The Albion was one of the early "cast iron" presses that supplanted the wooden presses that were largely unchanged since the time of J. Gutenberg. The wooden presses had insufficient strength to print a large sheet in one pull, and the advent of iron overcame that limitation. The first iron presses were built around 1800. The Albion brand started two or three decades later and were a great success: several makers used similar designs and even the same name, and they may have been made right into the 20th C, as they were useful as proofing presses.
This 1849 Albion Press was bought around 1979 from a man whose father had left it, in pieces, in the mud under his house. Some minor parts were missing and it was not until 2004 that it could be used. It still does not have a proper handle to move the bed, but that does not stop it being used. Several people have used it for books or posters.
MMOP has another, smaller Albion dated 1856. It still awaits a missing part so cannot be used at present. It is on display in the Show Room.
This picture was taken in 1996 with a Sony HandyCam video camera and in smaller form has been on the MMOP home page since then.