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Wednesday 21 October 2015

A Replica 18th Century Printing Press in Action

This is a replica of the type of printing press used in the 17th and early 18th century used to produce a reproduction of the Berwick Patriot broadsheet about the capture of Holy Island by the Jacobites.

It was set up at 2 Hide Hill, Berwick-upon-Tweed on the 1715 Jacobite Rising weekend, 10 & 11 October.

The ink should have been chimney soot mixed with boiled linseed oil but they didn't have any apprentices to mix it, so they used a modern water-based ink.

It was interesting that they were using an engraved steel plate rather than blocks of type and while I watched, it was rather slow production; though the printer claimed that an experienced 18th century printer with a full staff could produce 180 printed sheets an hour, which is somewhat faster than my dot-matrix printer, on my computer system, could produce in 1985.

The initial narrator is Derek Sharman, the subsequent narrator, talking about the press is Kendal Leask.

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