Asiatic Lithographic Company Press (1823 - 1860) was a pioneering private lithographic printer based in Calcutta / Kolkata. The press has its origins with the physician James Nathaniel Rind (1793 - 1840), who introduced the first lithographic printing press to India in August 1822. Rind's printing press, although initially intended to be private, was acquired by the British East India Company's Bengal Presidency for its own internal productions. Rind himself, as well as his top lithographer Thomas Black (1806 - 1861), were retained to operate the press. In the same year, the Asiatic Lithographic Company Press was founded at Park Street, Chowringhee, Calcutta, by 'public-spirited Englishmen' under the directorship of George Wood (1800 - 1877), one of Rind's assistants. In a short time, the Asiatic Lithographic Press (ALP) became known for fast high-quality printing and rose to dominate the local market. According to historian Graham Shaw, the ALP 'was the first commercially viable lithographic press in India and the premier lithographic press in Calcutta during the 1820s, producing more works than any other press, and in an impressive variety'. The firm dominated the Indian printing market throughout the 1820s, issuing numerous significant works. Unknown to most, both Rind and Black had an ownership stake in the Asiatic Lithographic Press and were funneling Government Press resources, equipment, and work to the private operation. In 1822, when their scandalous duplicity became known, most of the blame fell on Black, who lost his government position (Rind managed to keep his job, but divested from the ALP). Black immediately took on a senior management position with the ALP, founding annex offices in Serampore and Kanpur (1830). By 1834, he controlled the majority of the ALP's shares. The ALP under Black hired Indian textile workers to colorize prints in exquisite hues, most based on natural Bengali dyes, such as Indigo and cinnabar. Most of the finest and most historically important printed images of India from the 1830s and 1840s were produced by the ALP. Unfortunately, despite the ALP's prodigious output, the Indian climate, unkind to paper, has led to an extreme scarcity of surviving ALP work. The ALP began to decline in the 1850s, as competitors entered the market. Black himself retired a wealthy man, shuttering the operation around 1860.

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