Little beyond the title is known about this body although it was in existence during the 1960s.

Source: PRO FS 26/168 (1960-67). AMALGAMATED ASSOCIATION OF PRESSMEN Reg. 309 A Friendly Trade Society of Pressmen, who printed off the type provided by the compositors, seems to have existed in the later eighteenth century whose scale of piece rates was recognised in 1787. It seems to have met at The Crown, near St Dunstan’s Church in Fleet Street. Its attempts to restrict the number of apprentices in the trade led in 1798 to five of its leaders being sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy and the organisation seems to have lapsed in about 1810. Control then appears to have fallen into the hands of ‘The Gifts’, the name given to groups of pressmen meeting at different public houses. These, including one of 40 members known as the ‘Forty Thieves’, who reputedly met with 40 pots of ale and 40 twists of shag before them at each meeting, seem to have been sick clubs which gradually gained control over the filling of job vacancies in their own interests. It is said to have been their activities which led to a demand for co-ordination and the establishment of the London Union of Pressmen in 1834. The situation was fraught with dissension. A rival Equitable Association of Pressmen, or Association of London Pressmen, was formed in 1849 or earlier which disapproved of the activities of ‘The Gifts’ and advocated fair treatment for all pressmen and may have been involved in events in 1875 when the London Union split into two – one part remaining as the LUP (Old Society) and the other, an ‘anti-Gift’ LUP called ‘The Amalgamation’ which may have included the Equitable Association, and which in 1879 became the Amalgamated Association of Pressmen, changing its name, perhaps, to avoid confusion over the common use of the LUP designation on the advice of the Registrar of Friendly Societies. Neither society would recognise the other and it was not until 1891, that the Old Society with 123 members and the Amalgamated, with 250 members came together in a Reunited Amalgamated Association of Pressmen which met at the Three Tuns, Great New Street, London. Its membership had fallen to 264 by 1910 and its leadership began to believe that its best interests would be served by amalgamation with another union, a view supported by the Printing and Kindred Trades Federation. The rank and file was opposed to such a policy, though the membership situation continued to worsen as members of other unions continued to encroach on the pulling of proofs and the operation of presses traditionally claimed by the Pressmen as their preserve. Their failure to establish the right to work

and transfer to the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding, Machine Ruling and Paper Workers. On 10 December of that year the Association therefore ceased to exist and became the Printing Machine Branch of the National Union.