Iconic printing press has new home in Penrith

A Heidelberg Zylinder printing press has found a home in Penrith.
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A Heidelberg Zylinder press has taken up pride of place at the Penrith Museum of Printing.

Manufactured in Germany in 1939, the Zylinder was a product of German ingenuity and amazing engineering, and was a most sophisticated press for that time.

This type of press stopped being manufactured in 1940, as the Heidelberg Printing Press factory was taken over by the German government for the production of war materials.

After the war, the Heidelberg company went back into manufacturing the Heidelberg ‘Zylinder’ press, but it was renamed ‘The Heidelberg Cylinder Printing Press’.

This press started its life in Australia in 1951 at the Automatic Press in Port Pirie.

In 1971 it relocated to Dorrigo in northern New South Wales, where it printed the iconic Don Dorrigo Gazette.

It produced every edition of the newspaper until June 30, 2023, marking the end of an era as the final letterpress-produced newspaper in Australia.

Now the Don Dorrigo Gazette Zylinder press has taken its place of honour at the Penrith Museum of Printing, amidst a large and ever-growing collection of esteemed historical printing wonders.

It shares company with other operational presses, such as the Columbian press, responsible for printing the Carcoar Chronicle newspaper from 1872 to 1939, and the Wharfedale printing press, which faithfully served the Nepean Times until 1962.

The Penrith Museum of Printing is located on the grounds of the Penrith Paceway and is open on Sundays from 10am.

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