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image Image 1 for SM (20) 10/8/19 (21) 10/8/20
image Image 2 for SM (20) 10/8/19 (21) 10/8/20
  • image Image 1 for SM (20) 10/8/19 (21) 10/8/20
  • image Image 2 for SM (20) 10/8/19 (21) 10/8/20

Reference number

SM (20) 10/8/19 (21) 10/8/20


Record drawings of the new printing press, one dated May 1810 (2)


20 Sections and plan 21 Elevation, two sections and a plan


(20-21) bar scale


21 The Bank of England, Description of one of the new printing presses, Elevation, Section on the line DE, Plan at A, Section on the line BC, A, B, C, D, E

Signed and dated

  • (21) John Soane Arch / 14 May 1810


Soane office


(20) Smith & Allnutt 181- (sheet trimmed) (21) J Whatman 18-- (sheet trimmed)


Drawings 20 and 21 show the new printing presses. In February 1808 the Bank bought 30 of Joseph Bramah's patented machines for 240 guineas each (W.M. Acres, p. 330-31). They were installed in July 1808. Each machine required one operator and could print the serial numbers and the dates on about 2,000 notes in a day. Previously, the clerks had to sign, date and number the notes by hand and each clerk could only complete about 400 such notes in a day (W.M. Acres, pp. 330-331).


W. Marston Acres, The Bank of England from within, Oxford, 1931, pp. 322-23, 330-31.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).