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Strange Press

Started by Dave Hughes, October 23, 2011, 03:22:00 PM

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Dave Hughes

A rather strange looking press, a "Ruthven Press" pictured at the printing museum Odense, Denmark.

The lever seems quite low down, but looks like it should be operated with a hand, rather than a foot.

Anyone seen anything like this?

Ruthven Press by The Iron Handpress Studio, on Flickr
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This type of printing press played a part in early Australian history. On the Western Australian Museum site I found this information.

The Ruthven press was first patanted in 1813. The one in Western Australia is a more modern 1819-22 version

QuoteRuthven Printing Press
Manufactured by John Ruthven, Edinburgh, Scotland, c.1819-22
This press was used to produce the first printed newspaper in Western Australia, The Fremantle Observer, Perth Gazette and Journal, on 5 April 1831. Since commercial printing ink was not available in Fremantle a substitute ink was made with soot and mutton fat and the rollers were dressed with treacle and glue. The maximum printing rate was 50 copies per hour.

The early history of this press was also colourful. Originally made in Scotland, it was taken to Tasmania in about 1822 by the Scottish missionary Rev. Archibald Macarthur. He sold it to the colonial administration in Hobart Town, which evidently found it too small and sold it to a former government printer. He in turn apparently sold it to Samuel Dowsett, who printed Launceston's second newspaper, the Cornwall Press, in 1829. Within two years the press had been sold and taken to Fremantle
More information:-

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

J Stafford-Baker

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