The Horn Presses and Printing at UCLA

History of the Presses

In the 1990s most of the Horn Printing Chappel presses were sold or dispersed to various locations. The two remaining presses at the Horn Press (established in the 1960s by Andy Horn) are the Albion, manufactured by Hopkinson & Cope, and the Reliance press.

The Reliance model had been introduced by Paul Shniedewend of Chicago in 1898, and it is often referred to as a “Washington-style press” because it uses the same general mechanism as the Washington press, patented earlier in the 19th century. Reliance presses were made specifically as proofing presses — that is, they were used to pull a limited number of proofs that could then be used for correcting a printing plate or type prior to printing the finished copies on a different press. It features a simple toggle joint, which provides pressure to the platen, and on each side of the platen are coil springs, which raise it to the open position.

The Albion hand press model manufactured by Hopkinson & Cope was first developed by Richard Whitaker Cope in London in 1820. It was an Englishman’s response to the popular American Columbian press that had become the standard after its introduction in 1816. Despite being designed for utilitarian purposes, like the Columbian press, it featured decorative elements, and was made of cast iron with a gilded gold design. The press remained the same until Cope’s death in 1828, when the firm’s foreman John Hopkinson took over production and initiated several mechanical modifications, including the replacement of brass links which were often problematic as well as improvements in the toggle function within the press.

The Albion design became so important to the Hopkinson & Cope brand that the physical design remained virtually unaltered since 1830. According to press historian James Moran, the word “patent” and the signature decorative royal coat of arms were included in its decoration with the idea that it would “persuade buyers that press was of an original and protected design.” In addition, its popularity led to widespread imitation of its design elements and technical features, and many iterations of the Albion-style press were produced throughout the first half of the 20th century. For example, another company in Yorkshire, England continued to produce Albion presses as late as the 1940s and stayed true to its original design.