Printing Press

Communities from the south Asian subcontinent held strong political, sentimental and economic ties with their home country. Anti-colonial activism, inspired by the visits of nationalist and sub-ethnic nationalist leaders , resonated in the region too. The broadcast and print media were primary sources of information from the subcontinent. A strong print culture had evolved in Singapore and Malaya in the late 19th century and 20th century, including media publications as well as writings in the form of poetry, novels, short stories and dramas. Local printing firms published newspapers and books written and edited in the region. The proposed is a printing machine that was in use in Jothee Printing Press, Penang. This printers and stationers firm was founded in 1935 by Dato’ S. Letchumanasamy who was born in Tamil Nadu in 1916 and arrived in Penang when he was 10 years old. After setting up this printing press, he went pursued a career in politics and became a pioneer of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). In the 1940s, he also published a Tamil newspaper; the paper’s first editor was Athi Nahappan who later became a Malaysian deputy minister. During the 1960s, Dato’ Letchumanasamy diversified his business to include cigar making, a grinding mill, a sundry and a stationers’ shops.This is a motorised version of an arab printing press, which would have been used to print small billets.

20th century
Object size: part 1 135.0 x 100.0 x 130.0 cm, Object size: Part 4 23.0 x 38.0 x 37.0 cm, Object size: Part 3 155.0 x 5.0 cm, Object size: Part 2 95.0 x 100.0 x 25.0 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Folklife Collection