Printing in Australia before WW I

A time line of significant events in the history of printing in Australia compiled by Benjamin Thorn

1788

A small hand press is brought out on the first fleet. Unfortunately, no-one knows how to use it. 

1795-1800

Convict George Hughes teaches himself to use the press and print orders and regulations for Governor Hunter.

1800

George Howe replaced Hughes in the Government Printing Office. He is allowed to do non-governmental work for his own profit. His press can produce about 50 sheets per hour.

1802

Howe produces the first book in the colony The NSW Standing Orders.

1805

Howe starts weekly newspaper The Sydney Gazette. It is required to print government announcements and is subject to heavy censorship by the authorities. In the years until1850, some 38 different newspapers and journals are produced

(some times fleetingly) in Sydney.

1810

First (short-lived) Tasmanian news journal the Derwent Star.

1821

Two lithographic presses are set up at Parramatta Observatory. One is subsequently transferred to Surveyor Generals Department and used for printing maps.

1827

The Sydney Gazette ( now produced by Howe’s son Robert) becomes daily.

It continues until1842.

1829

First printing industry strike by a small number of typographers employed by

The Australian.

1830

Engraver W Moffit opens a business in King Street. He printed labels for pills, potions and liquor and advertising cards etc. David Jones is

one of his early customers.

1831

The Sydney Herald is first time produced as a weekly newspaper,

from premises in Redman's Court, off Lwr George St - price 7d (pence).

In1841 it is bought by John Fairfax and becomes The Sydney Morning Herald.

In Western Australia, the first printed newspaper the Fremantle Observer, Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal start.

It uses the press that once printed the Derwent Star in Tasmania.

1837

South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register printed in South Australia

(the first edition had in fact been published a year before in London before the colonists set out for South Australia).

1838

Melbourne Advertiser is the first newspaper in what would become Victoria.

1846

Moreton Bay Courier first newspaper in Queensland.

1853

The Sydney Morning Herald imports a double-cylinder ''Cowper press" and becomes the first newspaper in Australia printed by steam, 

capable of printing 3000 copies a day.

1851

The first printing union, Sydney Typographical Association, is formed. It continues for 25 years but achieves little.

1859

The Sydney Morning Herald installs a ''Hoe'' 6-cylinder letterpress revolving press

1867

First printing ink manufactured in Australia by Fred T. Wimble and the future F. T. Wimble & Co. is started.

1869

Edwards and Dunlop establish a business as paper merchants and distributors of stationary and printing machinery.

1870

First lithographic machine imported to Melbourne.

1871

The Sydney Mail is the first daily newspaper to use illustrations. These are printed from woodcuts. The first picture is a prize bull.

1874

First printing equipment manufactured in Australia.

1875

The Sydney Morning Herald installs a rotary-letterpress stereotype

web-perfecting press

The 1880s

Wood engraving begins to be used instead of woodcuts for newspaper illustration.

1881

Reformed union, NSW Typographical Association, starts collective bargaining with individual employers on wages and conditions.

1885

First employers’ group, Melbourne Master Printers Association, founded in Victoria.

1887

Master Printers Association of Sydney founded.

1890

A huge fire broke out (the biggest in Sydney's history) in the printing establishment, Gibbs, Shallard & Co, situated near Martin Place, in downtown Sydney.

The fire raged for several days and destroyed much of the surrounding area,

including 20 buildings.

Many printing businesses assisted by printing jobs on their behalf. 

1894

Major industrial action organised by the Typographical Association in Sydney. A month-long strike is a failure as the newly invigorated Master Printers Association imports labour from outside of Sydney and threatens to blacklist striking workers.

1894

Daily Telegraph imports first Linotype machines.

Sydney Morning Herald starts using Hattersley typesetting machines a year later and Linotype in1903.

1905

Printing classes begin at Sydney Technical College.

1912

First industrial provisions for women workers in the industry are made.

 

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Penrith Museum of Printing is to collect, conserve, operate and showcase letterpress printing machinery and equipment so as to keep alive the history,knowledge and skills of letterpress printing for present and future generations.

Site updated: 16 November, 2019
web design by Sifan

The Penrith Museum of Printing is a 'Not For Profit' Incorporated Association

Member of

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Australia

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES NSW
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