick Ullmer Ltd.

It will take a while to get used to, but hope I can get some prints from it before too long.

 

 

Bait Digger & Brents.  3-colour woodblock 60cm x 40cmBait Digger & Brents. 3-colour woodblock 60cm x 40cm