History of Australian lithographic printing charted in new book

A new coffee table book, ‘Printed on Stone – The Lithographs of Charles Troedel’ by Dr Amanda Scardamaglia, which charts the history of lithographic printer Charles Troedel and his work in the days of early Australian advertising is set to be released.

The book, published by Melbourne Press, is available from April 2020

German-born and Melbourne-based Troedel (1835-1906) was a master printer and lithographer and was responsible for producing most of Australia’s early advertising posters, product labels and other print ephemera including the iconic Melbourne Album.

Troedel’s lithographs trace the production and evolution of nineteenth century commerce and culture — in the home, at the bar, in health, hygiene and housework, with fashion and style and in leisurely pursuits — defining the legal categories under which this content was protected and the way advertising came to be regulated.

Dr Scardamaglia, an Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Swinburne Law School, specialises in intellectual property law and has trawled the archives at of the State Library of Victoria to bring these images to the public for the first time.

The well-preserved archives of Charles Troedel and his firm Troedel & Co have meant this book could be produced. The archive includes the corporate records of Troedel’s printing business spanning over a century and nearly 10,000 copies of print speciments produced by the company. All were donated to the State Library of Victoria in 1968.

The hard cover coffee table style book includes over 70 colour prints from the Troedel archive, plus full reproduction of all 24 plates of The Melbourne Album, lithographic views of Melbourne from 1863 to 1864.

The chapters also include a history of printing from Gutenberg’s presses to chemical printing and lithography. It looks at how both processes were significant markers in the development of advertising practices around the world.

It also delves into how lithography transformed the way goods were advertised in Australia.

The book is available from April 2020 through Melbourne Press. Click here for more information or to order a copy.

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