Until the end of the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry, ink-mak­ing was a nor­mal part of the print­er’s job, each print­er mak­ing his own ink from the mate­ri­als then avail­able, and adding the colour, con­sis­ten­cy, and oth­er items which expe­ri­ence had taught to be required for each type of print­ing job. About 1800, the man­u­fac­ture of ink began to devel­op into a sep­a­rate indus­try.

A B Flem­ing & Co were per­haps the best known of the Scot­tish ink man­u­fac­tur­ers. The firm was estab­lished in the 1850s in Lei­th, lat­er mov­ing to Car­o­line Park in the Granton area, with addi­tion­al premis­es in Corstor­phine from the 1960s. At one time they also oper­at­ed a fac­to­ry in Dundee. The com­pa­ny ceased  trad­ing in the 1980s.

Their archive, cov­er­ing the years, 1869 to 1962, and includ­ing the records of B Win­stone & Sons Ltd) is held in the Nation­al Records of Scot­land, Edin­burgh,  ref­er­ence GD431.