Decorative printer’s handbook

Savage, William, 1770-1843. Practical Hints on Decorative Printing, with Illustrations Engraved on Wood, and Printed in Colours at the Type Press. London: For the Proprietor, by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; T. Cadell; J. Booth; J. Major; R. Triphook; and R. Jennings, 1822.

This pioneering work in color printing covers Savage’s experiments with inks, types, and presses. He developed colored printing inks using resins and soaps that avoided the problems of earlier oil-based colors. The book illustrates his process of wood block printing using as many as twenty-nine different colors in one image. While the plates are not as attractive as the later works of George Baxter or Edmund Evans, it was Savage’s experiments that made their work possible. (Thanks to University of Delaware Library for this description).

Ruthven’s Printing Press (from the text):

In giving some account of different improvements in Printing Machines, it would not be an act of justice to Mr. John Ruthven, of Edinburgh, if I omitted mentioning his Press. It is of a different construction from any other that I am acquainted with—the table, on which the types, &c. are laid, is fixed; and the platen is brought over the form, of which it runs clear, by means of two springs, whose power gives way to the pull, and when that ceases they again raise the platen. This press possesses great power, and many valuable properties, of which I can speak with much certainty, as the whole of the decorations in this work were printed with it.

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