The National Typographical Association collapsed in 1848, and delegates from across Yorkshire and Lancashire met at Angel Street in Sheffield to found the Provincial Typographical Association, intended to recreate the former Northern Typographical Union and to focus on paying benefits to members on strike. The union grew gradually from 481 members at the end of 1849 to 5,300 in 1877. In that year, it merged with a related relief association and dropped "Provincial" from its title.
Based in Manchester, the union focussed on demanding members serve a seven-year apprenticeship. In 1894, it began admitting women. In the 1910s, the Association established a branch in London, but the Trades Union Congress instituted arbitration which restricted it from a fifteen-mile radius of central London, the rival London Society of Compositors having rights to organise in the city.
- 1865 - 69: Henry Roberts
- 1869 - 97: Henry Slatter
- 1897 - 00: Richard Hackett
- 1900 - 01: A. Jones
- 1901 - 34: Herbert Skinner
- 1934 - ??: John Fletcher
- Arthur Marsh, Victoria Ryan and John B. Smethurst, Historical Directory of Trade Unions
- Albert Edward Musson, The Typographical Association: Origins and History Up to 1949
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