Hannanprint and SWUG boost museum’s presence with “priceless” antique press donation

The antique press was built in Victorian London and has enjoyed a rich and interesting history in Sydney. It was moved from the foyer at Hannanprint to the museum earlier this month.

The museum curators have cleaned down the machine in preparation to get it fully-functional for working display.

Penrith Museum of Printing committee member Neville James said the donation was greatly appreciated and it will add another gem to a museum, which already features a Flatbed Wharfedale printing press from the late 1800s.

“We approached Bob Lockley from Fairfax and SWUG to try and find an Albion press and after first locating one overseas he tracked one down closer to home at Hannanprint,” he said.

“He must have done some seriously arm twisting and Michael Hannan graciously donated it to the museum,” he said.

James added that the craftsmanship, which had gone into the creation of the 147-year-old fully-functional machine, was simply astounding.

“When you look at these older machines, how they were made knowing what technology was available back in those days, you really have to have respect for what they did,” he said.

“They were very clever people.”

SWUG President Bob Lockley added that putting a value on a working machine of this calibre was impossible.

“It’s a really beautiful machine, you just couldn’t value it,” he said.

“I took great delight in presenting them with the press on their tenth anniversary; they do a lot of great things at the museum including teaching young designers the art of typesetting.”

Neil Mulveney, a former personal owner of the press, said the press was bought from him by Michael Hannan in 1987 when it acquired Champion Press. 

“I am so very pleased to know that the press will be on display at the working printing museum at Penrith,” he said.

“I also think it is very generous of Mr Hannan to donate the press. Long may it be seen and enjoyed by future generations.”

The museum is open on Saturdays and by appointment.

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