4882-0

Papermaking, Printing and Associated Trades in the West Midlands during the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

1790 - 1820 (c.)

Image: Advertisement for Swinney’s Type Foundry in Birmingham, from J Bisset, Bisset’s Magnificent Guide or Grand Copper Plate Directory for the Town of Birmingham(Birmingham, Printed for the Author by R Jabet, 1808). The advertisement shows the different buildings forming part of M Swinney’s Printing Works in High Street, Birmingham. Swinney published the Birmingham Chronicle, a rival to Aris’s Birmingham Gazette. The buildings are numbered: (1) Type Foundry, (2) General Printing House, (3) Copper Plate Room, (4) Birmingham Chronicle Office (5) Ruling Machine and Casting Shop. A printing press is shown in the foreground.

Image from: Local Studies and History, Birmingham Central Library

Text: John Goss

Image Captions: Malcolm Dick

Summary

Paper making and printing developed in Asia before production commenced in Europe. This article by John Goss explores the evolution of papermaking, printing and allied activities in the West Midlands. It looks at economic and technological issues and focuses on the activities of local figures, John Baskerville, William Hutton, Erasmus Darwin, James Watt and Henry and Sealy Fourdrinier, who made important contributions to these trades.



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