chapter  3
26 Pages

Bensley, Koenig, Woodfall and Taylor

Taylor became a master printer at a period when printing was poised for mechanisation and expansion. During his father’s and his own lifetime the number of master printers in London was to increase from just over a hundred to nearly four hundred, with proportional expansions in the associated trades of typefounders, inkmakers, papermakers, engravers, bookbinders and booksellers. Similarly, annual book production in London trebled, while monthly periodicals, which had multiplied during the eighteenth century from about seventeen in 1700 to nearly a hundred in 1800, were poised for their astonishing exponential nineteenth-century growth to cater for a new mass readership. Although the trade was widely scattered through the City of London, by 1808 some 11 per cent of printing firms had settled their premises in the Blackfriars and Fleet Street region.1