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Printing Press - Clymer Dixon & Co., Columbian, 1851 Object Reg. No: ST 038521

The Columbian Press is an Iron Standing Press, built by Clymer Dixon and Co. of 10 Finsbury Street, London England in 1851.

The Press was donated by T. B. McDiarmid & Sons. The company was established in 1905 by Thomas Bartlett McDiarmid and his brother Jack. They were joined by another brother, William, in 1913. The business specialised in stereotyping and electrotyping. Their acquisition of the Columbian Press is not recorded.

A forme was placed on the iron bed of the press and inked by roller or ink ball; a sheet of paper was placed on the open tympan; the frisket was closed down over the tympan to hold the paper in place and the whole folded down over the type forme, resting slightly above the inked type. The bed was then wound under the platen by a handle attached to a central rounce under the bed, the handle pulled forward brought the platen down and an impression was taken. The handle was pushed back and impression lifted and the bed wound back out, where the tympan was lifted off, frisket was lifted off the tympan and the printed sheet removed.
Hand printing press of heavy construction with ornate cast iron columns surmounted by cast eagle. Elaborately moulded serpents and fish decorations.
Acquisition Information:
Cultural Gifts Donation from T.B. Mcdiarmid & Sons (Vic) Pty Ltd
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 2200 mm (Height), 1600 mm (Width), 1820 mm (Length)
Weight: 1.5 tonnes (Weight)
Dimension Comment: Peter Marsh states: On standing presses bed and platen sizes are misleading as to the descriptive historical sizes used for presses and it is important to understand that different interpretations exist. Some historians use the platen size as press size. The platen of a press was the maximum area in which pressure could be placed on a type forme. The historical size of a standing iron press sh

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Tagged with: printing equipment, printing presses
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Printing
Tertiary Classification: printing presses
Inscriptions: Oval Brass Plaque on front:
Columbian Press
No. 1509
Clymer Dixon & Co
Original Patentees
10 Finsbury St. 1851 London
Manufacturer: Clymer Dixon & Co, London, England, Great Britain, 1851
Printer: Mr Peter Marsh, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 18 Jun 2007

Peter Marsh is a Research Associate, who has been data enhancing the printing collection. He has supplied information for this record.


Wijayanthi Pathirana Posted on 08 Dec 2013 10:03 PM
We are Sri Lankan. We have a columbian press machine. It is the oldest printing machine in sri Lanka. manufactured in 1859.

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