Engraving of a copperplate printing press

Engraving of a copperplate printing press

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Copperplate printing press. Copperplate was used largely for engravings rather than text, and was first used in about 1450. The image to be printed was engraved into a large plate of copper. This was then inked and rubbed, such that the ink remained only in the engraved depressions. The plate was then put into the press, paper laid on top, and the whole passed under a large pressure drum. The ink in the depressions would be transferred to the paper, forming the final image. The skill of the engraver was to produce various tones by cross-hatching, and to be able to engrave the desired image laterally reversed on the plate. This diagram is from the 19th Century.

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Keywords: 15th century printing press, copperplate, copperplate press, historical, history of technology, industry, press, printing

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