Arab Printing Press

The “Arab” press was a foot-treadled machine capable of producing a wide range of printed materials including handbills and trade flyers, cards, documents and book pages. A hundred years ago it would have been found in the majority of print shops all over the world. No less than 46,000 were made by the Josia Wade company of Halifax between 1872 and 1959.

This machine would have been used in T G Davidson’s old print works on Bondgate Hill, Alnwick. The inscriptions “W Dodds Jan 15th 1874” and “T G Davidson March 11th 1901” were found scratched on the bottom of the paper tray.

The machine is still functional and there are plans to make it more accessible to the general public, after appropriate instruction.

The Arab Printing Press