stamp printers by country
L to R
= Understood to be a current stamp printer.
Companies A-D Companies E-K
Confidential Print Limited, Wolverton.
First stationery traced by compiler: [when?]
English (D&B): Security and Commercial
There had been no intention
to include postal stationery printers in
this monograph, but McCorquodale did tender
for postage stamp production in Great Britain
in the 19th century.
They were a part of Bowater, but latterly
of Rexam Print when they took-over the Bowater
Maclure, Macdonald &
Co., Glasgow, Scotland.
stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1866 for Uruguay,
1869 for the Brooke Family Administration
Maclure, Macdonald &
Company were, in Victorian times, "Ornamental
Printers to the Queen". They invented
a power-driven lithographic printing press
in 1853, that was quite revolutionary for
They produced 3-penny telephone
stamps for Great Britain in many shades
of brown-red by intaglio (engraving), in
sheets of 12, perf 12, in an initial printing
of 125,000, although further printings may
have subsequently been made.
Edward Matthews, London.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler:
1872 for Guatemala.
This company based in Oxford
Street, London was awarded the contract
to print stamps for Guatemala. It is likely
that this firm of stationers, who had supplied
paper and pencils to the Embassy, would
have sub-contracted to a local printer.
The quality of the printing is apparently
Metal Box Company acquired Perkins
Bacon and Company into its group.
Nissen & Arnold Limited, London.
Abbreviation known by: NAL.
stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1890 for Municipal
Post of Shanghai, China.
NAL were better known as
bank note printers, rather than stamp producers.
Nissen & Parker, London.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler:
1861 for Nevis.
Perkins, Bacon & Company
known by: P&B or PBC.
in 1852 from Perkins, Bacon and Petch.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1852.
Absorbed into the Metal Box Company
Clarke was taken over by De La Rue in 1994
Main printing process(es): Litho, recess
Perkins, Bacon and Petch, London.
Abbreviation known by: PB&P.
First stamp(s) traced
by compiler: 1840 for Great Britain (the
printed under PB&P brand: 1852.
At the time of the creation
of the first postage stamp in 1840, Perkins,
Bacon and Petch was the leading security
printer of the day.
A Press Release from
the British Library on 31 December 2002
"Hot off the Press -
Last surviving Penny Black printing press
goes on display
The only surviving printing
press used to print the Penny Black stamps
has gone on permanent display at the British
Library in London.
Dating from 1819, the press
was one of several used to print the Penny
Black and Two Pence Blue - the first ever
postage stamps to be issued - in May 1840.
It was used to print British stamps until
1870 and remained at the works of printers
Perkins, Bacon and Petch until it was presented
to the Library in 1963.
Invented by an expatriate
American from Boston called Joseph Perkins,
the press is correctly called a Perkins
D cylinder. It was developed for intaglio,
recess or line engraved printing and was
patented in 1819. The machine allowed the
printing process to be done at speed and
produced 240 stamps to a sheet.
The press was also used for
printing many of the early stamps for British
Colonial territories ordered by the Crown
Agents from 1853. These includes stamps
for the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Trinidad,
Western Australia, Ceylon and St Helena,
and by direct contract for New Brunswick,
New South Wales, Victoria, New Zealand,
Ionian Islands and the British South Africa
Examples of stamps printed
on the press, including the Penny Black,
can be freely viewed in the Library's Philatelic
Exhibition cases, at the Library's St Pancras
building in London.
David Beech, Head of Philatelic
Collections at the British Library, said,
"In 1840 Britain's postal service led the
world. Reforms of the Post Office brought
about an inexpensive service and the introduction
of the first postage stamp, the One Penny
Black - an idea since copied throughout
the world. The British Library is delighted
to be exhibiting the only remaining printing
press used in its production."
Facts about the world's first
- It and other postal
reforms came about as a result of pressure
from the Mercantile Committee on Postage,
which included among its members Rowland
Hill and Henry Cole.
- Before the reforms
it cost 12d for a letter travelling between
230 and 300 miles and after the reforms
- The inland 1d postage rate
for letters lasted until 1918.
1d black was printed by the security printers
Perkins, Bacon and Petch who presented the
printing machine in 1963.
- The 1d black
was printed in sheets of 240: thus a sheet
could be purchased for GBP1
printing plates were used to hand print
- Uniform 1d postage
was introduced on 10th January, 1840 and
the 1d black was put on sale on 1st May,
1840 and was valid for postage from 6th
- The 1d black was superseded
by the 1d red in 1841 in the same design.
- All 1d blacks have letters of the alphabet
in the lower corners. They are to help prevent
- A rare unissued
1d black for use by government departments
has the letters "VR" in the top
- In 1839 the Treasury Competition
was held for the public to submit designs
for adhesive labels.
- The head of Queen
Victoria, by William Wyon, used on the 1d
black was taken from the City Medal issued
in 1837 to mark the visit of the new Queen
to the City of London.
(See also Perkins Bacon
& Company entry above.)
Questa Colour Limited, London.
(See House of Questa Limited entry above.)