Anybody heard of the Woodburytype?

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Loose Gravel

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I have a mild interest in the Woodburytype, a continuous tone printing process used in the late 1800s. Has anybody done it or know anything about it? Has anybody been successful with it in the last 30 years? I find very little information on this process except historical references.

Thanks for the help.
 

Shesh

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I believe seeing some information regarding this in "The keepers of Light" by William Crawford. I don't own the book and have not read it throughly, so I can't say for sure.
 

sanking

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Woodburytype was a printing process that allowed one to make prints that were identical in composition to hand made carbon prints.

There has been some ocassional interest in the process over the past two decades but I do not believe there is anyone in the world currently making woodburytypes.

Sandy







garryl said:
The ultimate website no longer exist. But here are a few~~

Dead Link Removed

http://www2.uiah.fi/conferences/impact/thirkell/Thirkell.pdf

http://www.jacobsonphoto.com/collect.htm
 

Sean

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garryl said:
The ultimate website no longer exist.

Hi garryl, what is this "ultimate website" you are referring to? Try this link because it has most old discontinued sites fully cached! :smile:

http://www.waybackmachine.org/

Once you click the link just enter the website that no longer exists into the "WayBackMachine" field and click submit, I find so much on this system that used to exist, it can come in handy.
 

Pinultimate

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Woodburytype

Delighted to see that there is renewed interest in the Woodburytype.

This was the subject of my Masters dissertation way back in 1973 in Manchester!
 

Roger Hicks

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I have a mild interest in the Woodburytype, a continuous tone printing process used in the late 1800s. Has anybody done it or know anything about it? Has anybody been successful with it in the last 30 years? I find very little information on this process except historical references.

Thanks for the help.
For those who do not know (few who have read this far) a Woodburytype is an image made of pigmented cast gelatine. The basis was a lead mould made from a hardened (relief) negative; the gelatine was cast in this. It was a photomechanical reproduction process, and arguably the only one to produce true continuous tones.

It is gorgeous. A few years ago my wife and I were lucky enough to find volumes I and II of The Theatre, New Series, Wyman & Co. London, 1878/9, with numerous Woodburytype illustrations.

I'm told that the University of Arizona may have a Woodburytype press (the lead mould was made using an hydraulic press) but I have never verified this. Most Woodburytypes are small (the ones in The Theatre are about 9x11cm).

When I was discussing this some years ago with Dr. Dunstan Pereira he suggested casting the mould in silicone rubber, but I have to admit I've never tried it. (Nor had he: he invented the idea as we were talking -- as he said, "If you want an invention, ask a left-handed dyslexic').
 

bobherbst

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Woodburytype

Barret Oliver gave a presentation at APIS in Santa Fe last month on his research on this process over the last 5-7 years. He has just published a book, "The History of the Woodburytype". I believe copies are available through Bostick & Sullivan.
 

TheFlyingCamera

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Bob- I went checking on their website. If they're selling it, they've not got it up on the site yet. Call and ask.

Barret's presentation was interesting, and full of historical goodies. Woodburytypes were the original mechanical means of mass reproduction of photographic images. At their invention, they were the fastest way to mechanically reproduce images. By their decline, screen-based image reproduction had taken over, and whereas you could make perhaps 1000 Woodburytype prints in a week, you could do that many in an hour on a high-speed screen-based printing press. Also, because of the relief of the woodburytype printing plate, relatively high pressures were involved, which limited the size of the image that could be produced.
 

bobherbst

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His books were on the table at the back of the room at APIS. It's too soon for B&S's website to be updated if they are carrying them. Call and talk to Kevin/Melody/Dana/Mark or whoever answers the phone. They have an 800 number now.
 

sanking

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F

I'm told that the University of Arizona may have a Woodburytype press (the lead mould was made using an hydraulic press) but I have never verified this. Most Woodburytypes are small (the ones in The Theatre are about 9x11cm).


There is a collotype press at the U. of Arizona, donated by Black Ball I believe, but to the best of my knowledge they do not have a Woodburytype press.

Sandy King
 

Ole

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Let's see...

4.8 kg/sqmm - that's about 11 tonnes on a 9x12cm plate. Pretty heavy, but not unfeasible.

A 6-tonne hudraulic jack, a 6.5x9cm camera, and a tanning developer?
 

z-man

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making a press

Let's see...

4.8 kg/sqmm - that's about 11 tonnes on a 9x12cm plate. Pretty heavy, but not unfeasible.

A 6-tonne hudraulic jack, a 6.5x9cm camera, and a tanning developer?

bingo-

multi ton hydraulic jacks are easily and cheaply bought in any auto parts store here in the states-no such animal at the time

the use of lead in the original process was because it was easily and cheaply acquired -the suggestion of a silicone molding compound as a susitute is a good one -that way you dont need the multi ton pressure at all -

the casting of the image on the support would most easily be done with a contemporary photopolymer-the time need for the original process was mostly for the gelatine to set up --they did not have the release agents we hhave now and lost a lot of the output to nonseparation

what if you tanned a purpose coated emulsion on a high strength support so that the resulting high relief could then directly form a self curing poylmer with more strength and more easily cast than gelatine?--easy and cheap to do today

if you look at a old process and find out what the intended out put was --you may find that the condcept is most easily manifested by not using the materials that were used just because they were the best available at the time-maybe not what was really wanted-just what was available-we have much more choice now


vaya con dios
 

TheFlyingCamera

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z-man - you may well be right about modern materials, but it was interesting to note that Barrett made a very clear point about how attempts to substitute other materials in the Woodburytype process yielded almost exclusively disastrous failures. I do not have the book to give you any more specific details as to what alternatives he tried, or what he considered to be a disastrous failure. I'd suggest getting your hands on a copy of the book, and contact him to ask in greater detail.
 

z-man

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25+ yrs ago there was no internet

z-man - you may well be right about modern materials, but it was interesting to note that Barrett made a very clear point about how attempts to substitute other materials in the Woodburytype process yielded almost exclusively disastrous failures. I do not have the book to give you any more specific details as to what alternatives he tried, or what he considered to be a disastrous failure. I'd suggest getting your hands on a copy of the book, and contact him to ask in greater detail.

last direct knowledge of process dates from approx 1982-have you ever seen one- i have

lead plate was forced via screw press like old apple/wine press onto specialy hardened and taned emulsion-some stripped emulsion onto metal plate first-some used paper for support and backed with metal

pressure of press for making actual image not as high-real problem was the pigment-gelatine mix for image-could use an etching press

i believe that the actual production press for the patented process was a rotary machine and the plates had to curved but i may be mixing it up with something else

the toxic fumes out gassed by all the press ink and wash up over the years may have been stirred up by all this discussion

thanx for the memories

vaya con dios
 

obscura1111

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A History of the Woodburytype

Barret Oliver gave a presentation at APIS in Santa Fe last month on his research on this process over the last 5-7 years. He has just published a book, "The History of the Woodburytype". I believe copies are available through Bostick & Sullivan.

Is this the same Barret Oliver who was once an actor?
 
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