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Title: Printing from Engraved Copper Plates using the Rolling Press
Original Title: Imprimerie en taille-douce
Volume and Page: Plates vol. 7 (1769)
Author: Unknown
Translator: IML Donaldson [University of Edinburgh and Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, i.m.l.d@ed.ac.uk]
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.563
Citation (MLA): "Printing from Engraved Copper Plates using the Rolling Press." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by IML Donaldson. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.563>. Trans. of "Imprimerie en taille-douce," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 7 (plates). Paris, 1769.
Citation (Chicago): "Printing from Engraved Copper Plates using the Rolling Press." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by IML Donaldson. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0001.563 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Imprimerie en taille-douce," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 7 (plates) (Paris, 1769).

Containing Two Plates.

Plate I: Rolling Press Printing


The picture shows the interior of the print shop. This workshop, an ordinary room, is also called a printing works which seems simply to indicate the work that is carried out there.

Fig a. [at window, near the wall] Workman in the process of inking a plate with an ink-swab ( tampon ). The engraved plate is placed on a grill over a chafing-dish containing a fire.

b. [at window] Second workman wiping the plate so that ink remains only in the engraved lines. This operation is carried out on the wooden lid of the chest [1] to the left of the workman; the ink-block is to the right [at the right end of the bench] and the grill ]for heating the plate] is between it and the workman. The chest contains the stone and pestle for grinding the smoke black with oil to make the ink.

1. A [rolling] press of the old design in perspective. A B base; C D cheek; I K braces. L the screw that holds the cross-piece in the mortise of the cheek designed to hold it. In the newer design of [rolling] press there are two screws and two mortises as is seen in Fig. 6 and Fig. 6 No. 2 of the following plate.

2. Printer turning the lever or cross of the press to print the sheet of paper placed on top of the engraved plate and covered with blankets, by driving the whole assembly between the rollers.

3. Printer’s table holding a paper-board on which are put the pulls [printed sheets] as they are printed. The white [unprinted] sheets of paper are placed on a similar paper-board on the head of the press.

Lower part of plate

4. A larger view of the printer’s bench. E the ink-block resting at a slope on a wooden support; the swab ( tampon ) is visible which is used to work the ink into the engraved lines of the plate; the ink-block is on the workman’s right. G is the grill under which is the chafing-dish holding a gentle fire. T is the plate-wiping board [really the lid of a box]; this board is the lid of the box that holds the stone and pestle for preparing [2] the ink. The board is to the workman’s left.

5. The box described above shown open to show the stone and pestle it contains.

6. Chafing-dish which goes under the grill.

7. The grill seen in perspective from the workman’s viewpoint.

Plate II: Rolling Press Printing, Development of the Press


Fig. 5 Elevation of the [rolling] press seen from one end complete with the cross by which the upper roller is turned.

6. Profile view of a [rolling] press of the new design. The cheeks are wider than in the old type and, instead of the braced I K of fig.1 [previous plate] two columns g h are added which, with the columns G H of the old design, support the arms of the press O F. The bottom of the cheek C D ends in two tenons that fit into two mortises in the base A B; the crosspiece O P and the head H H of fig. 5 are fixed to each cheek by two screws L L and D [fig. 6].

7. Upper roller; one of its bearings ends in a square that fits into the cross [fig. 10].

8. Lower roller whose diameter is greater than that of the upper roller.

9. Elevation of the components which receive the bearings of the rollers, the packing pieces and the wedges that force them against the bottom of the openings in the cheeks.

10. The cross in plan. The centre is strengthened on each side by a square plate. The one wooden arm crosses over the other to make the assembly as strong as possible.

Translator's Notes

1. There is no chest or box in the upper picture of the plate other than the box (?) on which the workman is resting the plate. I assume this means that the table de bois qui recouvre le coffre is simply the lid of the box — though it is not ‘to the left of the workman’. Fig. 5 of the lower part of the plate shows the box or chest open, and the closed box marked T on the bench is presumably that referred to in the legend to Fig. b of the upper picture. The grill and the ink-block are clearly seen to the right of the closed box on the bench.

2. broyer This verb implies grinding but what is done is to ‘grind’ the smoke-black into the ‘varnish’ made from burnt oil to prepare the ink not a process of dry grinding of the powder.