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Production of the range of Adana machines was between 1935 and the 1950's, and the 'Adana Agency' was founded in 1922 in Twickenham by Donald Affleck Aspinall Adana. All the machines were destined for the amateur market.

Up to 40 sheets can be printed on these machines in one minute by an inexperienced operator, once the type has been placed and put onto the machine.

Type is held in place by a box frame called a 'Chase' using blank spacers called 'Quoins' to pack out the complete area. When printing rollers move up onto a round disk covered in ink which revolves slightly on every press of the handle. Once the ink is on the 'form' (the completed 'Chase') the bed holding the paper ('Platen') to be printed is pressed hard onto the 'Form' and then removed after the handle returns to its rest position.

The 85 refers to the size of the flat bed on which the type set is placed - 8 x 5 inch. This machine was made after 1953 and cost 16.80.

Donated by Mrs Kathleen Williams, this printing press belonged to Kathleen's late husband, it was in constant use.

Your comments:

  • I have an 8x5, plus some type..put new rollers on it a little while back and it's just like new. I did my time as a letterpress machinist back in the late 1960's - the Adana came to me a few years ago from my Great Uncle's estate so I tinker on it now and again..
    .......... Larry Killip, Auckland New Zealand, 16th of November 2010

  • As an employee of Adana Printing machines UK in 1983 to 1986, I used to deliver these fantastic Printing machines the 8x5 and the 5x3 to many occupational health dept's of the main hospitals to aid the recovery of lots of patients,to get them up and about after operations,this was a very worthwhile and satisfying job.What a shame it all came to an end when computers took over!.
    .......... Russell Fuller, Basingstoke.Hants, 20th of October 2010

  • I used the 8x5 for small jobs like business cards, wedding stationary, dance tickets and such. Used an Arab and litho for everything else. I used to get about 1500 sheets per hour or more out of mine. When I finished printing the 8x5 went to a friend. The Arab platen and all the type went to India. I think I got about 50 for what was worth thousands of pounds new.
    .......... Paul D Moore, Birmigham, 14th of July 2010

  • The Adana hand platens were designed to work at way above 30 sheets an hour! Once the machine was set up, an experienced operator could print 500 business cards in under 30 minutes. The earlier machines were called High Speed for this very reason. Only the flat bed was slow to operate.
    .......... Chris Daniells, High Wycombe, 31st of January 2010

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