Royal Navy Research Archive Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length.
Advanced Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Printing presses on 18th Century vessels  (Read 590 times)

breynoldsfla

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Reputation: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5
Printing presses on 18th Century vessels
« on: 27 July 2020 08:33:43 pm »

Did 18th Century flagships have small printing presses on board?  Brian Tunstall's NAVAL WARFARE IN THE AGE OF SAIL seems to indicate that many admirals issued their signal books to their fleets and shows examples that appear to have been printed.  If so, where will I find information on this topic?
Logged

PhiloNauticus

  • Senior Rate
  • ****
  • Reputation: 8
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 200
  • Valued Member
Re: Printing presses on 18th Century vessels
« Reply #1 on: 29 July 2020 04:03:45 pm »


I can find  no mention of printing presses onboard ship during the 18th C., although they may have done - I have found this brief mention, referring to the Mediterranean squadron off Toulon 1812 - 1814:

"... both the flagships, the Caledonia, bearing the flag of the Commander in Chief, and Sir Sidney's ship (Hibernia), had onboard of them, very complete printing presses, with all the necessary types and furniture..."
[chap XII in vol.2 of Memoirs of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith  by Edward Howard (1839)]

Logged

breynoldsfla

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Reputation: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5
Re: Printing presses on 18th Century vessels
« Reply #2 on: 30 July 2020 02:32:34 pm »

Thank you for that information, which is the first concrete information that has come to light so far.  Tunstall, for example on p. 129, says that "on the day [that he arrived at New York], 12 July [1776], Howe issued his printed Signal Book for the Ships of War."  Since Howe issued HIS printed signal book that suggests that he printed it on board, for issuance to his fleet.  If anyone has information to support that, I would be grateful for it.
« Last Edit: 31 July 2020 07:19:34 pm by breynoldsfla »
Logged

PhiloNauticus

  • Senior Rate
  • ****
  • Reputation: 8
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 200
  • Valued Member
Re: Printing presses on 18th Century vessels
« Reply #3 on: 31 July 2020 08:43:02 pm »

Contemporary newspapers also report some printing activity onboard ship:

It was reported that when Napoleon landed in Egypt in 1798, he issued a series of printed proclamations on his arrival, which had been “ … composed and printed on l’Orient during the passage from Malta to Alexandria”
[https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/: Kentish Gazette 5 Oct 1798]

Sir Sydney Smith (who had a press onboard his flagship in the Med.) had one earlier –
“Sir Sydney Smith has given orders for erecting a printing press on board his ship, the Antelope, now lying in Dover roads”
[https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/: Hampshire Chronicle 4 Nov 1805]

Somewhat later, in 1843, it was reported that HMS Belleisle had a printing press onboard, set up and operated by an army officer, Capt. Edie of the 98th Regiment, who happened to be onboard
[https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/:  Halifax Guardian 2 Sep 1843]

The various Arctic expeditions of the 1840s and 1850s are reported to have the ability for simple printing – playbills and newssheets etc – for the crew
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up