Japanese Made Hand Operated Type Printing Machine

Modern typographical printing originates in the printing machine invented by Gutenberg in Germany in the mid-15th century. This printing machine is a domestic typographical printing model manufactured around 1885. The printing procedures are such that paper is placed on the typesetter on which ink is applied, the upper ‘Tympan’ cover is placed on it, and the typesetter is moved to the pressing area by a leather belt wrapped around the wooden cylinder at the lower part of the main unit. Pressing and printing are done when a lever is manually pulled and the typesetter springs back up when the lever is released. Tomiji Hirano, who manufactured the machine shown here, is a pioneering figure along with his teacher Shozo Motoki of modern type printing in Japan. The Albion type hand-operated type printing machines were used widely in the Meiji Era, and several machines of this type manufactured in Japan still exist. However, with regard to the machine manufactured by the Hirano Type Foundry, only the machine shown here can be confirmed.

On exhibition (Reservation required)

Mizuno Printing Museum

Hours open:
10:00–16:00 on weekdays (closed 12:00 through 13:00) May be not on exhibition during open hours; be sure to call for confirmation.
Admission fee:
Days closed:
Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, year-end/New Year’s, summer holidays
2-9-2 Irifune, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0042
7 mins. on foot from Hatchobori Sta., Hibiya Line/Shintomicho Sta., Yurakucho Line; (parking not available)

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