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British Industrial History

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Augustus Applegarth

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Augustus Applegarth (1788-1871) (sometimes Applegath), the inventor of the vertical printing-press and also a steam driven vehicle

See Applegath and Mitton, Gibbs and Applegarth and Cowper and Applegarth

1788 June 17th. Born the son of Augustus Joseph Applegath, a sea captain employed by the East India Company, and his wife Ann Parker nee Lepard

Educated at Dr Wanostrocht's Alfred House Academy at Peckham Road, London

Apprenticed to Benjamin Lepard, a wholesale stationer, at Covent Garden. Augustus and his younger brother, Joseph, continued in the stationery business in Covent Garden until 1813

1813 On the death of William Cornish, Augustus joined Cornish's partners, Henry Mitton and Edward Shickle Cowper in the printing firm of Cornish and Co

1813 September. Married Sophia, daughter of Captain John Drew of Bristol.

1813 Mention of Augustus Applegath concerning a trust and the paintings, drawings and engravings of Dr. Robert John Thornton.[1]

1818 Patent. 'Augustus Applegarth, of Nelson square, Great Surrey-Street, Surrey, printer, for certain improvements in the art of casting stereotype or other plates for printing, and in the construction of plates for printing, and in the construction of plates for printing bank or bankers notes, or other printed impressions, where difficulty of imitation desideratum'[2]

1820 December 20th. Registers the births of his three children Augustus (born 7th February 1815), Sophia (born 23rd July 1817) and Robert Drew (born 20th July 1820). Parents are Augustus Applegarth and Sophia the daughter of James and Mary Drew. All entries use the Applegarth spelling of the surname.

1823 Patent. 'To Augustus Applegarth, of Duke-street, Stamford-street, Blackfriars, in the County of Surrey, Printer; for certain improvements in printing machines.'[3]

1826. Bankrupt. Augustus Applegarth, Stamford-street, Lambeth, Surrey, printer.[4] His Blackfriars workshops and goods were sold to another printer, William Clowes and became William Clowes and Sons

1828 Mention that his improvements in the machine for printing are in use at 'The Times'[5]

1828 Patent. To Augustus Applegarth, for improvements in printing.[6]

1833 Patent. Joseph Gibbs, late of the Kent Road, and Augustus Applegarth, of Crayford in Kent, who had a joint patent, dated 29th March, 1833, for "certain improvements in steam-carriages."

1833 Dividends. Augustus Applegarth, Stamford-street, Lambeth, Surrey, printer.[7]

1841 Bankrupt. Augustus Applegarth, Crayford, Kent, silk printer.[8] The Crayford business was sold and became David Evans and Co

1849 Mention that the new eight-cylinder printing machine constructed by Augustus Applegarth, of Dartford, is being used by 'The Times' newspaper.[9]

1850 Death of Richard Drew, age 29, the second son of Augustus Applegarth of Dartford.[10]

1851 Living at the Printing Grounds, Dartford: Augustus Applegarth (age 63 born Mile End, Essex), Silk printer. With his wife Sophia Applegarth (age 33 born St. Georges, Southwark) and their children Lucy T. Applegarth (age 24 born St. Pancras); Catherine Applegarth (age 22 born Bexley); John J. Applegarth (age 20 born Crayford), Silk Printer; Theodora M. Applegarth (age 18 born Crayford); and Louis W. Applegarth (age 17 born Crayford), Warehouseman. Two servants.[11]

1853 Marriage of Catherine, the third daughter of Augustus Applegarth, of Dartford, to Henry Thomas Hill.[12]

1857 Patent. Augustus Applegarth of Dartford for improvements in printing machines.[13]

1858 Mention at Windsor, of the Rev. Augustus Applegarth, a Roman Catholic Priest.[14]

1859 Patent. Augustus Applegarth, Dartford, improvements in surface block printing.[15]

1871 February 9th. Died

1871 Obituary. 'Augustus Applegarth, the inventor of the steam printing-press, died at Dartford on Friday, at the age of eighty-four. For his invention of bank-notes that could not be forged he received from the Bank authorities £18,000. He also invented a machine for printing six colours at once. The patent for the was in the joint names Cowper and Applegarth. The establishment for the experiments in the bank note was Croydon. In London he engaged in the printing office by Clowes. He then printed all the Tract Society publications, the first book printed steam was "Watertons Wondercap". After leaving he went to Crayford and there established great silk print works. After that he went Dartford, where also established works.[16]

1871 Obituary. 'Augustus Applegarth, a great printer, prolific inventor, and in many respects a remarkable man, has just passed away at a ripe old age. The works of this illustrious man of genius are such as will doubtless keep his memory green for generations, and it would be ungenerous not to place on record some of his principal inventions. As a printer, Applegarth first introduced the composition ball, to be followed shortly afterwards by the composition roller, and subsequently invented the steam printing press - the patent for which, some of our old printers may remember, was in the joint names of Cowper and Applegarth. The latter was also the inventor of a machine for printing six colours at once. It was Applegarth who designed and perfected the first big machine with which the Times newspaper was printed. This machine - called after its inventor, "the Applegarth" - was afterwards superseded by the rapid rotary Hoe machine, now in general use; and this in turn is likely to be distanced in the race by the Bullock machine which not only works a continuous web of paper half a mile in length, but chops it up into sheets as the work progresses. The late Mr. Applegarth, in addition to numerous other inventions, perfected a scheme for the production of bank notes that could not be forged, and established extensive works at Croydon for carrying out the enterprise. For this invention he received at the hands of the proprietors of the Bank of England the sum of £18,000. Augustus Applegarth was one of the few nun of modern times to whom it was given to achieve a signal triumph over external circumstances, and thus inscribe his name in a distinguished page of the history of his country.'[17]

Notes

His son is probably the Rev. Augustus Applegarth

1851 The Rev. Augustus Applegarth gives a lecture at Dartford on the construction of the Conway and Britannia Bridges.[18]

1852 The Rev. Augustus Applegarth gives a lecture at Dartford on Lighthouses.[19]

1868 Mention of the Rev. Augustus Applegarth, on the Overseers list as occupier of a house at Spital.[20]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette Publication date:13 March 1813 Issue:16711 Page:535
  2. The Scots Magazine - Monday 01 June 1818
  3. Hereford Journal - Wednesday 19 March 1823
  4. Newcastle Courant - Saturday 21 January 1826
  5. Exeter Flying Post - Thursday 21 February 1828
  6. Hereford Journal - Wednesday 12 March 1828
  7. Worcester Journal - Thursday 26 December 1833
  8. York Herald - Saturday 03 September 1842
  9. Leicestershire Mercury - Saturday 06 January 1849
  10. London Standard - Monday 25 February 1850
  11. 1851 Census
  12. London Standard - Wednesday 25 August 1852
  13. Birmingham Journal - Saturday 27 March 1858
  14. Windsor and Eton Express - Saturday 03 April 1858
  15. Birmingham Journal - Saturday 21 January 1860
  16. Shields Daily Gazette - Wednesday 15 February 1871
  17. Morning Post - Thursday 16 February 1871
  18. Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 30 December 1851
  19. Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 13 April 1852
  20. Reading Mercury - Saturday 03 October 1868