Throughout the 20th century Adana presses sold successfully. Then came the Adana Eight-Five and the company really took off. The model was released in 1953 and put the company on £1m a year turnover, incredible for that era.
The Eight-Five wasn’t the only product in Adana’s brochure: there was the ‘Baby’ – a press sold in Hamleys – and the electric powered P/71, which found a home in many of the country’s professional print houses.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the company. In 1956, Adana released the treadle-operated Nine-Six. This device was a menace, with no safety guard or kill switch, and rumour has it that one child may have lost fingers in the machine. Safe to say that the machine was in production for such a short period of time, that it didn’t even make it into Adana’s catalogues!
As for the Nine-Six, there is one in full working condition here at St Bride, and we only know of one other in existence. Just watch your fingers when it’s in operation.