Allied trades

As the printing grew in scale, the supply industries also expanded. Scotland was also home to ink makers, typefounders and printing machine makers who supplied the industry throughout the UK and beyond.

The earliest printers made their own ink and type. With 19th century advances in chemistry, ink factories developed to meet the requirements of new processes and faster machines. Typefounding became a specialist trade. ‘Printers’ engineers’ made inking rollers and tables, type cases, composing sticks, chases, quoins, foundry equipment, binders’ presses, and the printing machines themselves.

Papermaking was a major industry in its own right, originally concentrated in areas with a good supply of water both as a raw material and to power the machinery. The earliest papermills in Scotland were established along the Water of Leith, and later important centres of papermaking included the mills along the Esk in Midlothian, especially in the Penicuik area, in Fife, West Lothian and Aberdeenshire.