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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Invention, Processes, and Wrinkles

page 128

Invention, Processes, and Wrinkles.


July exchanges report that an apparatus invented by M. Cassagnes, a civil engineer, had just been successfully tried in the French Chamber of Deputies. By the new system, which is named « Sténo-telégraphie, » reports of speeches, just as they come from the desk, of the reporter, may be transmitted to any distance, at a rate hitherto unattainable. In one hour 25,000 stenographed words were transmitted by the instrument to Brussels, 18,000 to Lyons, and 15,000 to Marseilles. The apparatus is equally available for longhand, transmitting at the rate of 100 to 120 words per minute, while for stenographic despatches its capacity is from 180 to 200.

To Stereotype Zinc Etchings.—

For this work a very wet mould, free from creases, is recommended. Those who use readymade flong should let it lie twenty minutes in cold water, carefully dry between blotting-paper, and then beat in. Those who prepare their own matrices will mix the matrix-powder or chalk with cold water to the consistency of milk, and spread thickly on the paper, beating continually but lightly with a soft brush. All zinc-etchings must be thoroughly washed with paraffin before stereotyping, and also woodcuts which are to be stereotyped. Old woodcuts and etchings which are covered with hard dried ink must be laid down in paraffin for at least half-an-hour, otherwise the stereotype will not be a success.

Old Rollers for Copying-Ink.—

Pointers writes:—A customer complained a few days ago that a new set of rollers we sent him were no good because they would not print a job in copying-ink. If he had known that copying-ink can be successfully worked only with rollers too old and hard for anything else, he would not have spoiled his job and mined his new rollers by trying to use them in such ink. New rollers never will work copying-ink, nor will any other rollers which are good for anything else. On a copying-ink job put the oldest rollers in the office, after washing them clean and sponging off with water thoroughly, and the ink will work satisfactorily. To wash off copying-ink, use only water—benzine, turpentine, &c., will only set it and make it stick the faster.

Plastic High Stereo Matrices from Paper are thus produced in Germany:—

Kempe's matrix-powder is mixed in the proportion of 2℔ powder to 3 quarts of cold water to a liquid of the consistency of milk. A sheet of brown unsized wrapping-paper is saturated with this liquid, a sheet of copperplate paper laid on it, again saturated with liquid, a sheet of good tissue-paper, then a sheet of copperplate paper, and finally seven sheets of tissue-paper, one after the other. The tissue-paper should not be soaked too much with the paste; it is sufficient if the different sheets adhere to each other. The form is thoroughly cleansed with benzine or kerosine, and if the chases are also cleaned, does not require oiling. The matrix is then laid on the form and beaten slowly and gently in with as soft a brush as possible. The beating-in will require at least half-an-hour. The white gleam which penetrates through the brown paper will enable one to judge of the depth of the matrix, so that the usual lifting of the latter is unnecessary. The matrix is then stopped out with little bits of card, stuck on singly with magnesia or matrix-powder; a separate sheet of brown paper, well coated with paste, is now laid on, and beaten in cautiously and patiently till the white shines through. Then the matrix is covered with blotting-paper and blanket as usual, and placed in the drying-press. After ten minutes the blotting-paper and blanket are replaced by fresh layers, and in another ten or fifteen minutes the matrix will be dry and can be prepared for casting. In any case let the matrix remain in the drying-press ten minutes after the form has been removed, in order to steam thoroughly dry. After the casting-paper has been pasted on and dried, the matrix is carefully dusted over with talc or black-lead, and all superfluous material tapped off. After putting the matrix into a very hot oven and closing the latter, wait at least ten minutes before casting, so that the matrix may acquire the same temperature as the oven. The cast should be made in the coolest possible condition of the metal; after the first casting the matrix should only show a very slight yellow tinge. The separation of the matrix also requires patience, for so deep a mould will not allow of being lifted like a loose sheet of paper. Keep on knocking with a key or knife against the projecting edges of the cast all round it, and do this until the matrix springs up of itself. This has to be waited for rather a long time, but patience will be rewarded—the work is sure to be good. When the matrix is taken off, it is talced or blackleaded again, and the casting can be continued as required. We possess matrices which have stood ten faultless castings of depth and sharpness equal to plaster, and are still uninjured. People who are not deterred by the tedious work will be delighted with the deep sharp castings—even the chase is visible—so that the depth just reaches pica.

Figure Logotypes.—

The last number of Caslon's Circular
0 1
1 1
2 1
3 1
4 1
5 1
6 1
7 1
8 1
9 1
contains an ingenious novelty in logotypes, so simple and so useful that one wonders that it was not thought of before. It is intended for catalogue and registration work, where consecutive numbers are used, and consists of eleven pieces, each containing ten figures, as represented in the margin. No. 1 contains unit figures 0 to 9, No. 2 is 1, ten times repeated, and so on to No. 11, which contains ten ciphers. Not only is the risk of error reduced to a minimum when these types are used, but composition is much expedited, only a little more than one-tenth the number of separate pieces being required. To derive full advantage from the use of these figures, there should be no turnovers in the work necessitating blanks in the figure-column, and each page or column should end with the unit-figure 9.

Improved Plate Printing Press.—

An improved plate printing-press has been invented in the United States. The backing or blanket is secured without the aid of bolts or screws, and passes over the form by the motion of the press in operation, so that the blanket need be no longer than the length of the form, and by this means a saving in felt is secured. The press has also another blanket attachment which is secured to the roller without the aid of bolts or screws, and can be quickly adjusted. If any lost motion arises from constant working and causes the backing or blanket to stretch, this can be taken up without disturbing the roll. According to the American Stationer, this press can print a form either for plate or bank-note work, from one line to a full form 20+20in. by means of a double pair of adjustable dogs and stops, travelling on both edges of the bed, the operation being wholly regulated by the press workman. Should it be thought desirable to print from a bare roller, without backing or blanket, this press will do the work.

Sommer's Overlay Process.—

Carl Kempe, in Der Stereotypeur, describes the new process by which Mr Sommer, the overseer of Moser's Court Printing-office, Berlin, brings up his blocks for the machine. The making-ready is done on an overlay consisting of one thick and three thin sheets of post paper, united by a particular kind of thin paste, which is scarcely visible, and which permits the sheets to be fastened flat to one another, and also to be easily separated without tearing the under-sheet. This overlay is placed on the cylinder in the place corresponding to the illustration. If type and pictures are to be printed together, the picture must be kept a little lower than the type, in order to allow for the extra-stout overlay on the cylinder. The overlay having been fixed and the first pull taken, the places which come up too strong are bevelled out—cut out one can scarcely say, as the machine-minder just scratches a cut in the surface with a knife held obliquely, and then separates a thin layer of paper. All the pulls are made on bank-post paper, and the light places on the overlay laid open so far as required to secure clear impressions. When this is finished, the raising of the high places, that is to say, the working-up of the shadows, is proceeded with. This is done with a peculiar solution, painted with an artists' brush on all those places which are to appear prominently. The workman can lay on the coating as thickly or thinly as he pleases, as the solution dries very rapidly, and may be strengthened according to desire. If good printing-ink is used, the effect of an engraving thus brought-up is very striking. The coating has no sharp edges, it bevels or slopes away admirably at the sides, and permits the most delicate shades to be observed. The inventor did not reveal the composition of the solution. Hr. Kempe suggests that it may be (1) shellac dissolved in spirit; (2) gutta-percha dissolved in turpentine; or (3) glue mixed with chromic acid. The invention is very valuable, as, in addition to its advantages from an artistic point of view, it reduces by more than one-half the time of making-ready.