Thomas Richards (December 21, 1831 - August 31, 1898) was an Australian printer. In 1845 he was made an apprentice in the Government Printing Office, where he advanced steadily through the organization until becoming superintendent in 1854. In 1859 he became government printer, overseeing a staff of seventy - a controversial appointment for a provincial. His tenure saw innovations in printing techniques: he introduced photo-lithography, stereo-typing and electro-typing. In 1868 he instituted a new fast process of photo-lithography invented by John Sharkey, and initiated helio-type or photo-mechanical printing. He intended to produce an Australian geography and natural history, a year-book and dictionary of names for New South Wales, but sadlybudgetary concerns prevented him from this diversion. His efforts to advance the printers’ art earned him awards at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition, the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, and the 1883 Amsterdam Exhibition . Finally, in 1882 he was able to produce a history of New South Wales. In addition to his work as a printer, he served as an officer in the Volunteer Rifles, rising to the position of lieutenant-colonel of the first regiment, Volunteer Infantry.