Skip to the good stuff!


ISO: Ink containers circa 1900-05

Via the Contact form:

I am doing some research for a current project on printing. I need to know the type of vessel ink came in at a 1900-1905 commercial printer’s shop. I would like a visual showing what it would have looked like. For example, the ink used in printing a newspaper at that time.

Brenda White



  1. Paul Moxon, Website Editor 12 July, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    As my friend, Fritz Klinke says: everything you need to know about printing can be found in the pages of The Inland Printer. He is recommending the comprehensive American printing trade journal. Established in 1883, IP covered every aspect of commercial printing including equipment, materials, management and best practices. In addition to articles, my research has been advanced by close reading of the display advertising. I’m sure that you will find useful information on ink manufacturing.
    If you have access to a research library you should be able to find bound copies of IP. It’s cataloged on WorldCat. Another good resource is the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

  2. Printing, printmaking and inkmaking manuals pay little attention to ink containers, close reading of display advertising therefore is good advice indeed. In general, printing ink was kept in tin cans by the later 19th century, smaller amounts also in tubes. As a special example, the supplement to the British Printer, (1898), p. 326, has an advertisement for: ‘Mander’s patent screw press and patent tin, for small users of printing inks’. The picture shows a can with a small nozzle at the bottom and on top a screw. When the screw is turned a plate inside of the can is moved downward, thereby pressing the ink through the nozzle. This works the same as a collapsible tube: because the surface of the ink is not exposed to air the ink cannot dry.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

APHA encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.