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Note: The present tense in the definitions
(e.g. "Machines are
largely used in modern engraving ...")
refer to the time period of the 19th Century not the 'current' present.
associated with our prints
© Martin2001.com 1998 - 2021
1 - Engraving: The terms Steel Engraving, Wood Engraving, Photogravure, Typogravure, Lithograph, Etching, Heliogravure, etc. refer to a PRINTED PIECE OF PAPER. In this sense, these technical terms have been in standard use since the 19th Century to distinguish between various types of illustrations and pictures printed on paper. They DO NOT denote a piece of the steel plate (or woodblock) from which they were printed. The pictures below illustrate a typical overall view of two most frequent types of prints. (See individual entries for examples of other types).
Typical view of a steel engraving.
It is usually printed on medium or heavier wove (rougher surface) paper.
view of a wood
2 - Whiteness of Paper: ALL PRINTS THAT I OFFER ARE VINTAGE 19TH CENTURY PRINTS,i.e. they are NOT modern reproductions. Both, the paper and the printing ink are of the date indicated in the title box of each auction. The whiteness of paper, or the lack of brownish toning and spots, does not mean that the print is modern. Many engravings (especially German and French from that period) were printed on very high quality printing paper (better than many modern brands) and they keep their whiteness and freshness. Many prints were improperly stored and they developed various forms of stains, spots, brownish toning, etc. Restoration conservation methods are used to clean and conserve them. These conservation procedures prevent the formation of such spots and future deterioration and give them the look they had when they came off the press so many years ago. A number of the prints we sell have been professionally cleaned.
3 - Plate Marks: Not all steel or copperplate engravings have the metal plate impressions called plate marks (see 'Plate mark'). These were prevalent in the early stages of making steel (copper-plate) engravings, until approximately 1850s, when the steel printing plate was smaller than the actual piece of paper onto which it was printed. As the images became larger, the steel plates became larger than the actual pieces of paper so the edges of the plate would fall outside the printing paper. The majority of the 1860s-1890s engravings thus do not show any impression marks at all. Also, in order to increase the efficiency of the printing process, several engravings were often engraved onto a single plate and the impression marks were trimmed off. JUST AS THE PRESENCE OF A PLATE MARK DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ORIGINALITY OF A STEEL ENGRAVING (see False Intaglio below), THE ABSENCE OF A PLATE MARK DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ENGRAVING IS NOT AN ORIGINAL.
More in regard to Plate Marks: The plate mark is a natural result of intaglio printing. When the (dampened sheet of paper has been laid on the inked copper plate, and the two are together subjected to pressure on passing through the press, the paper is squashed with great force against and around the plate. The edge of the plate, beveled to prevent its cutting into the paper, will leave a clear mark in the paper; and, less noticeably, the surface of the plate will flatten the fibers of the paper, leaving them smoother within the plate mark than outside it. The copper plate is usually rectangular, but it need not be so.
In the majority of cases the presence of a plate mark shows that the print has been made by an intaglio process. This is true even where the image is on a separate sheet of India paper, mounted within the plate mark impressed on the heavier paper. However, it is easy to create a false plate mark - either by passing a smooth copper plate through the press with a sheet of paper on which the image has already been printed by other means, or by mechanically blocking it - giving the deliberately misleading impression that it is a hand-crafted intaglio print rather than a process print. Usually the false plate mark will look too perfect - too regular in its edges and angles, too smooth, too clean. A revealing place to look is where the bevel of the plate comes. In the messy business of wiping and printing a genuine intaglio plate, small traces of ink are often overlooked on these beveled edges; they will then show up as occasional dark spots or smudges at the extremities of the plate mark, particularly in the corners. By contrast the blocking of a false plate mark has been done in a machine far removed from inky matters, and there will be no such impurities. Something resembling a plate mark can often be seen on prints bound into books and provided with protective tissues. The tissue is usually larger than the printed area but smaller than the page, with the result that after years of pressure in the bookshelf it may cause a rectangular indentation in the paper which will look very like a plate mark.A plate mark will not necessarily be false if a different sheet of paper is securely glued within it, but it is certain to be false if the inner sheet is only tipped in loosely at the corners. As mentioned above the presence of a plate mark does not guarantee an intaglio print, so the absence of a plate mark does not prove the opposite. The print may have been issued in the normal way with a plate mark, but a binder or framer may have trimmed it. Smaller intaglio prints were often printed several on a plate, requiring one working of the press for the set instead of one for each. The plate mark would then come outside the entire group. If they were intended to be cut up and sold separately, or used as book illustrations, each would from the start have lacked a plate mark though being a normal intaglio print. There are two circumstances in which lithographs can show an impression mark similar to an intaglio plate mark. The printer may not have changed his scraper to fit a smaller size of stone, with the result that the paper is pressed down round the edges of the stone. Or the artist may have drawn his image close to the edges of the stone, making the wider scraper a necessity and providing an impression mark just outside or even coinciding with the image. In either case the edges of the impressed area may show one characteristic different from an intaglio plate mark, having small irregularities along their length which result from chips in the stone. By contrast the copper plate is likely to have a perfectly straight edge, providing a regular and unbroken line in the plate mark. [Source: an older book on prints, no title available]
4 - Identification of prints & determination of age: Identification of prints requires certain tools, the knowledge of the printing processes and also some experience. First impressions about a print in question are almost always incorrect (e.g. "it is just a bad xerox copy," "it does not look old to me at all," etc.) In order to make a knowledgeable decision about the age, type, method of printing, etc. of the print, one needs to make a careful examination of paper, type of printing, etc. using a strong magnifying glass (at least 4x to 10x), a light table, and a black light. An examination of old paper will reveal many imperfections that are not present in modern papers, a comparison examination with the black light may reveal additives in the new paper not present in the old paper. Looking through the print against the light (or over the light table) may reveal minute spots, blemishes, small pieces of pulp or other imperfections not immediately apparent; again, such imperfections would not be present in modern paper, e.g. take a sheet of common xerox paper and the print and look at then against a source of light. Even the cheapest xerox paper doesn't have little specks and imperfections that you can see in the old print.
In the intaglio printing
process the dampened paper is usually fed against a very
plate (covered by a blanket) so when pressed by rolling press
dampened paper is squeezed into the plate's ink-filled grooves
uniform very high pressure. As a result, the printing
side of the
paper of often much smoother then the reverse side. That's
of a genuine antique print.
Another useful examination is for coated paper (used for wood engravings). As these were mostly bound into various folios, art magazines etc, their three edges were exposed to the light (the edge where the binding occurs was not exposed to the light) thus causing light darkening of the paper over time. Place such a sheet of paper on the light table and examine the edges. If you see slight darkening of the tone it is a definite sign that the paper is old as modern papers do not exhibit such a phenomenon which takes dozens of years to develop.
The presence of a watermark or other patterns would also indicate that the print is old. Some prints have a rugged edge, indicating a removal from an antique bound volume that was stitched together, a method of binding not used anymore. If there are holes from the stitching, this would also indicate an antique print. Examine the edges of the print and try to discern the residue of either marbled or gilded edges. These would again indicate that the print is antique and not a modern reproduction. If gently rubbing the darker area of the print (if it is an intaglio print) with the tip of the finger leaves some printing ink residue on your finger, it is another sign that the print is original.
None of the modern
reproduction techniques is able to reproduce the fine lines of
intaglio process; that's why our paper money is still printed
this process and not various modern, and very sophisticated
reproduction printing techniques. For example, in the case of
steel engraving (=intaglio), find a strong dark line and
strong magnifying glass. Does the ink seem to raise up from
somewhat like a rust? (the red triangle on the sketch below).
this is one of the main
characteristics of the intaglio process and it indicates that
printing is original. (Any reproduction's surface would be
However, this effect may not be always strong and
very discernible, if the print was printed from a worn out
after a number of impressions, the surface of the plate gets
the engraved lines in the plate start
to deteriorate and become shallower and deposit less ink on
during the printing process. As a result, many prints that
from such worn-out plates look less 'contrasty' and may lead
believe that they are modern reproduction. There
are many other examination steps that need to be taken and
answered before a
knowledgeable decision can be made. So if you are really
finding out more about your print, never rely on your first
arrived at without a detailed examination.
The principle of the intaglio process:
In the illustrations
below, the last sketch shows a conditon where, after many
been printed, the plate starts to worn out, the grooves become
shallower, retaining less ink. The result is that the printed
lacks contrast, is more uniform in grayish tone. This often
leads to a
judgment, that the prints is a cheap reproductions, although
most likely not the case. It is simply a print made from a
5 - Grading of prints (condition): "Excellent," "Very good" "Good" "Fair."
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Abbreviations used in prints: ad vivum=portrait done "from life"; aq=aquatinta ; aq, aquaf=etcher ; cael=caelavit (engraved) ; del=delineavit (drew by) ; exc=excudit (made by) ; fec=faciebat (who 'made' the engraving) ; gez (German)=gezeichnet (drawn) ; gravé (French)=engraved ; imp=impressit (Printed) ; inc=incidet (incised) ; inv=invenit (designer of picture) ; lith. de=printed by ; n/a: not available or not known; pictor or pinx=pinxit (painted by) ; sc, sculp=sculpsit (carved by)
a process, by means of which an iron face is deposited upon
of an engraved copper plate by the action of the battery,
greater durability, without injury to the artistic character
of the work
as originally produced.
Acrography: A method devised by M. Schonberg for producing blocks for relief printing as a substitute for wood engravings, in which a chalk surface was drawn on with a glutinous ink which hardened the chalk particles, thus preserving them in relief when the soft and uncovered chalk was removed by a bristle brush.
Age Toning: Overall
light brownish tone (tint) of old prints. It is uniform,
edges being darker then the rest of the page. Differs from Foxing.
method in which a photo relief is placed under a celluloid film
stretched around the drum of an Akrograph and while so held and
a V-shaped graver traverses lengthwise of the drum, forming
the celluloid of varying widths according to the relief
Made from negative reliefs, the results are akrotones for
printing and when made from positives they serve as intaglios.
Explanation to the detailed photo below: on the left is Akrotone
at 100 lines per inch, ruled vertically, in tan color. It was
automatically engraved from a carbon photograph on the Amstutz
Akrograph. On the right is a 150 line half-tone, without border
and akrotone tint of adjoining figure combined.
Alabastrine Process: The term alabastrine is applied to positive pictures made by the collodion process which have been treated with mercuric chloride.
Albertype: Joseph Albert, of Munich, in 1869, devised this most successful process for reproducing photographs in printer's ink. A sheet of plate glass is coated with a thin film of chromatized albumen and gelatin, laid face down on black velvet and exposed to light. It is then washed and dried. The insoluble film adheres firmly to the glass and serves as a foundation for the second film, which consists of chromatized gelatin. This is exposed under a negative which has been reversed by stripping. The plate is then soaked in water to remove the soluble bichromate, the film is hardened with chrome alum and then dried. The result is an almost invisible picture in gelatin, which has become insoluble in water, and actually repellent for water; while the gelatin which was protected by the negative (the whites) retains its absorbing power. The plate is fastened by plaster-of-paris to the bed of the press, and the printing is then conducted very much as in ordinary lithography. A wet sponge is applied to moisten the whites, and an ink roller to ink the picture. A sheet of paper is placed on the surface, and on applying pressure the ink is transferred to the paper. The picture may also be printed on linen, silk, &c.
Albumen Paper: Also spelled ALBUMIN, light-sensitive paper prepared by coating with albumen, or egg white, and a salt (e.g., ammonium chloride) and sensitized by an after treatment with a solution of silver nitrate. Albumen was also used in the second half of the 19th Century as a binder for the light-sensitive crystals on glass-plate negatives. Albumen prints are prized by modern collectors for their subtly graded tones and fine-grained resolution.
Albumen print: The
albumen print was invented in 1850. It was made by coating
paper with a
layer of egg white and salt to create a smooth surface. The
paper was then
coated with a layer of silver nitrate. The salt and silver
to form light sensitive silver salts. This double coated paper
be placed in contact with a negative and exposed to the sun to
Alum: Double sulphate of potassium and aluminum.
Alum, Chrome: Hardens gelatine in preparing emulsions and sizes; prevents frilling of plates or papers in hot weather.
Ambrotype (pic below): The name
for a collodion process patented in 1854 in the United States by
Ambrose Cutting. It produces a glass negative that looks like a
because of the way the image is developed and backed.
Amphitype: The amphitype process in photography is an application of the calotype process, taking its name from the fact of negative and positive pictures being produced by one process. It originated with Sir John Herschel. in this process the light produces either a positive or negative. A sheet of paper is first prepared with a solution, either of ferro-tartrate, or ferro-citrate of protoxide, or peroxide of mercury, and then with a solution of ammonio-tartrate, or ammonio-citrate of iron, the latter solution being in excess. On exposure to light in the camera, a negative is produced of more or less vigour, and of a very rich brown tint when the paper contains a salt of lead. It gradually fades in the dark, but may be restored as a black positive, by immersing it in a solution of nitrate of mercury, and ironing it with a very hot iron.
Anaglyph: Any sculptured, chased, or embossed ornament
worked in low relief, as a cameo.
The art of copying works in relief, or of engraving as to give
subject an embossed or raised appearance; - used in representing
Anastatic Printing: in many respects analogous to lithography, its object, when introduced, was the reproduction of fac-similes of rare prints, books, or portions of books. The paper to be copied is first wetted with dilute nitric acid, passed through a press, and ultimately brought into contact with a plate of polished zinc. The acid taken up by the plain portions of the paper, etches or bites away those portions of the metal with which it is brought into contact, leaving a reversed copy of the letterpress in slight relief upon the zinc plate. The zinc plate is then washed with a solution of gum in weak phosphatic acid, which is readily attracted by those portions that have been eaten out by the nitric acid, but repelled by the grease set off upon the polished zinc, from the surface, whether from type, wood block, engraving, or manuscript. The zinc plate is then inked by means of an ordinary lithographic inking roller, and printed from in the usual way.
Aqua Fortis: The nitric acid of chemists, diluted for the use of engravers, etc. It acts very energetically upon copper and steel, and is the agent employed in Biting In.
Aquatint: This is also an etching process, originally devised to imitate India ink or sepia washes, The ground used is not, however, like ordinary etching ground, continuous, but perforated. There are two ways of laying the ground, the older or dry-ground method, and the later, or wet-ground method. To lay a dry-ground, powdered rosin, asphaltum, or other resinous substance is dusted on the plate in a powdering box. The plate is then gently heated so as to cause the grains of rosin, etc., to adhere to it, without allowing them to run together. The nature of the grain produced depends on the coarseness or fineness of the powder used. For the wet method, a solution of rosin in alcohol is flowed over the plate, and allowed to dry on it. In drying, the varnish formed is broken up into a crackle, which varies according to the density of the solution used. On a plate prepared by either of these methods, the mordant can only act in the minute channels which surround the particles of resinous substance, and the result is a network of depressions which hold the ink, the depth of the tint produced depending not only on the coarseness or fineness of the ground, but also upon the time of exposure to the mordant. Aquatint can be used alone, but it is generally found in combination with line etching. The invention of the process is ascribed to Jean Le Prince (b. 1734, d. 1781), although it has been claimed also for his friend, the Abbe de Saint-Non.
Usually a steel engraving or a lithograph, depicting a
cathedral, etc.), its architectural details, sections,
It is distinguished from a regular steel engraving by high
very accurate depiction of the subject.
Liesegang, of Dusseldorf, introduced paper prepared with gelatin
chloride of silver to print out in the same way as albumenised
The prints can be toned and fixed at one operation. When a print
very highly glazed surface is preferred, this paper gives
Artigue Process: A modification of one of the oldest methods of printing in carbon.
Artist's Proof: An impression of a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate while the plate (or stone, or woodblock...) is being worked on by the artist. Artist's proofs are taken after the Remark proofs are made. The Remark is polished off of the plate and the Artist's proofs are taken. These usually number 200. Like the Remark proofs, they are executed with the most painstaking care; but they, of course, lack the value of the mark which stamps the first impressions of an engraving as cherished rarities. The Artist's proof is distinguished by the name of the painter and the engraver or etcher. When the name of either the one or the other is omitted, as may be in case of the death of artist or engraver, the value of the proof is not impaired. Any signed proof, with one or two names, is an Artist's proof. If no Remark proofs exist they are the first impressions taken, otherwise the second.
Artoype: Obernetter, of Munich, invented this improvement on the Albertype in 1878. He uses a mixture of albumen and soluble glass for the foundation film, on which the sensitive film is afterward placed. As this film does not require to be hardened by light, opaque metallic plates may be substituted for the plate glass of the Albertype; otherwise the process is substantially identical with that of Albert.
Atramentum: A black pigment.
color photographs were made by a process patented in 1904. An
was a colored, transparent image on glass. The color came from a
of translucent granules of potato starch, each dyed red, blue or
to create a coloured mosaic on the glass plate. During exposure,
travelled through these granules to reach a light sensitive
red granules would only allow red light to travel through, and
so on. The
light sensitive layer was thus selectively exposed by color.
When the autochrome
was held up to the light, the coloured granules were viewed in
with the black and white image behind to create a color
is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Autochrome
print from early 1900s..
Autographic Paper: Paper used in Lithography to transfer drawings upon the stone.
Autographic Process: Sometimes called the auto-lithographic process consists in drawing the image on lithographic transfer paper and then transferring the image onto a lithographic stone or similar surface for printing.
Autotype: Autotype consists in coating a sheet of prepared paper with a mixture of gelatin, bichromate of potass, and carbon, and when dry, exposing it under a negative. On removal from the printing frame, the pigment is moistened with water, and laid, prepared side down, on a support of glass, zinc, or shellac-coated paper, to which a gentle pressure makes it adhere. The paper is then removed, and the print developed by immersion in warm water, which dissolves the unaltered gelatin, but cannot touch the parts rendered insoluble by the light which has passed through the negative. The developed print is again transferred to paper, when the high lights are found to consist of those parts where the gelatin has been completely dissolved, the middle tints of the parts less soluble, and the shadows of the parts quite insoluble. The pictures thus produced are admirable. The chemical durability or resistance to fading is absolute. The reproduction of certain objects, such, for instance, as an engraving may be made a perfect fac-simile of the original. Also called Permanent Photography.
Autotypography: method invented by George Wallis, by which drawings or photos on gelatin can be transferred under pressure to soft metal (e.g. lead) plates for printing.
Azure: A blue
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of staining mezzotint prints with varnished colors, after they
affixed to glass, giving them the effect of paintings on glass.
Bartostype (by J. Bartos, Bohemia):
A stone or a zinc plate is coated with a varnish made of
mastic. Upon the stone or plate so prepared a gelatin wash-out
made by the pigment-printing process, is mounted and treated
mixture of glycerin and water in which a small quantity of alum
been dissolved. This relief is exposed to the sandblast, which
it, at first in its thinnest part and gradually also in its
parts. The destruction of the gelatin film lays bare the
allows the sandblast to act upon it in proportion to the
the original from which the relief film was made. The result is
picture on the stone or plate in which the darks are represented
varnish, the lights by the bare stone from which the varnish has
removed by the sandblast, and the gradations between the two
by the varnish more or less perforated by the blast. The stone
is now gummed, and after the varnish has been removed with
it is rolled up, and otherwise treated like a lithographic
used in engraving to describe the action of the aqua-fortis upon
or steel, on those parts from which the etching ground is
removed by the
graver or other tools.
Bitumen or asphaltum varies very much in its properties; some
soft, others hard, and some are fluid, as naphtha and petroleum.
kinds used in photography are found in Syria, the Island of
and some other places.
The discovery by Niepce that the resinous substance bitumen or " Jew's pitch " was made insoluble by exposure to light has proved of great value in some of the recent applications of photography. Niepce's first experiments were made by spreading a film of bitumen on a lithographic stone; by means of acid the picture was then "bitten in" and could be printed from. This in his hands never became of any value, owing to the want of sensitiveness, an exposure of many hours being necessary to obtain an image; but he also tried glass and metal plates in his later experiments, when iodine was introduced, eventually leading to the discovery by Daguerre of the process known by his name. A thin film of bitumen is now made use of in most of the processes for printing on zinc, and the best results are obtained by this means. Bichromated gelatin can be used; but the results for the finer kinds of work are not equal to those obtained with the bitumen.
A simple photographic process, in which any uncoated paper is
with a solution of potassium ferricyanid and ammonia-citrate of
either one being quite soluble in water. An ordinary negative is
and the light acting through it the two chemicals are combined,
an insoluble blue, closely allied to prussian blue. The
chemicals are removed by simply washing thoroughly in plain
Bonnaudtype: On a lightly printed photograph, used to give the general outline, the colors are laid in flat tints by hand, or they may be printed lithographically, in which case the lightly printed photograph can be dispensed with. The colors themselves are either mixed with albumen, or the paper is again albumenized over them, and sensitized as before. It is then exposed once more under the same negative, and the picture this time is fully printed. The photograph, therefore, is either developed in the layer of colors, or the colors are under the photograph.
A paper in which bromide of silver, in emulsion, is the
Bromide Printing Process: When opal glass and paper are coated with silver bromide emulsion in gelatin, they may be used for contactprinting or for enlargements, either by artificial or by day light; but for contact-printing artificial light is to be preferred. Paper is prepared in two degrees of sensitiveness, the slow kinds being more suitable for printing by artificial light and for enlarging by daylight, while the rapid paper is used for enlarging by artificial light.
Bur: A slight ridge of metal raised on the edges of a line either engraved by the burin, or the dry-point, and which is removed by the scraper, as it retains superfluous ink in printing a plate, and has the effect of a smear.
Burin, or Graver:
An instrument of tempered steel used for engraving on copper.
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In paper-making, a machine with rollers between which paper is
to w give a smooth, glossy finish; when the rolling has been
repeated the paper is said to be supercalendered.
Calico printing: Production of colored
patterns on cloth
Calotype: also called TALBOTYPE, early photographic technique invented by William Henry Fox Talbot of Great Britain in the 1830s. In this technique, a sheet of paper coated with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura; those areas hit by light became dark in tone, yielding a negative image. The picture was fixed with the hyposulphite of soda.
Camayeu: From French for monochrome.
printing was introduced from 1864. A sheet of paper was coated
with a layer
of light-sensitive gelatin which contained a permanent pigment
It was then exposed to daylight under a negative. Carbon prints
matt finish and can be produced in a variety of coloors, ranging
sepia tones to cooler shades of grey and blue. Because of their
to fading they were much used in the 1870s and 1880s for book
and commercial editions of photographs.
Ceramic Photographs: Vitrified
or burnt-in photographs may be made in various ways. When the
have been carefully performed, the results are very beautiful,
course, absolutely permanent. Probably owing to the difficulties
manipulation, vitrified photographs are not commonly met with.
skill of the photographer must be added that of the enameller;
colour is attempted, that also of the miniature painter.
Is executed in wax spread in a thin coating on a copper plate.
drawing is incised in the wax, and type, figures and other
may be pressed into it. An electrotype plate is made from this
used as the printing-block. Also called wax engraving.
Cereography: A method of making stereotype plates from inscribed
sheets of wax.
Cliches-verre: A process pioneered by Corot in 1850s that involved creating by hand a glass photographic negative from which a photograph was made.
A 17th, possibly even as early as 15th Century term for
engraving on copper, compounded from the Greek chalkos,
copper, and gropho, to cut , or incise lines.
Chemitype: An art of producing on a metal plate, by a chemical process, an engraving in relief.
absorbent paper of a yellowish tint. It is also termed India
photographic processes are curious and interesting from a
point of view. The late Mr. Robert Hunt originated several of
kind. The Chromatype is a good example. Mr. Hunt says: " This
is a pleasing one in its results; it is exceedingly simple in
manipulatory details, and produces very charming positive
the first application."
Chromo-collotype:Chromocollotypes are produced with a number of Collotype plates, using differently colored inks. The negative to be reproduced is first blocked with opaque varnish in all parts except those required to be reproduced in a certain color. From this a collotype plate is made to be used with that colored ink. The varnish is then removed and the negative blocked for another color, and so on. In printing, the paper is passed through with the different plates until all the colors have been printed on it, forming a complete many-colored image. Instead of blocking out the negatives they are sometimes made by photographing the object through different colored screens, which have the effect of shutting off or absorbing some colors and allowing others to pass through undisturbed to the sensitive photographic film.
Chromolithography: (Illustrations below) Lithography produced in color.
Chromocyclograph: A picture printed from several blocks bearing different colors.
Chromotype: This is another name for the autotype process, modified somewhat in the details of working.
obsolete graphic arts or printing related catch all term used
any number of obsolete processes which used cold and warm
baths to create surfaces by which color images could be relief
from zinc plates in the letterpress manner. Such processes, as
by Firmin Gillot represent a prototyping and experimental
the manual and process printing eras and are characterized by
of various hand-originated textures AND photographically
or outlines, which when combined with other color plates
produced in a
like manner could produce continuous tone color images unlike
in similar technologies such as chromolithography.
Produced by the same process as Typo-gravures, except that
plates are used with different colored inks. Figaro Illustre
embellished with pictures of this kind. They are made by
Valadon & Co.
picture printed in colors from wooden blocks.
Clay Surface Processes:
(" Kaolatype," from kaoline, China clay). A metal plate is
a composition of pipe clay, etc., and in this mass the drawing
with hook-shaped tools, down to the surface of the plate. A
(metal cast) furnishes the printing block, to be used in the
press. The rapidity of these processes makes them useful for
newspaper work of small dimensions.
Cibachrome uses metallic dyes to create an image on paper. It
claimed that color prints made by the Cibachrome process
only be printed from color transparencies), will last for at
years. However, since the process is only thirty years old, no
knows how permanent it really is. Some printers advertise that
guarantee their color prints for 200 years.
method of creating a printing block by drawing a design with a
on a glass plate coated with an opaque substance ( a
The printing surface was coated that with a thick layer of
light-sensitive gelatin, which was then exposed to light thus
transferring the design on the glass onto the printing
The lines of the image then hardened on the printing surface and
unexposed gelatin was then washed away with warm water, leaving
image in relief.
Coated paper: Type of paper produced to create surface suitable for the printing of fine-screen halftones and other fine images. Coated paper must be uniformly smooth, receptive to printing inks, have high brightness and gloss. Paper has been coated to improve its surface for better reproduction of printed images for over 100 years. The introduction of half-tone and colour printing has created a strong demand for coated paper. Coatings are applied to paper to achieve uniformity of surface for printing inks, lacquers, and the like; to obtain printed images without blemishes visible to the eye. The chief components of the water dispersion used for coating paper are pigment, which may be clay, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, satin white, or combinations of these; dispersants to give uniformity to the mixture or the "slip"; and an adhesive binder to give coherence to the finished coating.
Collodion: A colloid used in photo-mechanical work for negative making. Its advantage over gelatine is that it allows the making of an extremely dense negative with a thin film. Consists of guncotton, dissolved in a mixture of equal quantities of alcohol and ether.
Collodion Positives: See AMBROTYPE
Collodion process: A
wet-plate process in which a negative is made by coating a glass
with a Collodion. The plate is
the camera, efxposed while wet, and developed immediately
have suffered more than any others from the mania for
names. The prints resulting from them have been dubbed gelatin
— which, being English and simplest, would be better even than
collographs or collotypes — phototypes, heliotypes, albertypes,
autotypes, indotints, photophanes, glyptographs, and, worse than
photogravures, this latter in the attempt to make them pass for
they are not, i. e., prints from intaglio plates.
Collotype: A lithographic-like process where a substrate (traditionally glass but also metal) is covered with a coat of gelatin sensitized with a dichromate and dried at a specific temperature producing a reticulation of the gelatin. After exposing and developing, this very fine pattern of reticulation will selectively hold the ink, producing very fine half-tone images. Of all the photo-mechanical processes, the collotype is perhaps one of the most useful. It has a variety of names, such as Lichtdruck, Phototype, Photophane, Phototint, Albert-type, Artotype, and many others. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Collotype print from early 1900s.
Collotype in color:
Albert, Bierstadt, Frisch and others have succeeded in
beautiful pictures in colors, by preparing several gelatin
each plate bearing particular parts of the picture, and being
printing the appropriate colored ink. As many as seven
are employed successively in producing the picture. There are
methods in use for preparing the several plates. One plan is
to make a
separate negative for each color. This is accomplished by
suitable screen of colored glass, or colored liquid, between
and the photographic plate in the camera. For example, a
shuts out all colors except blue will permit only the blue
the picture to be photographed on the negative, and a gelatin
from this negative may be used for printing with blue ink. In
way another screen will furnish a negative and plate for the
portions of the picture, and so on. Another plan is to prepare
gelatin plates from one and the same negative by " stopping
out " all
of the picture except that of one color.
Conte Process: A
simple lithographic or relief engraving method without
zinc plate is covered with a varnish soluble in water. The
etched through this varnish with a stylus of ivory or
which the whole is covered with an oil varnish and put in a
acidulated bath, in which the water varnish dissolves, taking
covering of oil varnish with it, leaving the plate clear
except in the
portions laid bare by the stylus, where the oil varnish sticks
metal. The plate can be printed from lithographically or
resin and etched in relief.
Copperplate engraving: Same as Engraving, Steel, except that the medium is a copper plate (instead of a steel plate).
Crayon-manner method: Invented in the 18th century, crayon manner was purely a reproduction technique; its aim was the imitation of chalk drawings. The process started with a plate covered with hard ground (see below Etching). The design was created using a great variety of etching needles (some of them multiple). After the design was etched in, the ground was removed and the design further developed with various tools. Fine corrections and tonal modifications were made with scrapers and burnishers. Finally, engraving was used for additional strengthening of the design. Pastel manner is essentially the same as the crayon manner except that it is usually used to imitate pastel drawings.
Crystalotype: A sun picture taken on glass by the collodian process. The crystalotype is formed at once, and imparts to the positive or reflected picture a greater clearness of detail, and finer tone than Talbotype, which uses a negative.
C-type print: A c-type print is a color print in which the print material has at least three emulsion layers of light sensitive silver salts.
(Blue Prints) The cyanotype
process for making prints was invented by Sir John Herschel in
sheet of paper was brushed with iron salt solutions and dried in
The object to be reproduced was then placed on the sheet in
After about 15 minutes a white impression of the subject formed
on a blue
background. The paper was then washed in water where oxidation
the brilliant blue - or cyan - that gave the process its name.
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Daguerreotype: An ingenious invention, named after the originator, M. Daguerre, a celebrated dioramic painter. The process consisted of exposing silver plates to the vapor of iodine ; these were then placed in the CAMERA OBSCURA, and after sufficient exposure, the light acted upon the iodized surface of the plates, which were then exposed to the vapor of mercury, by which the latent image was developed. The iodide of silver was then washed off by a solution of the hyposulphite of soda, by which further action of the light was stayed, and the image on the plate rendered permanent. Such was the state of the discovery when first made known. Combinations of bromine and chlorine have been introduced more recently, and the result has been a most remarkable acceleration of the process, and the application of the daguerreotype to the obtaining pictures from the life.
Damaskeening (damascening): This term, derived from the Syrian Damascus, so renowned in Art, designates the different kinds of ornament upon a steel surface. The first is the many-coloured watered Damascus blades; this is the true damaskeening, produced by using a cast-steel highly charged with carbon, which, on being carefully cooled, produces a crystallization of these substances, giving the peculiar appearance to the steel, by which it is known. The second kind consists in etching slight ornaments on polished steel wares. The third is the inlaying of steel or iron with gold and silver, as was done with sabers, armor, pistol-locks, and gun-barrels. The designs were deeply engraved, or chased in the metal, and the lines filled with gold or silver wire, driven in by the hammer, and fastened firmly. This art was brought to great perfection by the French artist Corsinet, in the reign of Henry IV.
Diaglyph: An intaglio or design cut into the material on which it is executed.
Die: A metal block or mould having an inverse figure or ornament, which may be struck or cast in relief in any decorative process. In architecture the word is applied to the cubical part of a square pedestal between its base and cornice, and which is generally a true solid square.
Die engraving: (sometimes termed DIE-SINKING). The art of engraving on steel molds, medals, coins, and inscriptions. It was practiced by the Greeks with wonderful perfection ; and the Syracusan medallion, the coins of Alexander and some of the Greek cities, have not only never been surpassed, but have not yet been equaled. With the Romans the art was extensively practiced, and the coins of Hadrian may be cited as fine examples of their power, though scarcely so vigorous and artistic as the Greek. With the fall of Rome the art sunk to the lowest degradation. The die-engraver uses the metal in a soft state for engraving upon, and, as he works the reverse way (that is he cuts or sinks those parts of his design which are to appear raised), he continually takes impressions in clay of his work as he proceeds, in order to judge of its effect, and make the necessary corrections. When finished, the steel die is hardened by fire ; and great risk is run in the process, as the metal will occasionally split and ruin the artist's labor. The same risk is run in striking the coin or medal, the die sometimes breaking after a few blows ; the artist is, therefore, always uncertain of the issue of his labors.
Donistrophe Process: A method similar to hydrotype, whereby an ordinary negative is made to take a stain selectively, and prints are made by placing the soaked negative in contact with a gelatine-faced paper.
Drypoint: The term applied to the sharp etching-needle, when it is used to incise the copper in fine lines, without the plate being covered with etching-ground, or the lines bit-in by acid. Very delicate work is produced by this means, which wears less in printing than lines produced by the action of acid.
A more detailed description of dry-point that
the print of which the detail is shown below: Mr. Hardy's plate
volume is in pure dry point. Mr. Hardy took a plate of
drew upon it with a sharp steel point, every stroke being a
the polished surface. Now there is something peculiar in
of a scratch as distinguished from an etched line. When a line
the copper is dissolved out of it by the acid, and therefore is
absent, but with a dry point line it is not so. Here the
is raised up out of the furrow and pushed either to one side or
or to both sides at once, and the way in which it is pushed
upon the artist's manner of holding the needle. This raised
copper is called
the bur, and it catches ink when the printer inks the
notice a certain softness at the edge of the line, a shade, as
outside of the line; well, this is the consequence of the bur,
for if there
were no bur that soft shade would not exist, and you would only
impression of the clear sharp line itself, which would have the
of a fine engraved line. The bur can be removed very easily, and
get something like engraver's work; or it can be left, and
get something which resembles mezzotint in quality and is really
thing as mezzotint in principle.
of dry point are very valuable resources, and are often
by skillful etchers at the finishing of a plate. It
said that dry point is to an etching exactly what glazing is to
picture, it gently darkens and softens the work, and throws over
it were, a veil of a different quality from its own; but though
true it is not the whole truth, for dry point enables an etcher
passages of extreme delicacy which would otherwise be beyond his
The diamond may be used for some of these, as it
and is held like a
not only does dry point add to an etcher's
at the upper end of the scale, it enables him to add richness
to his darks. The reader may see for himself, in Mr.
pure dry point, the sort of quality which is attainable in it.
Dry-collodion Process: Same as Collodion process except it allows the plate to be exposed and developed at a later time. It requires a much longer exposures.
Dry Plate: In
photography, it is a glass plate coated with a gelatin emulsion
bromide. It can be stored until exposure, and after exposure it
brought back to a darkroom for development at leisure. These
were great advantages over the wet collodion process, in which
had to be prepared just before exposure and developed
The dry plate, which could be factory produced, was introduced
by R.L. Maddox. It was superseded by celluloid film early in the
Duotype (or Duotone): process of printing from two half-tone blocks made from the same negative. The photoengraver makes two plates from the same halftone negative, one of these halftones to be etched crisp and sharp and the other to have the dots kept thick, with the shadows well filled up. The last halftone is printed in a tint of soft ink and the crisp halftone in a dense ink of the same shade of color as the tint, and the result will be beautiful. An improvement on this is called "Duograph," where two halftones are made from the same copy but with the screen lines at different angles. These are printed in two tones of the same ink, and the effect is so superior to printing from a single halftone. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Duotype print from early 1900s.
Duplex half-tone: See Half-tone, duplex
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Ectypography: A mode of Etching by which the lines are raised on the plate instead of sunk in.
of preparing tinted plates by the action of electricity on a
whose surface is sunk, and which thereby produces a fine tint in
for use in the ordinary printing-press. In 1842 the process was
Electrotint Painting is the art of producing
paintings or drawings in such a manner, and so prepared, that,
of the Electrotype process, copper plates or "blocks" can be
from them, capable, when printed from after the manner of
engraved plates, or wood blocks, of yielding fac-simile
the said original paintings or drawings. It is well known, that
and other metals can be deposited, by means of voltaic
any conducting surface, not liable to be prejudicially affected
solution employed, so as to take an exact impression of that
exact indeed, that the sharpest medals, as well as the most
engraved plates, can be minutely imitated. By taking advantage
important discovery, copper plates can be made from paintings
prepared, and having surfaces rendered sufficiently conducting,
will multiply, and re-produce, as it were, the identical
themselves. The electrotint painting or drawing can be adapted
methods of printing in common use; viz.—to produce either sunken
surfaces or indentations capable of receiving the printing ink,
same manner as engraved copper-plates, or raised surfaces which
come in contact with the ink roller, as the type for
wood blocks, when set up for ordinary printing. Below is an overall view and an
enlarged detail of an Electrotint print from early 1900s..
Electro-phototypy: A patent has been granted to Mr. H. Sutton for "an improved process for converting a photographic image on a gelatin surface into a relief or intaglio printing surface." The object of this process is, to a certain extent, to supersede the half-tone etching processes on zinc or copper. A negative is taken on a gelatino-bromide plate through a screen of lines, and by heating up to 212° F. a relief is obtained, which is then converted into a block by electrotyping. The process is capable of yielding a printing surface in half-tone; but as there is no apparent means of modifying the surface, as can be done in the half-tone zinc etching process, the usefulness of the new method must be limited to such subjects as do not require the finer class of work.
A copper-faced duplicate, in one piece,
made from a page or form of type, engraving, or other object
which may be used to mould from. The process for making an
electrotype for printing purposes is as follows: The type is
locked, usually in small forms, in a chase, each page, as well
as the larger blank spaces, having around it metal guards of the
height of type. An impression is then made in a sheet of wax
having its surface dusted with black lead or plumbago. This wax
impression is then suspended in a galvanic bath in which copper
is present in a state of solution; the copper being affected by
electricity, leaves the solution and deposits itself in minute
particles upon the face of the mould. When the copper film is
thick enough it is stripped from the mould, and after a covering
of a tin compound, which acts as a solder, the film is backed up
with melted metal resembling type-metal. This produces a metal
plate with a copper face which is a duplicate of the original
type form or engraving. The finishing of the plate requires
beating up the low places to an even level, correcting defective
parts, shaving the surplus metal from the back to make it of
true and uniform thickness, and mounting on wood or otherwise to
make it type-high, and trimming the edges. When it is intended
to use the electroplates on the modern patented bases, or
blocks, they are simply shaved to a required thickness and the
edges beveled so that they may be held by small hooks attached
to the blocks. Elephant—A size of writing paper, 23 x
28 inches; in England, the sizes of elephant are: printing
paper 23 x 30, writing paper 23 x 28, wrapping paper 24 x 34
inches. (See also Steel Facing).
is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Electrotype
print from early 1900s.
Small printing plates.
Elemine: A crystallized rasin.
Elephant Paper: A term applied to designate the largest kind of drawing paper, the sheet measuring 28 inches by 23 inches. The larger kind of paper is termed double elephant paper, which measures 40 inches by 26 3/4 inches.
Empaistic: Inlaid work, resembling the modern buhl, or marquetry.
Emperor paper: The largest kind of drawing-paper manufactured, the sheet measuring 66 by 47ninches.
Enamel painting: Painting upon metal previously covered with glazed ground.
Encaustic painting: Another
term for Wax Painting.
Engraver's Tools: This is a print from 1844 depicting engraver's tools and methods. The print depicts the following (taken from the original 1846 source) :
Figure 1. Etching on soft
2. Etching 3. Etching finished with the graver 4. Mezzotinto
engraving 6. Stippling combined with line engraving 7, 8.
Manner of holding
the graver 7a. Engraver's easel 8a. Engraver's hand-vise
of cutting stones 9a. Engraver's oil-rubber 10, II - Tampons,
12. Common ruler 13. Parallel ruler 14, 15. Scrapers 16.
Rocking-tool or cradle 18. Roulette 19. Scratcher 20-22.
23-26. Gravers 27. Callipers 28ab. Improved callipers 29, 30.
32. Engraver's anvil and hammer 33. Lines made by the cradle
frame 35. Frame for correctly observing curves on busts, etc.
for engraving stamps. There are as many as eleven
of engraving on copper, viz. 1. Copper-plate engraving
properly so called,
executed with the graver or burin; 2. Engraving with the
Etching (fig. 2); 4. Etching and finishing with the graver
5. Stippling (fig. 6) exhibits this manner combined with (No.
1) ; 6. Mezzotinto
(fig. 4); 7. The Le Blon process with various colors; 8. The
9. English stippling; 10. Aquatint engraving (fig. 5) ; 11.
manner. The plate intended for engraving must be hammered
cold, or still
better rolled very hard; it must then be rubbed with
sandstone, next with
pumice-stone, and lastly with moistened charcoal ; after which
be polished. For all the kinds of engraving-above mentioned,
Nos. 6, 7, and 11, the plate is now covered with a priming or
For this purpose it is placed over a hot charcoal
brazier; and then
is rubbed to and fro with the etching-ground tied
up in silk
(fig. 10), which is composed of wax, asphaltum, colophony, and
Burgundy pitch. The etching-ground, which is liable to
come off in,
some places, is then evenly distributed over the plate by
means of Tampon's
dabber, a ball made of cotton wool tied up tightly in silk
(fig. 11), so
that .the ground is made of equal thickness throughout.
is then copied in outline on the ground. For this purpose the
either whitened with washed white-lead and gum, or fastened in
(fig. 8a) and blackened by passing it backwards and forwards
over a wax
taper; and to this ground the drawing is transferred, in,the
with tracing paper or by pressure on the back of the drawing.
If the drawing
is to be on a smaller scale than the original, the reduction
by the aid of a reducing frame (fig. 34).
[George Heck Ikonographisches
Engraving: The act, process or art of producing by cutting, on metal, stone or wood, either incised or relief designs. Technique of making prints from metal plates into which a design has been incised with a cutting tool called a burin. At the beginning of the 19th C, the copper plate was used instead of steel; hence, the process is also called copperplate engraving. Another term for the process, line engraving, derives from the fact that this technique reproduces only linear marks. Tone and shading, however, can be suggested by making parallel lines or crosshatching. See also Woodcut.
Engraving, Heliographic: Photoengraving or Photoetching, as on a plate coated with bitumen.
A process of producing an engraved block or plate for printing,
as by photographing
the original on metal and etching away the metal in those
by the light (also called Photoetching)
Etching: (Illustration below) A process of engraving in which the incised lines are produced by the biting of an acid or mordant. The surface of the metal is covered with thin coat of wax, asphalt, or varnish, called etching-ground, which is scratched with the etching needle where lines are desired, and the exposed part subjected to acid, which then creates incised lines in the surface of the plate.
Etching, Calligraphic:A process of etching in which the sketching is done with pen and ink on a clean copper plate. The plate or design when dry is covered with a thin etching-ground or varnish, smoked, and then soaked in water to soften the ink, which can then be removed with the varnish by gentle rubbing, leaving the design to be bitten as usual.
Etching, Daguerreotype: Photochemical process for biting in the dark places of a sensitized plate.
Etching-Ground: The coating of wax or varnish on a plate used to protect the surface from the action of acid. It was made of bees' wax, Burgundy pitch, black pitch and asphaltum.
Etching Needle: The needle like steel implement used by etchers for tracing the lines through the etching ground.
Etching Revival: The
Etching Revival is the name given by art historians for a
period of time
stretching approximately from 1850 to 1930 and involving the
of etching as an independent art form drawing its inspiration
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False Intaglio:Creation of a plate impression after the printing of the image. It was usually done by passing a smooth copper plate through the press with a sheet of paper on which the image was already printed by other means.
Ferrotype: See TINTYPE
Folio: Refers to the size of the print. The longer dimension of the sheet is higher than 12 inches.
Foxing: Brown-yellowish stains or spots appearing randomly on old prints, caused by chemical composition of the paper and its reaction to the environment.
Frisquet: The name given by wood-engravers to the paper with which they cover that portion of the woodcut which is not yet cut away, but which forms no part of the engraving, when they are about to take a proof of their work. It is simply a square piece of paper, the center of which is cut out in the general form of the subject to be printed, the proof-paper being thus protected from contact with any ink but that on the surface of the lines, which are then rubbed upon the paper by aid of a burnisher.
is one of the most beautiful and successful inventions of modern
(19th C), as by its means plastic objects, e.g., wood, stone,
etc., and copper-plates when engraved, may be exactly copied in
and bronzed or gilt. The invention is especially valuable
engraving, as by its means any number of duplicates
original plate may be obtained. GALVANOGRAPHY, after many
has produced. works of Art far surpassing the expectations at
and the uses to which it may be applied are multifarious; for
first galvanic plate was taken, it has been used in all branches
having been found to unite all the Known methods of the graver
aqua-tinta, scraper, roulette work, etc., and, moreover,
easy of execution.
Gelatin Process: Since the properties of gelatin have been investigated in connection with the photomechanical processes, a number of methods have been devised for using gelatinous masses as printing surfaces without the intervention of photography. Several of these are described by Poitevin. A well-known device of this kind is the hectograph, a gelatinous mass in a tin tray, to which letters or designs in writing ink are transferred from a sheet of paper. From the transfer thus obtained a number of impressions can be made on sheets of paper rubbed against it, and the transfer can then be washed off, leaving the gelatin in condition to receive new transfers. A process based on similar principles, for the reproduction of drawings in several colors at one impression, has recently been patented. The direct transfer process, by which transfers to stone can be obtained from designs in writing ink on paper, which have previously been transferred to prepared gelatin, also belongs to this category, superseded the wet Collodion process.
Gelatine printing: Gelatine is a
refined form of glue and is used for many purposes in printing.
It is the basis of the process known as the hektograph, by which
anything written with copying ink, after being transferred to a
sheet of gelatin, may be
again transferred from the gelatin to sheets of blank paper.
Several processes of photo-gelatin printing, known as
albertype, collotype, heliotype, etc., are very much like
lithography, a coating of gelatin upon a sheet of glass or
metal being used instead of the lithographic stone. The
gelatin method is also used to produce a plate which may be
moulded and the mould used to produce an electrotype of the
subject in relief. By etching through a gelatin film on copper
an intaglio plate is made, which is known as a photo-gravure.
See Hektograph, Heliotype, Photo-gravure, Process
Engraving. Genealogical Work—This class of printing
differs from ordinary book work because of the excessive use
of abbreviations, peculiar indentions, different sizes of
types, use of capitals, italics, etc. It often requires the
re-printing of old documents, with oldtime spelling and
phraseology, and usually has pages of difficult pedigree
Ghost crease (dashed
line in the illustration):
A light line indentation in the paper caused by the pressure of
edge of the folded print, or when a folded print is placed
a non-folded print. It develops over time in the prints bound
into books, folios etc.
This name has been given to a new in screen process platemaking,
applicable to very large dimensions, such as posters or
patented in all countries.
Gillotype: A printing process using a zinc plate created by a photographic transfer. Invented by Mr. Gillot in 1872. Also called paniconographie. See also Relief-etching.
block obtained by coating a plate of metal, or other substance
to an uniformly flat surface, with wax or composition. The
design is then
made upon the surface of the composition, which in its turn is
wherever it is wished to obtain a metallic deposit. The metal
obtained, is mounted on a wooden back, and is then capable of
from with type in the ordinary printing press.
Goupil Gravure: The Goupil-gravure process is a method of making facsimiles of water-color drawings. The plate is carefully inked in by hand with the different colored printing inks, and the picture printed by one impression. The plate is cleaned and again inked for the next picture. The method of printing is, of course, very costly, as skilled artists have to be employed for coloring the plates. The results, however, are truly fine, and in some cases hardly distinguishable from the original water-color drawing.
Graphotype Process: According to Knight's Encyclopaedia, a zinc plate is covered with a thick coating of oxide of zinc. Upon this the drawing is executed with an ink consisting of a chloride of zinc and a menstruum. Where the ink comes in contact with the coating, the latter is hardened by the formation of oxychloride of zinc. The rest of the coating, between the lines, is removed by brushing and rubbing. In one form of the process, the adhering material is solidified by immersion in a solution of silicate of soda. The printing block is obtained by electrotyping. Invented by D. C. Hitchcock.
process of photomechanical printing, such as photogravure or
It also designates a print produced by gravure or
or wooden plate used in photogravure.
A method of creating a printing relief block by using a coating
hardened plaster. The design is made in a simlar way as in the
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Half-tint: Same as Half-tone.
to a photographic process of making relief plates (see Relief
Process) for illustration, in which the entire surface
of the plate
is covered with a regular series of small dots, or a grating of
in white. It serves especially for the direct reproduction of
and paintings. Same as Half Tint. A typical modern example of
printing are photographs in the newspapers - under the
one can see a large number of regularly placed dots that make up
To produce a half-tone block from a picture, a black and white
in tone, or a photograph, a negative is exposed in the camera in
way, with the screen quite close to it but not in contact; and
is photographed on to the negative through the screen, and what
a "screen negative" is the result. It is a photograph of so much
original as could affect the negative through the little clear
of the screen, and represents the tones of it by innumerable
dots and lines,
the size and proximity of which are regulated by the fineness or
of the screen used.
Example of the Reproduction of
by the Electrotype process:
Half tone work with Max Levy's 400-line screen:
Half-tone plate or
In the early days zinc was the metal used for these half-tone
experience showed that though more difficult to etch to the
the closer, denser texture of copper rendered plates of this
more suitable for the production of the best blocks, and zinc
now is used
only for inferior blocks. Whichever metal may be used, a sheet
of it, most
carefully planished, is sensitized with a coating of gelatin or
and bichromate of potash, dried and exposed under the screen
the action of light, as in the ordinary method of photographic
The action of the light hardens the gelatin film, the portion
not so hardened
being soluble by water. The plate with the gelatin picture in
dots is exposed to heat and the image is burnt in on the surface
metal like an enamel, which enables the photographic picture to
the subsequent etching. The plate is placed in a bath of iron
and etched until sufficient depth is obtained. Wherever the
the plate is free from the lines and dots, it is bitten away by
and the lines and dots are left in relief. This first biting in
produces a rather flat general impression of the original, and
"rough etching." To produce finer results, and to bring out the
of black and white necessary to a good reproduction, the block
has to go
through processes of stopping out and rebiting similar to those
an intaglio plate. This "fine etching" calls for the artistic
judgment of the craftsman; and with a good photograph to work
final quality of a block will depend largely upon its treatment
fine etcher. A substitute for the acid bath has been found in an
The acid is driven in the form of a spray with some force on to
of the prepared plate, which it etches more rapidly and more
than the bath. Also called Process blocks. Below is an enlarged
detail of a picture printed from a three-color process block:
Half-tone engraving: Halftone engraving is done practically by the same methods as zinc etching, the difference being that, when photographing the design on the metal, a screen is interposed between a sensitive plate in the camera and the copy. The tone screen varies in fineness from 80 to 250 lines to an inch, according to the coarseness or fineness of the plate required, this being determined by the finish of the paper to be used and the care with which it may be printed. The coarse screen is best suited for the rapid work and cheaper paper of a daily newspaper, while a screen of 135 to 200 lines, on smooth coated papers printed on slow presses, gives finer results in the picture. The finer the screen used, the shallower the plate can be etched, and the smoother the paper and finer the ink must be in order to print clearly.
Hektograph: A copying process
for multiplying written or printed copies by means of a sheet of
gelatin. The writing is done on a sheet of paper with copying
ink; this sheet is then laid face down on the gelatin, which
receives the ink; when fresh sheets are pressed upon the gelatin
thus treated the writing is transferred to them, and copies are
thus duplicated till the ink is exhausted; twenty to a hundred
copies may be made from one prepared pad. See also Gelatine
Heliochromy: (Literally sun-coloring) A term applied to that process by which photographic pictures in their natural colors are obtained.
A print or plate produced by Heliography.
Heliography: An early photographic process invented by Niepce, and still used in photo-engraving. It consists essentially in exposing under a design or in a camera a polished metal plate coated with a preparation of resin, and subsequently treating the plate with a suitable solvent. The light renders insoluble those parts of the film which it strikes, and so a permanent image is formed, which can be etched upon the plate by the use of acid. FROM "The Amercian Amateur Phorgrapher, 1895": Take a walnut board of the size of the photographic plate, fasten to this a thin sheet of copper, and have this made perfectly plane. After having cleaned it with ether, flow it in the same manner as a wet plate is flowed with collodion ; with bitumen of Judea, 10 grammes; chloroform sufficient to dissolve. This operation is conducted in the dark room. Allow the plate to dry, and tnen expose ten to fifteen minutes in a printing frame, under a negative or, preferably, a positive. After this develop in a dark room with rectified sulphuric ether, and wash with water slightly alcoholized. There results a plate which can be printed from like a lithographic stone, with a simple ink roller, after having first moistened the plate with pure water. A sheet of white paper pressed on this plate gives a very good print, and one very simply obtained.
Heliography, or Solar
Printing, includes all those processes by means of which
manuscripts, copper-plate and other engravings, all products
graphic arts, pattern devices and designs, such as lace,
flowers of plants, and photographic negatives and positives,
allow light to pass through them unequally in different
places, may be
reproduced or copied, in the same size as the original,by the
action of light. Below is a detail of a late 1890s Heliogravue
print by D'Espouy
Hyalograph or Hyalotype:
From Greek words for glass and print. A hyalograph is a drawing
common ground glass, but dispolished for the purpose with a very
even grain. The instruments used are chiefly the lead-pencil,
and a brush charged with more or less diluted Indian ink.
is transferred by light to a sensitized etching-ground, though
is not employed and there can be no reduction. The process was
by M. Dujardin, the well-known hdliograveur, and employed for
purposes. The process is, however, excellent for original work,
the reproduction, being so very direct, loses less than by any
known—in fact, the loss is almost imperceptible, which cannot be
any other photographic process. In the hyalograph the
of photography is reduced to a minimum—the passage of light
glass. The plate is bitten like an aquatint. The
of correction enjoyed by the artist whilst drawing the
its extreme fidelity to the work of the draughtsman, make it
to artists and most easily adaptable to all the varieties of
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India Ink: also Chinese ink. A black pigment composed of a mixture of lampblack or burnt cork with gelatin and water, scented with Borneo camphor and musk, made in India, China and Japan. Sold in sticks. Also, similar ink made of sepia.
India Paper: A thin yellowish absorbent printing paper made in China and Japan from vegetable fiber and used in taking the first and finest proofs from engraved plates. (Often used by engravers for fine impressions. It has a fine silky texture and takes ink nicely. It is imported and is made from hemp, cotton, mulberry bark, bamboo, and silkworm cocoons. India proofs are made on india paper.)
and choice proof taken on India paper from an engraved plate. In
India proofs, the India paper, cut to the proper proportion, is
carefully laid upon the plate, a sheet of ordinary plate paper
over it and it is run through the press. The glutinous quality
India paper and the pressure cause it to adhere to the plate
it comes out mounted and ready for use.
this process, invented by T. C. Roche, of New York, the plate,
of copper, is roughened or pitted by exposure to the sand-blast,
order to cause the sensitive film to adhere tenaciously. Extra
toughness and tenacity are also produced in the film by the
alcohol to the chromatized gelatin. After exposure under the
the unchanged bichromate is washed out and the plate is dried.
plates can be used in the power press, and 1000 copies an hour
printed from them.
name is given by Sprague, of London, to photo-lithographs in
prepared by a process which was kept secret. The pictures do not
the decided dotted character of the Meisenbach negative, but are
fine grained and soft. It is a process for reproducing surface
tints rather than lines. They used
a coarse grain for vigorous, dense negatives, and a finer grain
for delicate negatives. [Example
from 'The Portfolio' 1883, The Salutaion of Beatrice by Dante
The engraved plate is obtained by making a drawing upon the
of a steel plate with a greasy crayon, or any other substance
resisting a deposit of copper, without opposing the corrosive
acid, when the plate is immersed in an acid bath of sulphate of
Upon immersion the bright surface of the plate immediately
with copper, but the acid of the bath gradually corrodes and
those portions of the plate, the surface of which is protected
by the greasy
drawing, eating it into a series of lines, from which the print
by the ordinary process of copper-plate printing. This process
for the outline designs used by potters, the design being
printed and transferred
to the surfaces of plates and other articles, which are then
and colored by hand.
From the Italian word meaning incising or engraving, it
from a plate that has the lines engraved.
A process in which a bichromatcd gelatine film on a metal
exposed under a negative and developed with heated sulphate of
solution until the lines are clear. The plate is then mounted
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quality paper usually composed entirely of gampi. The
of the paper ranges from a golden yellow to buff. Their
from 100 to 200 grams per square meter.
Having lines water-marked in it at equal distance apart, the
being thin places made by the pressure of the wire screen
manufacture. It is customary to speak of paper being either
wove. These are misleading terms, probably originating not
paper maker, but with the maker of the wire V screen upon
hand-made paper is made. For a wove paper, the screen used is
like cloth; but for a laid paper, the wires of the screen are
parallel columns. The laid paper is of earlier origin than the
paper; in fact, it was not till the year 1750 that the wove
Leimtype: In 1887, Husnik, of Prague, invented a process for preparing high relief plates of gelatin that can be used for typographic printing in an ordinary printing press, either for the reproduction of pictures or letterpress. Husnik uses a thick plate of chromatized gelatin and exposes it under a negative as usual. He then attaches this by means of gutta percha to zinc or wood, thus making a firm but somewhat elastic foundation for the printing surface. He then develops the surface by treatment with a solvent, such as a saturated solution of an alkaline bichromate. This not only dissolves the gelatin upon which the light did not fall, but it also deepens and strengthens the relief. The development is stopped before any of the finest lines or dots are injured. The plate is dried and the lights are covered with a solution of opaque printer's ink, by means of a camel's hair brush. The plate is then exposed for a second time to the action of light, by which it is hardened and strengthened, not only on the surface, but also on the flanks of each line and dot. The black is then removed and the solvent is again applied to deepen the whites. These plates may be used directly in the press, and will print 100,000 copies. By making wax moulds from these plates they may be reproduced in copper by electrotyping.
Letter-press: A method of taking impressions from letters and other characters cast in relief upon separate pieces of metal, and therefore capable of indefinite combination. The impressions are taken either by surface pressure, as in the common printing press, or by cylindrical pressure as in the roller press.
Print; letters and words impressed on paper or other material by
- often used of the reading matter in distinction from the
name lichtdruck was used in Germany to designate the process of
in greasy ink from a surface of gelatin. If a film of
gelatin be dried at a pretty high temperature, be exposed to
under a negative, be then washed in water and dried, it will,
treated in the same way as a lithographic stone, display similar
properties—will, that is to say, absorb water and refuse a
in certain places, while in others it refuses water, but
takes ink. The portions which take water and not ink are those
have not been affected by light, while those which take ink
those which have been greatly affected by light. Between these
extremes is a complete gradation represented in reality by a
reticulation or grain, but giving the impression, so fine is
reticulation, of a true half tone. Also called Phototype, Collotype or Phototypie
(in France). Bewlo is a detail of a late 1890s Lichtruck print.
Line Block: A term used for both the printing surface and the resulting print. As a printing surface a line block is any relief block on which the image has been achieved other than manually but without the use of a half-tone screen.
typesetting machine casting a line of type in a slug. The spaces
used to justify the completed line as it is brought to the
orifice if a
mold, and there cast in a type-high slug. Linotype machines have
in use since 1890.
name for Chromolithography.
Lithograph : (Illustration below shows a monochrome lithograph) A print produced by Lithography (see below). See also Chromolithography. [example from 'Moyen Age Pittoresque' by Nicolas-Marie-Joseph Chapuy, 1838]
Lithographic chalk: Ingredients the same as in Lithographic Ink with a small quantity of potash added during the boiling.
Lithographic Crayon: A crayon used in the 19th century for drawing upon stone. The finest ones were usually made of the combination of Finest White Wax, Finest White Tallow Soap, Pure Russian Tallow, Gum Lac and Finest Lamp Black (for a black crayon).
Lithographic ink: Was made of tallow-soap, pure white wax, lamp-black, and a small quantity of tallow, all boiled together, and, when cool, dissolved in distilled water.
Lithography (process) :
process of printing from a flat stone. The design to be printed
drawn on a stone of peculiar quality with a specially-prepared
which clings to and dries on the surface. The surface is then
to the action of a weak acid that hardens the ink and slightly
and lowers the unprotected parts. The process of printing first
requires moistening the surface with water, which is absorbed by
blank parts and repelled by the hard, greasy lines of the
Printing ink is then rolled over the stone and is, in turn,
the wet parts but adheres to the ink-drawn design. The stone
prepared is ready to make an impression on the sheet. It will
seen that the theory of lithographic printing is based upon the
repulsion between grease and water. The production of the design
depends upon chemical manipulation of the printing surface. It
most flexible of all methods of printing. The invention of
lithography is due to Alois Senefelder, an actor of Munich, and
result of an accidental impression on a stone. He employed it in
printing music and afterwards, with others, developed the art
commercial purposes. Like other methods of printing,
was formerly done on hand-presses, but since about 1860
have been employed and the progress of the art has made rapid
Many new and improved processes and details of
manipulation have been invented, both for preparing the design
stone and for printing from the stone when ready. The
the stone is done in several ways: by drawing on it with a
chalk or crayon; by line-drawing with pencil or pen with
ink; by engraving through a thin film with diamond or steel
drawing or writing on prepared paper for transferring on stone;
transferring impressions taken from copper or steel plates,
or type; by photographing on stone; and by wash-drawing on
lithographic hand-press has a movable bed, like that of the
hand-press. The impression is made, not with a platen, as for a
form, but with a straight-edge scraper at the press-head. The
under this scraper, which extends across the width of the stone,
imparts great pressure on a small area at a time. The first
when printing, is to moisten the surface of the stone, so that
subsequent inking will leave ink only on the design. The inking
is then passed over it; when sufficient ink has been applied,
is laid on, the tympan laid down and the bed moved in under the
scraper. The back of the tympan is of leather, zinc, or brass,,
slightly oiled to allow the scraper to pass over it with as
side-resistance as possible. Lithographic rollers are not made
and molasses, like those used for typographic work, but consist
wooden or iron cores, wound with felt or flannel and covered
leather. Lithographic power presses are similar to cylinder
employed for typographic work.
A lithographic stone, after being used, may be ground down and have a fresh surface prepared for a new design. Thus, different thicknesses of stones must be used, and the distance between the bed and cylinder varies more than on a type-printing press. The cylinder is covered with a thick, elastic blanket or sheet of india rubber. The necessary moisture is applied to the face of the stone by rollers, which are at the opposite end of the press from the inking rollers. These damping rollers consist of iron cores, wound with several thicknesses of flannel and covered on the outside with a cotton or linen fabric. Chromo-lithography is the process by which one picture is printed from many stones in succession, each stone printing a different color. The comparative ease in making transfers of a design from one stone to another, and the greater degree of accuracy in registering a number of colors over each other, have especially adapted lithography to color work. Photolithography is the process by which the design is placed on the stone by photography instead of by hand-drawing..
Lithography (in offset)
See Offset Printing.
Lithogravure : A term applied to a process in which the tints are impressed on transfer or other paper from engraved blocks, suitably cut masks preventing impression except where desired. The drawing so prepared, if on transfer paper, can be transferred to stone or zinc at once, otherwise an ordinary zinc etching is made by first producing a photographic negative.
Litho-offset (process) : See Offset Printing.
of producing prints from lithographic stones, by means of
pictures developed on their surface.
Lithotint is the name given to a method of making drawings with
of liquid ink applied with the brush to stone, like sepia or
print and the process of producing an impression in ink from a
gelatin film which has been chemically treated, the method being
similar to lithography.
A process devised by Messrs Lumiere and described thusly:
A sheet of glass is first smeared with something sticky, and
hundreds of thousands, even millions, of infinitesimally small
potatostarch grains are scattered over it. They are of the three
primary colours—orange-red, blue-violet, and green; and they
quite close without overlapping. Any intervening space between
grains is filled in with black, to exclude all white light. The
are then rolled even, and a coat of waterproof varnish laid on;
that is laid the ordinary colour-sensitive emulsion. The plate
in the dark slide the reverse way, so that the light from the
first pass through the coloured grains before it reaches the
and some of the colour is intercepted by a yellow screen, placed
the lens during exposure. Without that yellow screen everything
look as if seen through blue spectacles.The negative is obtained
ordinary way, but goes through a great many more processes than
black-and-white negative. Colour-photography, of course, cannot
long time, if ever, be as cheap as that without colour. White is
up of the three primary colours blended, and if the image is
by the lantern it must be seen from a certain distance to look
all. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of
Lumiere's process print from early 1900s.
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Machines are largely used in modern engraving, but only as
for ruling straight or wavy lines. In machine engraving
speaking, the machine does all the work. There are various
these machines : — guilloche machines (supposed to have been
by one Guillot) or lathes, which produce ornamental designs
of interlacing lines, circles, etc., such as are used on bank
medal-ruling machines, in which a point is made to travel over
medal or other low relief of which an engraving is wanted,
while by an
ingenious arrangement a second point, governed by the
movements of the
first, traces a series of lines, nearer together or farther
according to the variations of height in the original, upon a
plate or a lithographic stone; and universal machines, which
kinds of work. Most of these machines are so constructed
the design can be reduced or enlarged, or reversed. The first
medalruling machine was built about 1830, by Achille Collas of
similar machine was constructed somewhat later in the U. S. by
Saxton. All the machines so far named are for intaglio
Shanks machine, on the contrary, produces relief blocks of a
kind. The engraving is done by cutting the lines into a slab
of Paris, thus producing a matrix from which electrotypes can
Manual Print: Type of print whereby the image was created directly on the printing surface, for example drawn directly onto a wood block. Compare Process Print.
around the image. The part of the margin that is under the image
contains a title and other information about the image.
half-tone process made by the use of a grained screen instead of
cross-line screen. The picture reproduced by this screen has a
softness of tones admirably suited to the interpretation of
subjects, such as the foliage of trees, a growing crop of grain
grass, fur-bearing animals, a rough stone wall. Commercially,
screen is coming intofavor for the reproduction of garments,
furs, feathers, etc. When a subject demands a firm, “contrasty”
treatment, the metzograph is not so good as the halftone. A
plate is slightly more expensive than a halftone. Devised by
James Wheeler. Below
is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Metzograph
screen print from early 1900s.
Mezzotint: Mezzotinting reverses the order of most other kinds of engraving, inasmuch as it works from dark into light. This is why the French call it la manure noire. The English name expresses the fact that it renders halftints in apparently unbroken masses. Before the artistic work of the mezzotinter begins, the plate is worked all over with a toothed instrument, called the rocker, by which operation its surface is broken up into innumerable minute cavities which hold the ink. This is called, rather inaptly, laying a mezzotint ground. The coarseness or fineness of the ground depends on the number of teeth to the inch of the rocker. An impression from the plate in the state in which the rocker leaves it, presents a uniform velvety blackness. By careful scraping with a steel scraper, gradations from black to white can be produced, the action of the scraper reducing the depth of the cavities, and at the same time broadening the ridges between them. Clear whites result from the complete erasure of the cravities and polishing the smooth places thus produced on the plate. Mezzotint is used pure, or in connection with etching, graver work, stippling, etc. The process was invented by Ludwig von Siegen, whose earliest published plate is dated 1642. Like all artistic processes, mezzotinting suffered from the striving after mere mechanical perfection. The desire to produce a ground so fine as to obliterate all traces of the tool, led to smokiness and vapidity. The present tendency is, to return to more vigorous methods.
Mimeograph: An apparatus in which a thin fibrous paper coated with paraffin is used as a stencil for reproducing copies of written, printed, or typewritten matter. The impression of the pen or type spreads the paraffin, and makes a porous spot through which the ink may pass in printing.
Mixed Method Steel Engraving (or Mixed Manner): Combinations of various methods are found in many of the specimens. In modern engraving this way of working is largely utilized, and there are plates in which line etching, graver work, stippling, rouletting, mezzotinting, or sometimes aquatinting, and machine-ruling are all found together. Such plates are said to have been done in the mixed manner.
Monotype: The monotype is not a new, but a revival of a somewhat old method of reproducing on paper a painting by an artist. The design is executed on a plate by means of brushes, monotype fingers or other tools, with paint or printer's ink. On the completion of the painting, paper is laid upon it, and plate and paper are together passed through a press, when the ink or color is transferred to the paper. One impression only is possible, hence the name of the process. A method has been devised by Sir Hubert von Herkomer for dusting the painting while still wet with a fine metallic powder, which gives a tooth to and renders the surface sympathetic to a copper deposit when it is placed in the galvanic bath, by which means an electrotype of the painting, with its varying relief surfaces, is obtained, and forms a plate from which numerous impressions can be taken.Mordant: A corrosive liquid used to etch metal.
Mosstype: The Mosstype process is a photo-engraving process, differing slightly in detail. This is first made in a composition of asphaltum, sulphuretted resin, and caoutchouc, and from these a second mould of plaster is made, from which a casting is made in type metal to form the printing block.
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From which the method of copperplate engraving originated in the
part of the fifteenth century. Metal plates are decorated by
incised lines on them, and then filling up these lines with
enamel, after which the whole surface is polished. This is
Niello. Toinaso Finiguerra, an Italian goldsmith, proved his
rubbing into the lines a mixture of oil and lampblack and then
on the plate damp paper. Thus was copperplate engraving and
Niepce's Process or
of the earliest photographic processes discovered by Nidpce. He
that bitumen became insoluble by the action of the light. A
plate, coated over with a thin film of bitumen (dissolved oil of
lavender), was exposed to the image in the camera obscura, and
bitumen became insoluble in proportion to the intensity of the
which the various parts of the image were produced. This effect
know, due to the oxidation and hardening of the resinous
After removal from the camera the exposed plate is steeped in a
of oil of lavender and petroleum; the soluble portions remaining
dissolved away. The shadows of the image are thus represented by
portions of the metal plate, the insoluble resin remaining
the lights and high lights. It will be clear that to get the
effect the polished metal representing the shadows should be
For this purpose Niepce employed iodine and various other
Niepce, in a statement made in the year 1829,
describes his process :—"The discovery which I have made, and to
I give the name of ' heliography,' consisting in producing
spontaneously by the action of light, with gradations of tints
black to white, the images received by the camera obscura. Light
chemically upon bodies. It is absorbed, it combines with them
communicates to them new properties. Thus it augments the
consistency of some of these bodies; it solidifies them even,
renders them more or less insoluble according to the duration of
intensity of its action. The substance which has succeeded best
is asphaltum dissolved in oil of lavender. A tablet of plated
to be highly polished, on which a thin coating of the varnish is
applied with a light roll of soft skin. The plate, when dry, may
immediately submitted to the action of light in the focus of the
camera. But, even after having been thus exposed a length of
sufficient for receiving the impressions of external objects,
is apparent to show that these impressions exist. The forms of
future picture remain still invisible. The next operation, then,
disengage the shrouded imagery, and this is accomplished by a
consisting of one part by volume of essential oil of lavender
of oil of white petroleum. Into this liquid the exposed tablet
plunged, and the operator, observing it by reflected light,
perceive the images of the objects to which it had been exposed
gradually unfolding their forms. The plate is then lifted out,
to drain, and well washed with water." Niepce further adds, "It
however, to be desired that by blackening the metal plate we
the gradations of tone from black to white. The substance which
employ for this purpose is iodine, which possesses the property
evaporating at the ordinary temperature.
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imprint of text or lines on the print or parts thereof from the
page. Occurs on the prints bound in magazines, books etc.
print was not protected from the printing ink on the opposite
page by a
thin piece of paper.
Engraving the use of a little hammer to produce dots.
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Painter Etchings: There
are two classes of etchings in the trade—painter and
etchings. The first named are the original works of the
last copies by artists or engravers from the works of others.
etchings have the value of original works. They are esteemed
the methods and spirit of the artist, just as a sketch by him
The fine etchings by A. F. Bellows are examples. Those who own
etching by this master really own an original drawing by him.
difference is that it is drawn on metal instead of paper, and
A process invented by a man named Husband for changing the
tone in an ordinary negative into the grain of a lithograph, so
can be printed from lithographically. It is a photolithographic
and the principle on which it is based lies in the property
of potassium possesses to reticulate gelatin. Much care is
manipulating this process and the lithographic printing must be
a hand press.
Paper aging/deterioration: Factors That Promote Paper Deterioration:
■ Composition of paper and the conditions under which it is stored.
■ Fibers made of cellulose chains degrade when exposed to an acidic environment in the presence of moisture.
■ The longer the cellulose chains that comprise paper, the stronger and more supple the paper.
■ Early papers were made from cotton and linen rags. Most early papers, especially those made up to the middle of the 19th century, are still strong and durable, especially if they were stored properly under conditions that were not overly warm or humid.
■ Cotton papers owe their longevity mainly to the length of the fibers used in their manufacture.
■ The shortest fibers are found in newsprint papers made from groundwood pulps; this pulp is made by the mechanical grinding of wood that is then made into paper without first purifying it chemically.
■ Alkaline papers can last indefinitely. Acids formed within the papers or those absorbed from the environment are neutralized before they have a chance to degrade the cellulose chains. Alkaline paper contains an alkaline reserve. This alkaline reserve, most frequently chalk, neutralizes acids and also makes the paper look whiter.
■ Paper bound in books or aged inside airtight enclosures ages faster than single sheets open to the environment.
■ The deterioration due to accumulation of acids -- whether they are acids absorbed from pollutants, introduced in the manufacture of paper, or formed as paper ages -- can be arrested by deacidification.
[Excerpt from the US Library of Congress Research].
made by a photomechanical process that involves the mixing of
gelatin, exposing a film of this on a plate, and washing it out.
is then laid on an aquatint ground, usually with a half tone
on top, after which the plate may be etched. It is chiefly used
for the reproduction of portraits taken direct from life.
Photo-caustic: This name is given to
photo-lithographs produced in half-tone by means of a Meisenbach
One of the most useful applications of photography is in making
transfers for lithographs of designs which have been printed in
colours. Each colour is printed from a different stone, and as
or enlarged copies are often required from such work, the
sizes may be obtained by photographic means, thus saving the
re-drawing. Impressions from each stone are taken in black, and
these transfers can be made.
photo process picture printed in colors in a printing press by
the ordinary methods of typography in colors (see the sample
showing Charles's Bridge in Prague from a water-color painting
Photochromy: color Photography.
Photocollograph: Early term for Collotype.
as lithography except the image on the surface is made by
using a photo-negative
and projecting the image on the negative onto the stone
with a light sensitive substance.
Photo-electrotype: There are a very large number of photo-electrotype processes, differing in minor details. The process may be briefly described as follows:—A sheet of chromatized gelatin is exposed under a negative. Parts are thus rendered insoluble and incapable of absorbing water, the remaining portions, protected by the image of the negative, being soluble and capable of absorbing cold water. After exposure the gelatin is immersed in cold water, when the absorbing parts swell up, or else the soluble parts are removed with warm water, acetic acid, or other solvent. The next process is the making of moulds in wax, or plates from the gelatin image; and from these copper blocks can easily be made for typographic printing by the electrotype process. If half-tones are to be represented the negative must be broken up into lines, dots, or stipple.
The earliest process of engraving with the aid of photography
bitumen process of Niepce. This was, in fact, the earliest
obtaining permanent images by the action of light. Niepce
that certain varnishes became insoluble by the action of light;
covered metal plates with asphaltum or bitumen of Judea, and
them to the image in the camera obscura. After the exposures the
were treated with a solvent, when the unexposed parts were
away, leaving the insoluble negative image of bitumen on the
plate. To convert this into a positive one, the plate was
iodine vapor, which attacked those parts of the metal
the bituminous image, which was then cleared away with a
solvent. By applying an acid to the bituminous images on metal
parts are eaten away, and by this means engraved plates were
Bolas, the eminent authority upon photo-mechanical processes, thus described the modus operandi for producing photo-engraved plates by the bitumen process:—" Bitumen or asphalt
- Professor Minchin at the Physical Society.
dissolves readily in benzole, and the solution runs freely through a paper filter. The solution should not be quite as thick as collodion. A carefully-cleaned copperplate such as the engravers use, is clamped down on to a turn-table. The next step is to flood the plate with bitumen solution, and then to make the table revolve quickly. When it has revolved a few seconds the film will be dry. No other method gives such a uniform and compact film of bitumen as this. After coating it is well to put the plate aside for twelve hours, in order that the film may become harder. It is then necessary to dust it over with French chalk to remove stickiness, and after this it is placed behind a transparency and exposed to light. The time of the exposure may vary from 20 minutes to two days.
When a plate has had the requisite exposure, the next matter is to dissolve away that portion of the bitumen which has not been made insoluble by the action of light. Now, benzole is generally too energetic a solvent for the purpose, and oil of turpentine is often not sufficiently active; but by mixing these together you can get any degree of solvent power which you may require. The workman commences by flooding the plate with oil of turpentine, and if this has not sufficient action he pours it off and adds a little benzole ; this begins to produce an effect, and enables him to judge as to the amount of benzole which he may safely add to the oil of turpentine. When he has added this quantity, and has washed away all the soluble bitumen from the plate, it is next thoroughly rinsed with water to remove the oil of turpentine. The plate is next placed in nitric acid, so as to etch the lines where the metal is bare.
Plates from which much printing is to be done are ordinarily covered with a thin film of iron, by the electrolytic method, and as the film of iron is extremely thin, it does not in any way interfere with the printing qualities of the plates. When the surface of a plate begins to wear a little, and the impressions show signs of deterioration, the film of iron is dissolved off by means of dilute sulphuric acid, leaving the copperplate as good as ever. The film of iron, although so thin as not to injure the printing qualities of the plate, is nevertheless sufficiently thick to protect the copper from injury in printing. The plate having been freed from the first worn-out film of iron, is once more coated with a layer of iron, and is again ready for use. When the second film of iron is nearly worn away, and the printer approaches near to the true surface of the copperplate, the iron is again dissolved away, and a new coating of iron is put on. According to this system. one really prints rather from a cast of the plate than from the original plate, and new casts are made as required..
Photoetch:To make (a plate for printing) by etching on a photographically treated metal surface.
Photo-etching process: When a layer of asphalt or bitumen is spread over a surface and exposed under a design, those portions of the film which are acted on by light become insoluble in hydrocarbon oils, so that the design can be developed by such solvents, and the surface, if of metal, can be converted into a printing block by etching with acid. The change experienced by the bitumen is probably the result of photo-chemical oxidation. The processes based on this property are much in vogue at the present  time under various modifications. This action oflight upon bitumen furnished the earliest successful permanent reproduction of the camera picture (Joseph Nicephore Niepce, 1824).
The photorelief engraving process invented by Pretsch in 1868,
afterward modified in important ways and known as
process of photo-etching invented by Fox Talbot. A metal plate
coated with gelatin, sensitized with potassium dichromate, and
to light under a negative. It was then dusted with finely
copal and warmed until this melted. When cold it was covered
suitable etching fluid which soaked through the portions of the
unacted upon by light, and attacked the plate underneath.
The French name given to the Woodburytype process.
Photogram: A photographic image, a photograph.
Photographic processes: Photographic processes
may be divided into two classes:
1. those which depend on the fact that certain salts of silver darken under the action of light and
2. those which depend on the fact that under certain conditions gelatine or analogous bodies are rendered insoluble under the action of light
These processes which may be again divided into
1st. Those in which each print is itself a sheet of gelatine acted on by light, such as Carbons or Autotypes. Braun of Dörnach is well known for such productions, and in his method each picture is itself formed of a sheet of gelatine which has been acted on by light.
2d. Those in which one gelatine print is obtained by means of light, and is used as a means of supplying a metal or stone printing matrix, such as PhotoLithography, or the Woodbury process.
3d. Those in which one gelatine print is obtained by means of light and itself, that is, the actual sheet of gelatine itself, is used as a printing matrix, such as in the Heliotype process.
Photogravure reproduces the tones of photographs or drawings, and gives the nearest approach to a facsimile reproduction that has yet been arrived at. Gelatin bichromatized is the medium by means of which the photogravure plate is produced; but as the screen is not used in ordinary work, it is necessary to produce an ink-holding grain in some way upon the plate. This is done by allowing a cloud of bitumen dust, raised inside a box, to settle upon the surface of a copper plate; it is fixed by heat, which, though insufficient to melt it, is enough to attach the fine grains to the plate. Over this prepared surface is laid the film of bichromatized gelatin, upon which is printed the subject through a glass positive; the usual hardening process takes place by the action of light, followed by a washing out of the unhardened portions of the gelatin. The plate is exposed to the action of ferric chloride, which attacks it most strongly in the least exposed parts, but which cannot eat it away in broad flat masses of dark, even in the non-exposed portions, owing to the existence of the bitumen granulation, which ensures the keeping of a grained surface even in the darkest passages. Photogravure is a costly process to employ for illustration. The plates have to be printed slowly, with much hand work, as in the case of etchings. It is the printing that makes its use expensive, rather than the making of the plates; and as each plate must be printed separately and on special paper, it cannot be employed with type, like relief blocks.
Photolithography: Various plans were suggested for securing on lithographic stone a photographic impression which could afterward be used for printing the fatty inks. The process of J. W. Osborne, formerly of Melbourne, now of Washington, was made public in 1861, and proved to be a great improvement. It is what is called a "transfer process." A sheet of paper is coated with a solution of albumen, gelatin and bichromate of potash. It is then dried in the dark, and subsequently placed, face down, on a sheet of smooth copper, and passed through a lithographic press in order to glaze and flatten it. It is then exposed under a negative, and afterward coated uniformly with greasy lithographic transfer ink. In order to coagulate the albumen in the film, the paper is now floated, inked side upward, on boiling water. At the same time the unaltered gelatin, which was protected by the opaque portions of the negative, absorbs moisture and swells, leaving the unaltered gelatin, the lines of the picture, depressed. The print is now placed, face upward, on a smooth board and washed off gently with a sponge dipped in water. It is then pinned to the board and the washing is completed with a stream of boiling water. The print is then dried, and the pic ture is transferred to stone by simply placing it upon the stone, face downward, and passing it through the press. The stone is now ready for lithographic printing in the steam press at the rate of iooo copies an hour. One hour is sufficient for taking the negative, preparing the transfer and placing it upon the stone.The picture may, if desired, be transferred to a zinc plate instead of stone. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a screenless photolithograph print from early 1900s.
A process identical in principle to Zincography,
the only difference being that Mr. Osborne added a certain
of albumen to the mixture of gelatin and bichromate, and
his prints with boiling water in order to coagulate the
leave a slight coating of it on the paper, so as to obtain a
the stone during the process of transfer.
a name given to all processes in which, by the aid of light, in
connection with chemical and mechanical treatment, printing
are prepared which can be used for multiplying impressions
further aid of light.
Photo-mechanical process Classification:
I. Those in which the picture is moulded in gelatin colored by a pigment.
1. Woodburytype or photoglyph.
II. Those in which the picture is printed in printing ink.
A. Collotype processes (Lichtdruck, Phototype,) in which the picture is printed from a gelatin surface.
3. Indotint or Autoglyph.
B. Processes in which the picture is printed from stone.
3. Ink photo.
C. Processes in which the picture is printed from a metallic relief surface: "typographic or block printing."
a. Swelled gelatin processes.
1. Photo-electrotype (copper).
2. Photo-engraving (type metal).
1. Photo-zincograph (by transfer).
2. Zincotype (direct photo on plate with albumen or bitumen).
3. Typogravure (copper).
4. Chromo-typogravure (several plates).
D. Processes in which the picture is printed from an intaglio copper plate.
Photographic processes used in printing:
Photographic processes may be divided into two classes. Those
depend on the fact that certain salts of silver darkon under the
of light and those which depend on the fact that under certain
conditions gelatine or analogous bodies are rendered insoluble
the action of light. In the first group occurs the ordinary
which though it has many points in its favor has one fatal
want of stability in its results. From the earliest days in the
of the photographic art an army of experimentalists have sought
a remedy in the substitution of a process based on the second
principle. I have named that is that light under certain
renders gelatine insoluble so that when a negative is interposed
between a sensitive sheet of gelatine and the light and in this
certain portions shielded from the light those portions may
unaffected aand in their normal condition of solubility. Their
have resulted in the establishment of a number of processes
be again divided into three classes:
1st Those in which each print is itself a sheet of gelatine acted on by light such as Carbons or Autotypes. Braun of Dornach is well known for such productions and in his method each picture is itself formed of a sheet of gelatine which has been acted on by light
2d Those in which one gelatine print is obtained by means of light and is used as a means of supplying a metal or stone printing matrix such as PhotoLithography or the Woodbury process
3d Those in which one gelatine print is obtained by means of light and itself that is the actual sheet of gelatine itself is used as a printing matrix such as in the Heliotype process
Photo-relief engraving: Includes all mechanical processes in which the picture is printed from a plate leaving the design in relief like a wood engraving and printable on an ordinary printing press with type (letters). It is often done in half tone, and is to be distinguished from photogravure.
Phototype: A relief plate made for printing by photoengraving or photoetching (using a negative of the artwork placed on a sensitized gelatin coated zinc plate). Also a picture printed from such a plate. Also designating the same process as Collotype.
Phototypie: A French term for the Collotype process. Also known as Phototype, Albertype, Photoprint, Heliotype or Lichdruck in Germany.
Photoxylography:A wood engraving in which the original image was not drawn on the surface of the wood block but transformed there from a photographic negative (this required to photo-sensitize the surface of the wood block). [Example from Moderne Kunst in Meister-Holzschnitte by R. Bong, date 1890s]
Photozincography: is the term applied to the process of transferring the drawing enlarged or reduced to the zinc plate by photography.
Phytoglyphy of Phytography: Another term for Natural Printing, i.e. printing of natural objects like leaves, flowers, fabric patterns etc.
Plain Prints: Plain
prints are impressions on linen paper. They have all the marks
letters of India prints, and are printed with equal care. The
however, renders them of less value than the India impressions,
the quality of the latter paper enhances the beauty while it
the cost of the proof.
Planographic Printing: The planographic processes (planus, plane, graphein, to write, to grave), finally, use printing surfaces that are, essentially at least, flat. The designs produced upon these surfaces accept the printing ink, whereas those parts which are to show white in the printed picture refuse it under the conditions utilized in the printing process. The production of the designs involves chemical action, and the printing process depends upon physical properties. It stands to reason that, if such a surface is inked under the proper conditions, and a piece of paper or other suitable material is pressed against it, the result will be an impression. The materials used as printing surfaces in the older planographic processes are stone (lithography}, or metal, commonly zinc (zincography). To these materials the photo-mechanical processes have added glutinous substances (collographicprocesses).
Plate(s): Copper plates, steel plates, etc. from which impressions on paper ae made.
Plate (Paper): Is a
very choice grade of paper, now usually supersized
and highly calandered, suitable for printing from engraved
the most delicate lines freely, and takes the impression of
readily. Thus the term "plate" can refer to both a piece of
also to a piece of paper with an impression made from a metal
Plate mark: Is an impression or indentation (see the image below) in the paper from a copper or steel plate that can be recognized at a short distance from the image and that indicates the boundaries of the sheet of metal plate from which the image was printed.
Polyantography: The original term used for Lithograph when patented in Great Britain in 1800.
multiplication of copies of manuscripts by any duplicating
by a mimeograph.
Potassium Bichromate: Sensitizer used in collotype. When gelatine containing bichromate is exposed to light, it becomes insoluble in water and in this way images may be obtained in insoluble gelatine.
Presses and Printing:
The hand-presses on which wood-engravings are printed are
presses, that is to say, the pressure on the block is exercised
flat platten. The hand-presses for intaglio plates are roller
so called because the plate to be printed passes between
lithographic hand-presses are scaper presses, the pressure on
or plate being exercised by a flat piece of wood which is
while the stone passes under it. In planographic steampresses
pressure is produced by cylinders, as in the steampresses used
printing type or relief blocks; but in addition to the inking
apparatus, they are provided with a moistening apparatus, as the
or plate must be kept moist to prevent the ink from taking on
not drawn upon. At the hand-press, the moistening is attended to
Print: Anything printed on paper from an engraved plate, woodblock or lithographic stone; a proof; a printed picture or design as in 'antique print'; an impression with ink from type, plates, etc.
Print, Types of: The following is a print from Bilder-Atlas by Brockhaus, 1870, depicting various types of prints:
Fig. 1. Lithographic method - chalk; 2. Lithographic method - quill pen; 3. Wood engraving - contour; 4. Wood engraving - detailed; 5-6. Copperplate engraving; 7. Mezzotint; 8. Etching.
See half-tone block.
Process Print/Engraving: The general term applied to printing surfaces produced by chemical and mechanical means; more especially the photo-mechanical processes by which zinc etchings, halftones, etc., are produced. The relief etching, or process block, is the simplest and cheapest method of making an engraving. By this process the metal, usually zinc, is eaten away with acid in the white places of the design, the printing lines and dots being protected by a composition which resists the action of the acid. The design may be drawn on by hand or transferred from another surface, but the more common method is by photographic process, as follows: The thin, polished zinc or copper plate, coated with a solution of fish glue or albumen mixed with a bichromate, is exposed to light under a reversed photographic negative of the picture or design, which changes the nature of the coating where the light hits it. The plate is then washed with water, which removes the unchanged part of the coating, leaving the lines of the picture in hardened glue or albumen. It is then etched with the acid, and after the large blank spaces are cut out a little deeper, the plate is trimmed and mounted type high.
Zinc etching is the
process of engraving commonly used for newspapers and for the
grades of periodical and commercial work. The copy for
usually drawn with a pen on white paper or card, with
ink, and all the degrees of light and shade must be produced
and lines of varying widths and distances apart. Photographs,
wash-drawings, and fine-grained or tinted pictures must have
essential parts translated into distinct lines in order to be
by this method. Halftone engraving is done practically by the
methods as zinc etching, the difference being that, in
screen is interposed between the sensitive plate in the camera
picture or design. This screen is placed near the plate, and,
passing through it, the object on the negative is broken up
into a mass
of small squares, or dots which are larger or smaller as the
corresponding parts of the copy are darker or lighter. This
negative is then placed beside a polished and sensitized
(sometimes zinc) plate, and after exposure to light, the plate
developed and manipulated so as to protect the dots on its
the action of the acid with which it is afterward etched. The
then trimmed and mounted, as for a zinc plate.The halftone
varies in fineness from 80 to 250 lines to an inch, according
coarseness or fineness of the plate required, this being
the finish of the paper to be used and the care with which it
printed. The coarse screen is best suited for the rapid work
cheaper paper of a daily newspaper, while a screen of 125 to
on smooth, coated papers, printed on slow presses, gives finer
in the picture. The finer the screen used, the shallower the
be etched, and smooth paper and fine ink must be used in order
it clearly without blurring.
After types are set their correctness must be verified before
ready to be printed. For this purpose a trial impression is
order that the composition may be examined and needed
This trial impression is the printer's proof, and the time and
care given to it is a matter of very great importance in
printing room. By any of the usual methods employed in taking
the first operation, after the type is secured so that it will
squarely on its feet, is to roll ink on its face; then a sheet
is laid on and impressed so as to take a transfer of the ink.
impression may be made:
First — By
pounding the paper carefully on the type with a flat-faced,
felt-covered block called a proof planer.
Second — By placing the type on a roller proof press, where the impression is made by moving over it a heavy iron roller covered with thick cloth or felt.
Third — By placing the type on a handpress. Here the type is inked, the sheet laid on, then the tympan turned down, the bed run under the platen, and the bar pulled over. To " pull a proof " is to take it by this latter method, but the term is commonly meant to take a proof by any method.
In many cases a number of successive proofs may be taken from the same page of type during its preparation for the final printing; and in book-printing houses these several proofs may be taken at different stages by all three of the above methods. When the compositor finishes his work of setting the lines and they are locked in the galley by means of side-stick and quoins, the first proof is usually taken on a roller press. After this proof has been examined by the proof reader, and the necessary corrections made in the metal, another proof is taken. If there are many changes, or the work calls for extra care, other proofs may be required. A revise proof is one that is taken after correcting the type, to see that all corrections marked on the previous proof have been properly made and that no new errors have crept in. After the galley matter is corrected and made up into pages, with headings, page numbers, notes, etc., the pages are tied up with strong strings and are again proved on a hand-press. Possibly the pages may need several revisions and other proofs at this stage; or, if they are to be electrotyped, guard-lines are placed around each page and they are locked in foundry chases (in pairs, if they are pages of ordinary size) and foundry proofs are pulled. The final proofs are taken when the pages are imposed and locked in the chase, ready for the press. At this stage the form of eight, twelve, or more book pages is too large for the hand-press, and in order to avoid loss of time on the large printing press, while waiting for final revision, a proof is taken by beating with the proof planer.
A good quality of
moderately stiff ink should be used for taking proofs; to use
thin, or oily ink is not satisfactory and in the end is the
expensive. If the ink is to stay on the roller and ink slab
all day, a
quick-drying ink should be avoided. Use the smallest quantity
necessary to get a distinct impression, and distribute it
the ink-slab. If the roller has too much ink, a muddy proof
will be the
result. A gray proof is preferable to a smutted one, or one
proof reader cannot handle without rubbing it dirty. A proof
much ink or too much impression makes difficult the detection
letters. To take off any surplus ink that may have been needed
previous form, run the roller slowly over a sheet of waste
The paper used for proofs should not be of the poorest quality. Book paper with a reasonably smooth surface, slightly dampened, will suffice for office proofs and galley proofs. Hand-press proofs from made-up pages, intended for the author or customer, should be made on good paper of clear color and strong enough to bear handling. Coated paper is sometimes used for special proofs in which engravings or fine lines occur. Each proof sheet should have a white margin of an inch or more on the sides, to permit of marking corrections by the proof reader. A number of pages or galleys, or a succession of proofs of the same work, should be made on sheets of the same size and, if possible, of the same grade of stock. Proofs taken on odd scraps of paper of different sizes make trouble for the proof reader and the foreman, and cause confusion and liability to error in keeping track of the work. A supply of proof paper, cut in the several sizes frequently used, and kept in a convenient place, is the only satisfactory method of securing neat and orderly proofs.Compare Manual Print.
the first impression taken from an engraved plate are termed
being supposed that they undergo careful inspection by the
proofs). India proofs
are those taken upon India paper. Proofs before letters
are those taken before the work of the writing-engraver is
Proofs Before Letters: The proofs before letters are printed immediately
after the Artist's proofs.
They usually consist of 100 copies. They are never signed by
engraver, but have their names engraved on the right and left
corners of the plate respectively, in small' letters. They also
the publisher's mark and address on the bottom, in this way: T. W. Wood, pinxit. O. Klackner,
pub. F. Girtch, eng.
Pyrography: The act of
producing drawings on wood or leather by using heated tools or a
of engraving on wood and other substances by fire—that is, with
of metal more or less in the shape of pencils, and heated red.
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Rare: This word indicates, that it would be quite difficult to readily find another print like that in the same, usually excellent condition.
Rebiting: The act of restoring worn lines in an engraved plate by the action of acid, which is affected by again covering the surface with etching-ground, leaving the lines open.
A right-hand page of an open book or manuscript. Also the
front of a leaf
(opposed to verso ).
The simplest method of producing blocks printable in the
without engraving by hand is to etch the lines and dots
design into relief. Senefelder tried to practice reliefetching
he discovered lithography, and Blake produced his " Prophetic
etc., by the same process. It is hardly necessary to say that
it is the
older etching process reversed. In this the lines are bitten
plate, in relief-etching the metal around them is bitten away.
older processes of the kind under consideration the design was
the plate with an ink capable of resisting acid, in the later
drawn on paper and then transferred, as in autography. Gillot,
Paris, who took out a patent in 1850, was the first
successful operator, as he overcame the difficulties of
skilfully than his predecessors, laying, in fact, the
the methods of etching at present practiced in the
processes. He called his process paniconography (pan, all,
image, grapheiti, to grave), but it is more generally known as
gillotage. Various other names have been invented for
the, best of them being typographic etching, as the blocks
really etchings destined to be printed in the type press.
Relief-etching B: In
this class are grouped together a number of processes which
etching, but are more complicated than those under A. In some
methods the parts not to be attacked by the mordant are gilt
(chrysoglyphy, chrysos, gold, glyphein, to hollow out). For
an intaglio etching is executed on a metal plate in the usual
the bitten lines are filled with an easily fusible alloy. The
then etched a second time, with a mordant which attacks it,
not attack the alloy, and therefore leaves the lines standing
relief. In the Comte Process, a zinc plate is covered with a
gum arabic, mixed with zinc white and a yellow color (jaune
The design is executed with quill pens or ivory points, used
etching points, so that they lay bare the copper. The whole
now rolled up with ink, capable of resisting acid, and placed
in a dish
of water. The water dissolves the ground left on the plate,
and the ink
upon it floats off with it, while it remains on those parts
bared. In a number of processes which may be included in this
galvanic action is used instead of a mordant.
of photochemical engraving, by which plates (i.e. relief plates)
are produced with the lines or dots of the design raised or in
which can be used in printing like type (letters) , or with type
press. (also: That done from raised surfaces, like type, wood
zinc and halftone plates; in distinction from intaglio work,
copper and steel plates, or from lithography, which is chemical
printing from flat surfaces.)
Relievogravure: same as Relief process. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Relievogravure print from early 1900s.
Remark Proof: There are several grades of proofs, each of which has a special name and value. The Remark (from the French "Remarque") proof is the choicest and most valuable. The Remark is a special sketch or emblem engraved, at the engraver's fancy, upon the margin of the plate. Remarks are not always attached to engravings; usually only to the most costly and important plates. There are at times as many as 100 impressions taken of the Remark plate, but 50 is the customary limit. The Remark proofs are the first impressions taken.; They are printed with the utmost care, and develop all the value of the engraving, every copy which exhibits an imperfection, even in a line, being destroyed.
Rembrandt Gravure: A Rotogravure
process used by the Rembrandt Intaglio Printing Company.
Retroussage (in Etching process): Adding extra tones to a specific part of plate in order to create an artistic effect.
A photomechanical process by which pictures, typeset matter,
printed from an intaglio copper cylinder. It also denotes a
by this process. Rotogravure is a system of intaglio printing.
of transferring to paper fluid ink contained in the cells of the
cylinder, while the projecting nonprinting areas on the surface
cylinder are kept free of ink by constant wiping. The
the print at each point depends on the depth of the cell at that
and the quantity of ink it contains, rather than on the printing
as in the letterpress process. The screen no longer plays an
It is used to establish the partitions that separate all the
cells of the
honeycomb from each other and that form a surface of uniform
the cells are all of different depths, so that the ink is taken
up on the
engraved surface in an exactly defined quantity. The screen also
the wiping mechanism from penetrating the cells of the cylinder
the ink. For this reason, line drawings and even the text type
screened, as well as the photographic illustrations. Also
called Machine printed photogravure. Classic
photogravure process is a matter of tedious printing in a very
slow manner from gelatin-coated plates, which are at best only
capable of about eight hundred prints. Rotogravure means
printing from metal at the rate of 3,500 an hour or more.
important thing about a rotogravure print is the fact that where
darkest, as in shadows, the ink is actually thicker. In its
high lights it will often have no ink at all. And this is
is a thing which is not true of printing from half-tones or Bey
line-plates or of lithography or any other usual printing method
is capable of showing the intermediate tones between pure white
Rotogravure dot pattern, magnified and an exaggerated profile of a rotogravure print:
Rotogravure in Color: The half-tone patterns which can be seen by magnification are in reality squares of colored inks on the paper to the number of one hundred and fifty lines to the inch. These squares are of the same area but of varying heights on the paper, the pyramids of ink in the shadows giving that velvety appearance impossible in relief-plate half-tones.
effect produced resembles that of soft-ground etching. An
etchingground is laid on a metal plate, and while it is
still tacky it
is powdered with sand or other suitable material, so that it
the surface without sinking into the ground. Upon the plate
prepared is spread the drawing to be reproduced, and its
lines are gone
over with hard styles, so as to crush the particles of sand
ground. The plate is then etched. Invented by J. H.
Tischbein, Jr., and
described by him in a pamphlet published in 1790. An
by the inventor himself, is the substitution of powdered
tartaric acid for the sand. The mordant dissolves this
powder, and the
biting proceeds more easily and uniformly.
Scauper: A tool having a semicircular face, used by engravers to clear away the spaces between the lines of an engraving.
Sepia: A brown pigment. Also a drawing made with this pigment. Used in water colors, in monochrome drawing, in printing facsimiles of pen-and-ink sketches and in proofs of engravings.
Serigraphy: (screen printing): A stencil technique of printmaking in which an image is created on a silk screen or other fine mesh.
Engraving: This process was introduced for
identity in the reproduction of bank notes, and as a means of
indefinitely the product from a steel plate, when once engraved.
effected by hardening and tempering the original engraved steel
and then pressing into the lines of the engraving the surface of
steel cylinder, by means of rolling pressure from a hydraulic
cylinder, so embossed, in its turn was hardened and tempered,
and its embossed
face rolled over and indented into the surface of a soft steel
Locket adapted this system to the impressing of designs on
for the use of the calico printer.
Silver prints: The heliographic process in which silver salts are the sensitive elements, although an invention of a later day than the Herschel-type, is the oldest process of this kind adopted by architects and engineersfor copying drawings.
Soiling: Refers to an area of a print that shows general light smudges caused by frequent manipulation with the print, or a slightly yellowed area caused by age. This differs from foxing in that it is light and uniform in appearance, effects only a small area around the margins (foxing represents dark brown individual spots of various sizes, scattered randomly over the entire print).
Stannotype: is a variation upon Woodbury type. It is an attempt to do away with the need of the hydraulic press for the making of the mould. A film of bichromated gelatin is exposed to the action of light under a positive instead of a negative and the unaffected parts washed away, by which means a mould is obtained corresponding exactly to that obtained in metal by pressure from a film exposed to light under a negative. This mould was covered by a coating of tin foil to give it the necessary metal surface, and good results were obtained from it, but for some reason it has never come much into use.
prints are of different states if they were made from a plate
altered (e.g., adding more lines onto an etching plate) after
the the creation
of an earlier impression and before a later one. The
of impressions is called the first state; the next the second
An electro upon the surface of which a thin film of steel has
deposited. Besides durability of face, it withstands the
action of certain colored inks, which cause trouble with
electros. Steel facing is resorted to where large numbers are
printed from photogravure plates. The first film is deposited
electric battery over the whole of the plate, which it hardens
protects. This steel face in time begins to wear, through
pressure and rubbing incidental to the process of printing,
copper begins to show through it; when this happens the plate
in an acid bath and the steel film disappears; the plate
intact, may be restored for further work. A later improvement
value is the nickel steel electro. This is a deposit of nickel
instead of copper, directly on a wax or lead mould, giving a
duplicate of the original than is obtained by the former
adds a film of nickel to the copper duplicate. See Electrotype.
Steelfacing and Electrotyping. Before the introduction of
by electricity, plates engraved on soft metal, like copper, gave
few good impressions. By the process named the face of the plate
protected by an infinitesimal coating of steel, and, with care
part of the printer, and occasional renewal of the steelfacing,
almost unlimited number of good impressions can be printed from
same plate. By electricity, moreover, electrotypes can be made
intaglio plates, which, unless special obstacles interfere,
nothing from the original plates, and therefore give equally
The blocks used in the stenochromic processes (stenos, narrow,
chroma, color), may also be said to consist of a softish mass,
their purpose is the printing of many colors at one impression.
printing block is a mosaic of masses of dry, or nearly dry,
cut to the shape of the spot of color which they are to
fitted closely together. This block, whenever an impression is
taken, is moistened with a fluid which softens the colors, so
bibulous sheet pressed against it can absorb them. As only flat
can be produced in this way, the picture is finished by
from one or two lithographic stones. Senefelder invented a
process (mosaic printing), and J. Liepmann practiced and
another in the year 1842.
Stereotype: A mode of printing copies of book pages, images etc. It consists of making a metal cast of a page (composed of individual letters), wood engraving etc. by means of a plaster mold. A printing plate of metal, cast from a matrix held in a mould while melted stereotype metal is poured in. The matrix for a stereotype is made by taking an impression of the type page, form, engraving, or other surface, on a specially prepared thick paper. This special paper, called a flong, is made by pasting together several sheets of strong, tissue and thick) blotter-like paper with a prepared pastej This sheet, while in a soft, pulpy state, is laid on the form, covered with a thick felt blanket, and the whole put into a strong press, heated by steam or hot air, and allowed to set and dry. A matrix may also be made by beating the flong on the form with a strong, flat brush. When the matrix is thoroughly dry it is trimmed and placed in the casting box. Stereotypes to be used on rotary presses are cast in curved shape, to fit the cylinder upon which they are to be clamped; so that the casting box must conform to the curve of the cylinder. Stereotypes are now chiefly used by daily newspapers. They are not so well adapted as electrotypes for book printing and general commercial work; the coarse quality of the stereo matrix and the soft metal do not compare with the fine wax moulding and tough copper face of electrotypes; but the short time in which stereotypes can be made, and their cheapness, make them well adapted for newspaper work.
Stopping Ground: A mixture used in Etching, made of lamp-black and Venetian turpentine.
Stopping-out: A method used in Etching process to create heavier and lighter lines.
(Picture below) Stipple engraving is closely related to the
(it imitates chalk drawings). The exact date of its invention is
but it is reasonably certain that it came after the crayon
first step in stipple engraving was to etch in the outlines of
with fine dots made either with needles or with a roulette, a
with points. The tonal areas were then gradually developed with
dots made with the curved stipple graver. For very fine tonal
roulettes were also used.
Surface Tone (in Etching
An artistic effect of creating pale and attracting bloom in the
print by not wiping the surface off the plate completely clean
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Talbotype: see Calotype.
Tint-tool: A species of graver, having its point of different degrees of width, to cut lines in copper or wood of certain bredaths.
Tintype: A positive photograph produced by means of a nitrocellulose (collodion) solution applied to a thin enamelled black iron plate immediately prior to exposure.
A first impression taken from an engraved plate, and submitted
to the artist
for correction and improvement. By the aid of white and black
alters it and improves it.
Upon the autographic process is based the process of
which is to lithography and zincography what electrotyping is
wood-engraving. From a drawing made on stone or zinc an
taken on a piece of prepared paper (transfer paper), in a
(transfer ink), and this is transferred to another stone or
as described under Autography." There is, of course, no limit
number of transfers that can be made, and therefore the number
impressions to be gotten from a single lithographic drawing is
practically unlimited. The best transfers, however, result
well-defined work, whereas those from fine crayon drawings are
unsatisfactory. Impressions from wood-cuts, line-engravings,
also be transferred, and can thus be transformed into
Transparency: A picture painted on glass or thin canvass to be viewed by the natural or artificial light shining through it.
Typography, or letter-press printing, is the method of printing
movable types having letters and other characters cast in high
The types are independent of each other, but so made that they
arranged in endless combinations, and after being once used for
line or page may be separated and re-assembled to print other
other pages. Other methods require the engraving or preparation
subject by slow processes which, when once made upon the
surface, cannot readily be used for anything else.
Typogravure: (Illustration below from 1890s-early1900s) This is the name given by Boussod, Valadon & Co., successors to Goupil & Co., of Paris, to half-tone pictures printed from copper relief plates, which are apparently etched, either by means of bitumen, chromatized albumen, or some other similar sensitive coating. The surface of the metal is grained substantially in the same manner as plates prepared under Meisenbach negatives. These plates are much used in Paris by the illustrated papers. Also called a Half-tone process, Half-tone engraving or Relief halftone. Color typogravures began appearing in the 1890. They were printed from three separate half-tone blocks. The process showed at its best on shiny paper. Typogravures replaced earlier chromotypographs.
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of Proofs: The
value of a proof is regulated by the cost of engraving a plate
the number of proofs issued. It can be readily understood that
engravings from a plate which cost $5,000, and of which only 100
were taken, cannot be sold at the price of a plate which cost
If the edition from the $5,000 plate is unlimited, however,
of the $2,500 is restricted to 100, the latter may be more
not because of its quality, but its rarity. Quality and quantity
go hand in hand and are dependent upon one another. The size of
has little to do in regulating the price of proofs. An engraver
in the case of the "Madonna di San Sisto," on which Mandel
than ten years, devote a good part of a lifetime to a plate,
four times the size may be completed in a year. The quality of a
which is dependent on the time devoted to it, is the first test
To insure choice impressions it is always desirable to obtain the first grade, be it Remark or Artist's proof. The rapid sale of Artist proofs in this country and Europe exhausts the limited number printed in a very short time. The entire edition is frequently sold immediately after publication. Publishers in most cases reserve the right to advance the price, so that in numerous instances early purchasers can obtain a handsome advance on the first cost very shortly after purchasing. "L'Angelus," by Millet, published at $187, has advanced to $350, and is difficult to purchase nt that price; "The Jersey.''painted by Douglas, and published at $30, has risen as high as $175; Artist proofs of the engraving of ''Far Away," after J. G. Brown, by F. Girsch, recently published at $30, has already risen to $65; "Inspiration," by S. J. Ferris, has reached $75 from $30, and "The Vesper Hour," a fine etching by King, scarcely three months old, has advanced from $30 to $45. Another example is in the beautiful etchings by A. F. Bellows, "The Inlet" and "The Millstream," which were published at $18 and now bring $45.
Such examples could be multiplied to apply to hundreds of engravings. They will, however, serve to show that while the best and most perfect impressions are the most expensive, they are worth their cost, for one may enjoy their use for years while they are all the time earning interest on themselves. [The values referred to are from 1884].
Photogravure: A Rotogravure process
used by the Vandyck Gravure Company of New York.
Vandyke Process: The process was patented in this country in 1880 and was known as the Hagotype. The principle of the process is that weak hydrochloric acid will soften bichromatized albumen or gelatin that has been hardened by the action of light. It is utilized in this way: A print is obtained on zinc in the usual manner by sensitizing with bichromatized albumen, exposing under a negative or positive inking and developing so as to leave on the zinc only the albumen hardened by light action, together with its coating of ink. The plate is dried and then rolled up with a thin coating of a good quality of etching ink and warmed slightly so that the ink will attach itself to the bared zinc. The plate is then laid in a weak hydrochloric acid bath for a few minutes or until the acid has had time to soak through the ink coating and attack the albumen remaining on the plate. The plate is then developed by gently rubbing under water with cotton wool, when a reversed image will appear on the zinc.
Vellum: A kind of paper made from the skins of calves, of finer quality than parchment. In the trade genuine vellum is called classic vellum, to distinguish it from imitation or paper vellum, which is made from high-class rags that have been specially treated. Used for bindings and for fine special editions and documents.
Paper or cardboard made with a surface that looks and feels like
vellum; the smooth, natural surface of a finely prepared
left-hand page of an open book or manuscript (opposed to
the back of a leaf page.
Walling Wax: A composition of wax and wallow, used by etchers and engravers to make a bank or wall round the edge of plate, and so form a trough, into which the acid is poured over the lines incised through the etching ground, and which bites in the lines as it lies upon the surface.
Waterless printing: An offset lithographic printing process that eliminates the water or dampening system used in conventional printing.
Wavy or Slightly Wavy: Refers to a print that is not completely flat and exhibits a certain degree of waviness (The picture below was taken at an acute angle to show such a condition).
Wax Engraving: A common method for making printing plates for maps, charts, diagrams, and other classes of work. It is less expensive than other methods of engraving, and may be done quickly. A polished plate of copper or brass is covered with a thin film of specially prepared wax, and upon this the design may be made either by photography, hand drawing, or other transfer method. The engraving of the wax surface is done by sharp-pointed tools, a ruling machine, or, in the case of lettering, ordinary types are pressed in the warm wax, one letter or one word at a time. In this manner the wax-covered plate becomes a mould, the blank spaces are "built up" in the same way as an electrotype wax mould, and it is then put in a copper bath and a copper shell deposited on its face. A printing plate is made by the same general procedure as with an ordinary electrotype.
pigments are ground with wax and diluted with oil or turpentine,
mastic is sometimes added, and oil of lavender or spike. In
the wax color were burnt into the ground by means of a hot iron
cauterium), or pan of hot coal, being held near the picture. The
of burning-in constitutes the whole difference between encaustic
ordinary method of painting with wax colors.
A metal plate is covered with a wax ground, and the design is
it with suitable instruments, down to the plate, but without
it. The wax ground may be so prepared that the design can be
photographed on it. The spaces between the lines are built up
necessary, generally with wax, — a very delicate operation
great skill, — and an electrotype is made, which can be printed
the type press. Very good work has been done by these processes,
they are still largely used, more especially for maps, diagrams,
machine drawings, etc.
White Line Wood Engraving: One of the 19th Century artistic trends in the wood engraving process in which the image (picture) was composed from clearly defined white lines. As a result these prints have the appearance of moonlit scenes, with solid black background and the foreground details in white.
Woodbury type or
The Woodburytype or Photoglyph was invented by W. B. Woodbury.
of bichromatized gelatin is exposed under a negative ; it is
washed to remove the unchanged gelatin that was protected from
light by the negative, and finally dried. This relief film is
placed upon a sheet of lead and forced into it by hydraulic
thus producing an intaglio mould. This mould is placed in a
press and flowed with a solution of warm gelatin colored with
A sheet of paper is then laid upon it, and the excess of
gelatin is forced out by pressure. The paper print is hardened
solution of alum. The result is a gelatin pigment picture. A
glass is sometimes substituted for the paper, and
lantern slides of great beauty are obtained. The Stannotype is a
modification in which tin foil, properly backed by
electrotyping or otherwise, is substituted for the lead plate.
or Photo diaphanic
process consists in attaching the gelatin relief to a plate of
and using it to produce, by pressure, transparencies in white
which resemble water marks. Below is a Woodbury photograph
print of a
steel angraving of the Rialto Bridge at Venice, Italy by
Same as Wood Engraving, except that the lines are not
"engraved out" of
a wood block, but are rather "carved out", creating less
Woodcuts have been carved out on the plank side of the wood,
across the grain.
Wood Engraving (end of 19th C.):The old wood-cutter worked with knives on planks, the modern wood-engraver works with gravers and similar tools on wood cut across the grain (see No. 6). The old black-line wood-cuts are essentially facsimiles of drawings. With the introduction of modern wood-engraving the white line came into use, it being, as before stated, the natural result of the graver when used for the production of relief blocks. Furthermore, the white line led to the development of tint engraving. While, therefore, the old wood-cutter had only one resource, the black line, the modern woodengraver has three, the black line, the white line, and tints in infinite variety. It was the development of tint engraving which enabled the modern wood-engraver to suggest the effects of painting. See also under Engraving.
A wood engraving in which the artist/engraver through their
create an impression that looks more like a free hand drawing,
a typical wood engraving. This method was widely used in the
to illustrate magazines. The master of this technique was Thomas
Paper made on a mould in which the wires are woven together like
threads of ordinary cloth, and which does not show distinct wire
as on laid paper. Most paper is now made on this kind of a
especially paper used in printing, as the wire marks of laid
liable to show in printing solid or flat surfaces. See Laid Paper.
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century Greek term applied to wood engraving, and derived from zylos,
wood and grapho,
to engrave. Properly wood engraving, but also applied in this
to engravings made by the geometric lathe. First used on labels
perfumery and on bank checks and drafts. Later it was through
and steel engraving applied to our national currency. Also used
combination, as, chromo-xylography and trichromaticxylography,
reference to color productions engraved on separate wood
Zinc Etching: Zinc
etching is the process of engraving commonly used for newspapers
and for the ordinary grades of periodical and commercial work.
The copy for reproduction is usually drawn with a pen on white
paper or card, with a perfectly black ink, and all the degrees
of light and shade must be produced by dots and lines of varying
widths and distances apart. Photographs, wash drawings, and
fine-grained or tinted pictures must have their essential parts
translated into distinct lines and spots in order to be engraved
by this method.
The cheaper, coarse screen halftones, such as are used by
are etched on zinc instead of copper, the latter being used for
Zincography or Zincotype or commercially called Zinco: In Zincography the zinc plate is about one-eighth of an inch thick, and is either polished or grained, the picture is laid down on it, with lithographic ink from transfer paper. An acid-resisting ink is then fixed on the parts of the plate which are to be protected, and the plate is then subject to the first biting in a bath of dilute nitric acid, which is kept rocking so as to prevent particles of nitrate of zinc being deposited on the edges of the bitten parts. After a quarter of an hour the lines must be still further protected. The plate is sponged, dried, and heated until the ink runs and spreads over the lines. After cooling, powdered resin is dusted over the surface, and the biting continued in acid baths of increasing strength, when finally the plate is dried, and the greasy ink is removed by benzine—a finer process.
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