Print Pound Notes!

Exhibition celebrating 100 years of Adana

26 January 2023 – April 24 2023
Monday – Friday 10:00-5:00pm

Please note: the exhibition space is not always open due to its dual usage. Please contact St Bride Foundation at before you come to avoid disappointment.

The Adana printing press is 100 years old and to mark the centenary of the company St Bride Library launches a new exhibition in January. The display will bring together for the first time a unique collection of material, including early drawings for the company’s first flatbed press, working examples of some popular 1920s models and photographs and documents from the Aspinall family archives.

Donald Affleck Aspinall was born in April 1899, served in the Essex Regiment in the Great War and established Adana at the youthful age of just 23. By 1927 he was exporting his presses to the United States and had a worldwide distribution network for his products. The first Adana advertisement appeared on 25th November 1922 in The Bazaar, Exchange & Mart, offering readers a “massively constructed’ press capable of printing everything ‘from a chemist’s label to an illustrated magazine’. In truth it was a simple wooden box with a hinged lid, based upon the Victorian Parlour Press.

Adana’s early success was followed by crushing failure as export markets collapsed in the Great Depression of the 1930s. A financial lifeline from type supplier Stephenson Blake was conditional upon the scrapping of Adana’s Monotype machines and as WW2 dawned the company faced ruin.

The St Bride exhibition tells the story of Adana’s post-war re-birth, acquisition by printing press engineer Frederick Ayers and later the Caslon Group.

St Bride Foundation
14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street,