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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures.

103.  Lithographic prints have occasionally been executed in colours.  In such instances a separate stone seems to have been required for each colour, and considerable care, or very good mechanism, must have been employed to adjust the paper to each stone.  If any two kinds of ink should be discovered mutually inadhesive, one stone might be employed for two inks; or if the inking-roller for the second and subsequent colours had portions cut away corresponding to those parts of the stone inked by the previous ones, then several colours might be printed from the same stone:  but these principles do not appear to promise much, except for coarse subjects.

104.  Register printing.  It is sometimes thought necessary to print from a wooden block, or stereotype plate, the same pattern reversed upon the opposite side of the paper.  The effect of this, which is technically called Register printing, is to make it appear as if the ink had penetrated through the paper, and rendered the pattern visible on the other side.  If the subject chosen contains many fine lines, it seems at first sight extremely difficult to effect so exact a super position of the two patterns, on opposite sides of the same piece of paper, that it shall be impossible to detect the slightest deviation; yet the process is extremely simple.  The block which gives the impression is always accurately brought down to the same place by means of a hinge; this spot is covered by a piece of thin leather stretched over it; the block is now inked, and being brought down to its place, gives an impression of the pattern to the leather:  it is then turned back; and being inked a second time, the paper intended to be printed is placed upon the leather, when the block again descending, the upper surface of the paper is printed from the block, and its undersurface takes up the impression from the leather.  It is evident that the perfection of this mode of printing depends in a great measure on finding some soft substance like leather, which will take as much ink as it ought from the block, and which will give it up most completely to paper.  Impressions thus obtained are usually fainter on the lower side; and in order in some measure to remedy this defect, rather more ink is put on the block at the first than at the second impression.

Of copying by casting

105.  The art of casting, by pouring substances in a fluid state into a mould which retains them until they become solid, is essentially an art of copying; the form of the thing produced depending entirely upon that of the pattern from which it was formed.

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