April, May, June 2022


INERT PRESS is a FREE and INDEPENDENT online gallery dedicated to the preservation and EXHIBITION
of print illustrations from the century 1850 to 1950.

OUR INTENT is to showcase the remarkable skills of often unattributed artists, illustrators, printmakers,
and photographers who brought image to print.

EXHIBITS are presented twice a year beginning in January and July.

The London Almanack

The Illustrated London Almanack For 1870 was published by The Illustrated London News in Westminster City, Central London. No evidence of Copyright appears.

The Almanack features charts, statistics, and illustrations.
Topics include: financial disclosures, deaths of noteworthy persons, lunar and tidal cycles, acts of Parliament, calendars, eclipses, coinage, the metric system, and a listing of the household staff of Queen Victoria. The illustrations are finely engraved in almost microscopic detail, produced by master illustrators, and printed using state of the art equipment. The illustrations are not attributed. There is no evidence that the Almanack was sold, how many were printed, or how widely it was distributed.

The publication offers visual evidence of the thoughtful tone given to Britain under the reign of a mourning Queen. Images in the exhibit convey a restive, reflective, pastoral mood, and are enhanced only by the technical mastery of the engraver in his medium.

The Victorian Era was characterized by an expansion of the British Empire and the development of rail systems and ocean vessels powered by steam that would facilitate world travel. Great building and infrastructure projects were advanced and it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire. There was a maturing of The Industrial Revolution that saw technological advances in many forms including print and print illustration.

The Scans

Images in the exhibit were scanned at 600 dpi with 24 bit color resulting in great detail in the magnified view. Scans were produced using the Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner. Digital files were edited to achieve a uniform aspect ratio for display purposes but were not altered, enhanced, or manipulated in any way.

The Specimen

The Almanack is printed magazine style with a sewn binding on the left. There are 84 pages measuring 20 X 28 cm printed on both sides. The paper is a high rag content sufficiently sturdy for two sided letterpress. Printing is in black except for the color plates.

The black and white Illustrations exhibit a fine line and a beautifully sensitive technique. The images were printed from metal plates in galleys on letterpress by means of an engraving or etching process. They are of the highest quality and refinement.

The color plates retain a vibrancy that defies their age. The base image appears to be finely etched and printed in black. Subsequent color tint plates were added to create a very realistic result. A dot pattern appears under magnification, but is not a uniform halftone and is applied in a stippling manner. They are printed one side only on a heavier paper with a smooth almost polished surface.

The Exhibit

The exhibition contains 56 selected illustrations from the publication as follows:

The front cover and the first 5 pages of the Almanack demonstrate page and type size, font and font variants, layout, and the illustrations in context.

There are 6 color plates depicting birds and innocent pastoral scenes.

There are 12 black and white engravings to distinguish the uniforms and tack of Her Majesty’s military.

There are 12 black and white engravings depicting portraits and landscapes that evoke a bucolic and thoughtful world view.

There are 20 full pages of advertising shown in full size, found at the end of the Almanack.

The Restive Images

The innocent, thoughtful qualities of these engravings reflect the touch of a master engraver’s hand.

In evidence is a subtlety and finesse that create a restive tranquil mood in the viewer.

Military Garb

The uniforms of Queen Victoria’s military are on display in their full regalia. Handsome soldiers posing in full dress uniform give an allure to the life and stature that a military career might offer.

There is virility and swagger in their posture. The men are fit, muscular, and clean shaved excepting the grand moustache that was the style of the day. The illustrator gives particular attention to the detail and distinguishing features of each regiment’s uniform.

The equestrian mount, and equipage are given prominence in each engraving. The animals are lean, muscular, well equipped and well groomed.


The last 10 pages of the Almanack are printed both sides with advertising. A wide variety of goods and services are offered reflecting the interests and sensibilities of the consumer at the height of the Victorian period.

All 20 pages of advertising can be viewed in the GALLERY below with magnification and navigation. Note detail and fine line found in each advertisement.

It is likely that the printing and distribution of the Almanack was financed by the sale of advertising in the publication.

Make the most of the exhibit

Click on any image in the Gallery to open it’s media file to full size in another tab.
Click again within the new tab to reveal a magnified view with navigation.

The Gallery

The First Six Pages

Color Plates

Military Garb

Restive Vertical Images

Restive Horizontal Images


Make the most of the exhibit

Click on any image in the Gallery to open it’s media file to full size in another tab.
Click again within the new tab to reveal a magnified view with navigation.