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  #1  
Old 10-31-2021, 06:42 AM
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Default If You're Interested in Lithographic Printing You Should Read This

Edward Hett invented a state of the art multi color press in 1899 that he sold to American Lithograph for $300,000.

[IMG][/IMG]

Here's the patent on it among many things his design provided accuracy in the registry of each color layer.
https://patentimages.storage.googlea...e/US637603.pdf

He had over 50 patents for the parts and pieces of the press

https://books.google.com/books?id=qV...0press&f=false

Last edited by Pat R; 10-31-2021 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Changed Title
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2021, 09:29 AM
jggames jggames is offline
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Default roller picture

Says Hett 1899 at the top...this one has an earlier patent number, but cool to imagine those faces on the roller as players.

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  #3  
Old 10-31-2021, 10:54 AM
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Great little article about the beginnings of our beloved cards.
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Old 10-31-2021, 05:50 PM
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Posting this for future reference in case the link disappears.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

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Old 10-31-2021, 06:25 PM
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And here is the lower numbered patent just in case



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Old 10-31-2021, 06:30 PM
FrankWakefield FrankWakefield is offline
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Cylinders... not plates.
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Old 11-01-2021, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWakefield View Post
Cylinders... not plates.
I'm not sure what your implying Frank.
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Old 11-01-2021, 12:03 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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In more modern presses the plates were thin enough to wrap around a cylinder.
That cylinder has grippers and adjusters to move and tension the plate.

It looks like this is a system using a tube as a plate, I'll have to look it up to see if it was coated after casting or if they just applied the design straight onto the zinc. It would probably be set up by laying out transfers just as a stone would be.

It also sounds similar to the press Brett Litho had.
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Old 11-01-2021, 12:08 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Overall, this is pretty amazing news.

I've suspected a two color press being used for at least some T206s for a few years now. Many color missing cards are missing two colors, and where there are registration issues the colors are often well registered in pairs.

It's certainly not all of every press run, but that ALC did actually have a license for a multi color press makes one being used far more certain.

The closest I came in the past to even so much as modern style plates was ALC suing a couple guys from Britain for selling them a process for photographically produced plates that was apparently totally useless if not fake altogether.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2021, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
In more modern presses the plates were thin enough to wrap around a cylinder.
That cylinder has grippers and adjusters to move and tension the plate.

It looks like this is a system using a tube as a plate, I'll have to look it up to see if it was coated after casting or if they just applied the design straight onto the zinc. It would probably be set up by laying out transfers just as a stone would be.

It also sounds similar to the press Brett Litho had.
This is way over my head Steve this is mentioned in the patent but I'm not sure if it's for what you're referring to.

Edited to add I could be wrong but the way I read it American Lithograph bought the patent so they may have been the only ones using this type of press for years later.

Last edited by Pat R; 11-01-2021 at 12:18 PM. Reason: added info
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2021, 05:07 PM
FrankWakefield FrankWakefield is offline
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American Lithograph could have bought that to use it, or to deny it to competitors.

Lithography to me means printing from a stone. Smooth, polished flat surface. Wax, fat or oil is placed where they wanted the stone to remain, and then an acid on all of it eats away the unwaxed surface, then it's all cleaned. What's left is a stone plate. I am unsure of the timing, but I think in the late 1800s they got away from stones and started using metal plates.

That sheet that depicts rollers, with faces across the middle one, has the word 'transfer' in the caption. Transfer rollers could have been getting their ink from a stone, or a metal plate.

Old school lithography is a work of beauty, it's art. Until lithography came along, anyone with art on their walls would have had original art. Currier and Ives is a name some of us recognize. That's because they got art, lithographic art, into the homes of their subscribers and patrons. They could print that horse drawn sleigh hauling a happy family across a snow covered bridge and lane and through the woods on their way to grandmother's house. All of these little cards we collect were, and ARE, works of art.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2021, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWakefield View Post
American Lithograph could have bought that to use it, or to deny it to competitors.

Lithography to me means printing from a stone. Smooth, polished flat surface. Wax, fat or oil is placed where they wanted the stone to remain, and then an acid on all of it eats away the unwaxed surface, then it's all cleaned. What's left is a stone plate. I am unsure of the timing, but I think in the late 1800s they got away from stones and started using metal plates.

That sheet that depicts rollers, with faces across the middle one, has the word 'transfer' in the caption. Transfer rollers could have been getting their ink from a stone, or a metal plate.

Old school lithography is a work of beauty, it's art. Until lithography came along, anyone with art on their walls would have had original art. Currier and Ives is a name some of us recognize. That's because they got art, lithographic art, into the homes of their subscribers and patrons. They could print that horse drawn sleigh hauling a happy family across a snow covered bridge and lane and through the woods on their way to grandmother's house. All of these little cards we collect were, and ARE, works of art.
I think there is very little doubt it was both, American Lithograph was by far the largest lithographic company at the time and they were buying out their competitors every chance they had.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:14 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankWakefield View Post
American Lithograph could have bought that to use it, or to deny it to competitors.

Lithography to me means printing from a stone. Smooth, polished flat surface. Wax, fat or oil is placed where they wanted the stone to remain, and then an acid on all of it eats away the unwaxed surface, then it's all cleaned. What's left is a stone plate. I am unsure of the timing, but I think in the late 1800s they got away from stones and started using metal plates.

That sheet that depicts rollers, with faces across the middle one, has the word 'transfer' in the caption. Transfer rollers could have been getting their ink from a stone, or a metal plate.

Old school lithography is a work of beauty, it's art. Until lithography came along, anyone with art on their walls would have had original art. Currier and Ives is a name some of us recognize. That's because they got art, lithographic art, into the homes of their subscribers and patrons. They could print that horse drawn sleigh hauling a happy family across a snow covered bridge and lane and through the woods on their way to grandmother's house. All of these little cards we collect were, and ARE, works of art.
That was the original form it took, sometimes called direct lithography. Stone gets wet and inked and the paper contacts the stone directly.

There are/were some proofing presses that still do that, as well as a few places that print art.

Later flatbed presses were offset lithography, where the stone was inked, and transferred the image onto a rubber roller that transferred the image to the paper.

The stones for that needed non-reversed images.

And the way they were laid out was interesting. a smaller stone had the master image, and it was wet and inked with a very thick tarlike ink. That was printed onto basically tissue paper, making a transfer. Similar to the early 60's Topps iron on transfers.

Those transfers were applied to the stone, and then the thin paper was removed using some solvent. Once they were all down, the etching process went on as usual.

"Modern" presses were also offset, but the plates were thin aluminum coated with a limestone like surface. That had a thin wax layer that was light sensitive so they could be exposed using a photographic negative, than developed, in the etching process.

There are newer versions that computer generate the plates on the press. I've read a bit about them, but haven't seen one in person.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2021, 10:46 AM
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It's interesting that the Americans were using rollers to make their tobacco cards, such as the T206s. In Canada, stone lithography was used to make the first hockey cards. Below is a picture of the C56 cards - the first hockey set issued here in Canada:



And do you guys want to know something crazy? One of the actual stones that was used to manufacture these cards was discovered here recently! Here it is:



I don't think anyone knows the name of the company that was hired by Imperial Tobacco Ltd. to make these cards, but they were also doing things for other companies as well.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:50 AM
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This patent and the press Brett was apparently using fall in between the 1875 rotary offset presses that used cardboard as the offset mat, and Rubels 1901 press.

https://www.aptpressdirect.com/blog/...printing-press

This press is using a solid roller as the plate, and arranging multiple watering/inking systems around a fairly large central cylinder that the paper travels on. Each inking station has it's own "plate" and prints a different color. Very similar to a non- lithographic press Hoe made back in the mid 1800's

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_printing_press

As a practical arrangement, making adjustments etc to more than 2-3 inking stations would be a challenge, and those adjustments in inking and watering are usually made while the press is running. Which would make more than 2-3 stations more than a bit dangerous.

Newer multi color presses are pretty much just multiple regular presses built on the same frame so the paper goes into each one sequentially. Even then the operator sometimes has to reach between two somewhat closely spaced running presses to adjust things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhPgr6nIgJ0&t=3s

These setups can be something like 10 colors.
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  #16  
Old 11-03-2021, 10:52 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
It's interesting that the Americans were using rollers to make their tobacco cards, such as the T206s. In Canada, stone lithography was used to make the first hockey cards. Below is a picture of the C56 cards - the first hockey set issued here in Canada:



And do you guys want to know something crazy? One of the actual stones that was used to manufacture these cards was discovered here recently! Here it is:



I don't think anyone knows the name of the company that was hired by Imperial Tobacco Ltd. to make these cards, but they were also doing things for other companies as well.
That would be one of the masters that they would print the transfers from.
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2021, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
That would be one of the masters that they would print the transfers from.
Steve - with this press isn't the ability to print the t206's on a pretty large sheet there.

If it is wouldn't it be possible to combine 4 large master stones and print one big sheet with it?

For instance because piedmont was their biggest brand couldn't they print them on a larger sheet like all 4 of these plate scratch sheets and then print sheet 1b for the SC150/649's on a smaller press.

[IMG][/IMG]
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2021, 01:20 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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That's pretty close.
For the hockey card, they obviously made single transfers to lay out the plate. And that sheet may have been fairly small.

The T220 silver uncut panels make me think those were done using a larger transfer. Given that the alignment marks are only seen in a couple spots out of all the edge pieces, they either used larger transfers, or erased most of the alignment marks.

The T206 proofs if I remember them right all have alignment marks on each card.

But a large master and a large transfer could have been made

The press in the patent seems to only do single sheets, but with multiples on the impression cylinder all at once.

The Brett press may have been web fed, since the requirement for materials for the silks was X yards of 24" wide fabric.

That opens up a whole new batch of possibilities, like a "sheet" that was a more or less continuous strip of cards, as the plate could have wrapped almost completely around the roller. (some stamps were done on rotary presses that used two plates and the only gap was a pair of lines 180 degrees apart, or one every so many stamps. )

Rotary presses were/are also so much faster that a very large plate might not have been needed.
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