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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

Inventions, Processes, and Wrinkles

page 74

Inventions, Processes, and Wrinkles.

New Use for Paper.—

A firm at Dresden are successfully manufacturing tool-handles and shafts from compressed paper chemically prepared. The articles are very hard and firm, and have the additional advantage of being non-conductors of heat. Another German firm is making pulleys of pasteboards pressed by hydraulic power, having an iron core and strong casing. They are supposed to take up less room, generate more friction, and are waterproof.

Oxalic Acid in Lithography.—

From time to time the use of oxalic acid to polish stones is highly recommended as a new and valuable discovery. The American Lithographer and Printer, replying to an inquirer on this subject, says: « Polishing the stone with oxalic acid for engraving is obsolete. It was resorted to in former times to print cards on glazed cardboard. Polishing by means of oxalic acid gives the stone a high gloss; and this perfect smoothness and gloss preserve the glaze of the cardboard. »

Waterproof Label Ink.—

It has long been known that a solution of bichlorate of sodium, or « borax, » possesses the property of dissolving or softening various resins which are unaffected by plain water and by a great majority of saline solutions. As a basis for a permanent label ink, unaffected by water or moderately strong acids, there is nothing equal to a half-saturated solution of ordinary borax, duly charged with as much orange shellac as it will take up on boiling for twenty minutes. Similarly a most useful water-varnish for photography and drawings may be prepared, only substituting bleached shellac for the colored variety.

The Sand-Blast in Lithography.—

Mr. J. L. Mills, of Messrs Keep & Co., London, has turned the principle of the sand-blast to account in an instrument bearing some resemblance to the now well-known air-brush. Emery powder of any degree of fineness is used, and is applied by means of compressed air. The process is not available for the highest class of work; but for street-posters in colors, &c, it is admirably adapted, and the work can be produced in one-tenth the time occupied by the ordinary method. The design having been lightly traced on the stone, which is covered with a smooth black surface of bitumen, the artist turns on his air, and works from black to white, drawing and shading the picture in one operation, and with astonishing ease and rapidity.—The invention is applicable to the production of steel-plates, the laying-in of grounds for mezzo-tint engravers, and numerous other operations, which will readily occur to the practical workman.

Artificial Lithographic Stone.—

An important German invention is thus described in the Photographic News: The plates employed by Messrs Wezel & Naumann, of Leipzig, are prepared as follows: Lithographic stone is partly dissolved and partly reduced to a pulp by digestion in hydrochloric and sulphuric acids. To this pulp is added a mixture of solution of asphaltum and resin and a small quantity of oil. By this means a mixture of fatty or resinous salts of lime and sulphate of lime is formed. After evaporating the excess of acid a dilute solution of soda is added, and warm zinc plates are covered with a fine spray of the mixture. The plate thus coated with a film of artificial litho-stone, is afterwards treated in the same way as an ordinary lithographic stone, except that in place of nitric or hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid mixed with dilute gum arabic is employed. Plates thus prepared have yielded as many as six thousand impressions, and the process is used to the almost entire exclusion of other processes by Messrs Wezel & Naumann, who have over thirty steam-presses doing various kinds of lithographic work.

A New Printing Machine.—

A new American job machine—the Eckerson—has attracted a good deal of attention in London. It does for ordinary jobs what the great modern machines have done for newspapers—enables them to be printed from the web. While built on entirely new principles, it is remarkable how far there has been a return to the original idea of the printing-press. The platen is flat and stationary, and by a vertical movement of the type-bed the impression is obtained. There are two inking-tables, one on each side of the form, which the rollers, five in number, use alternately, so that they only cross the type once for each impression, which facilitates the speed. When once the machine is started everything works automatically, down to the cutting and counting. There are single and double machines, the latter enabling two to be printed simultaneously, or two colors if desired. They are compact and solid, and work very steadily. With no noise or confusion, from 3,000 to 6,000 impressions per hour can be run off, as compared with about 1,000 from the ordinary cylinder machine.

Valuable Safety Attachment to Guillotine Machines.—

Mr Upcott Gill, publisher, and proprietor of the Bazaar, has invented an attachment for guillotines, not the least important feature of which is that it insures perfect safety to the operator, and thereby enables a higher rate of speed to be obtained than ever before. A sixty-four-page pamphlet, trimmed two sides, can be turned out at the rate of nearly 8,000 an hour. A machine, worked by one man, could trim ordinary newspapers—one cut, at the rate of nearly 50,000 an hour; two cuts, 30,000. Not only can the amount to be trimmed off be readily and accurately adjusted; but the gauge may be automatically changed as required every second, third, or fourth cut. Thus the three cuts, head, tail, and fore-edge, may be taken for each single pile, without the slightest loss of time at the machine, and with an economy and amount of convenience in all other respects which every practical man will appreciate.—The invention is intended for edge-trimming alone; but Mr Gill has invented an equally important attachment for sheet-cutting, in the shape of an improved cutting-bar, by means of which the last sheet is always cut as clean and true as the top one, without any underpacking.

Preservation of Drawings on Litho-Stones.—

Herr Fred. Sandtner, Copenhagen, has published an important article in the Œster-Ungar Buchdrucker-Zeitung, in which he describes a process by which originals may he reproduced after a lapse of years. In the first place, a good negative is required; to obtain which, an impression with solid black ink is made on good transfer-paper, and at once transferred upon a white gelatine surface. The gelatine sheet is mounted on a drawing-board, and with a broad and soft brush carefully covered with a solution of aniline brown or black, which must not be streaky; when dry, a second coat must be given, or the aniline may be poured on the transfer, making an even layer of color. It is necessary that the solution be clear and transparent, and absorb the light. When it is dry, wash off the printing-ink with a few drops of turpentine, and a small tuft of clean cotton. The transfer may now be taken from the board and should show a beautiful negative, perfect in its minutest detail. It may be preserved for any length of time between the leaves of a book, but will keep better if varnished on both sides with white turpentine varnish to which a little siccative has been added. When an impression is required from the negative, it is obtained by photo-lithography. The results are so good, that the inventor suggests that type-composition be preserved in the same way. All that is required is to take a sharp impression on transfer-paper, transfer it to gelatine, and prepare the negative. In this way, the photo-lithographer, with a very limited supply of type, might set an extensive work, print it cheaply it in a litho-press—and keep the whole thing standing.