Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,010 pages of information and 232,919 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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June 1953.
July 1959.
May 1960.
Exhibit At Beck Isle Museum.

of 17 Church Street, Twickenham. Telephone: Popesgrove 2114. Cables: "Adana, Twickenham" - as Adana Agency (1929)

of 15-18 Church Street, Twickenham, Middlesex. Telephone: 3655-6 - as Adana (Printing Machines) (1947)

1922 [1] The Adana Agency was founded in Twickenham, by Donald Affleck Aspinall. Adana was distinguished by catering for the hobby letterpress printer, at a time when some suppliers did not approve of the hobby printer. The first official Adana machines were advertised in November, in the Exchange and Mart. The machine was a development on the Parlour Presses of the late Victorian period, and retailed for 45/- (£2.25).

Over its life, Adana made different types of machines: the unique flatbed machines (like the Adana QH or Adana HQ ); treadle and powered presses; and their famous lever presses. Adana also supplied specialist show card presses (for display boards); and sundries for the amateur printer.

1925 Adana cast its own type from 1925 and used four Monotype Casters and two Supertype Casters. Aspinall, who had no formal engineering or business training, has a number of patents, including one for Adana's wire gauge pins.

As well as being used for hobby printers, Adana presses found their way into other spheres: education, occupational health and light industry. A fleet of Adanas was used by the Leeds Permanent Building Society to over-print pass books. Their most well-known machine is probably the Adana Eight-Five.

At its height, the firm had agents across the globe; and branch offices in London and Manchester.

1929 British Industries Fair Advertisement for Automatic Self-inking Printing Machine. The Adana 45/- (£2.25) Printing Machine and Printing Machinery, Type and Accessories for the small printer; also Printers and Publishers of a Bimonthly Magazine, Popular Printing. (Printing Section - Stand No. R.6) (Advertised in catalogue but withdrew from Fair) [2]

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Printing Machines, Hand Power and Treadle operated for small work. Offset Letterpress Machines, Hand and Power for printing on bulky articles of various shapes and substances. Printing Machine Accessories. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. C.1536c) [3]

1996, after changing hands many times, Adana was absorbed into Caslon. That firm still sells some Adana supplies, but the last new machine was sold in 1999, by their agent in Japan.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] British Letterpress
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 113 and p5
  3. 1947 British Industries Fair p6