From what you say, here, it looks as if it may
be possible to equate Woodburytype, which uses
a liquid pigmented gelatine , pressed into a mould, and
confuse it with Photopolymer Gravure, which makes the print with etching
ink being rolled by an etching press from a plate such as Toyoba onto
the support paper. The two processes seem to be widely different. Woodburytype
appears to be more similar in its results and appearance to Carbon
Transfer. The process is vastly different.
Did you mean that Gerard may have been trying to
press liquid pigmented gelatine from the Photopolymer plate onto the
support paper, or what ?
Then, would you classify Carbon Transfer as a photomechanical process
? Apparently, Woodburytype was used mainly for mass
commercial reproduction publications.
I am contacting Gerard Aniere, who I know personally,
to check whether what you surmise has any substance. I could never imagine
that Metro would have invested in something like a
Woodburytype press which pressed the gelatine pigment into a lead
mould which then squashes/ transfers the gelatine
pigment from the mould to a paper support.
The enormous pressure from the press was in
the forming of the mould and not in the transfering of the gelatine
pigment to the paper.
From the 1890 encyclopaedia
'' A photomechanical process of extreme beauty
standing appart from all other photo-mechanical processes, from the fact that
it is the only one which faithfully reproduces the half-tones of the
picture. Notwithstanding the fact that many unscrupulous persons have laid
claim to the invention of this process, it is undoubtedly the
outcome of the inventive genius of the late W.B.Woodbury, and to which he gave
his name. No one, on reading the description of this process and its apparent
simplicity, could imagine the ammmount of time or labour spent on its perfection
by the inventor, who has been rightly termed
'' The Caxton of Photography''.
The Woodburytype, although much worked in this and
other countries, is most confined to a few firms, owing, probably, to the
considerable expense required in the purchase of the necessary plant. For
this reason Woodbury devised a simple process, very similar, which he called the
Stannotype, but owing to the usual mismanagement of a limited company formed to
work it, it did not meet with the success it deserved.''
STANNOTYPE ( Latin. stannum - tin and
English - type )
This process may be termed a simplified
Woodbury process. On reference to a description of the latter , it will be
found that one of the principal requirements is a costly hydrolic press, with
which to form the printing mould by pressing the gelatine relief into the lead
The object of the STANNOTYPE process was to do away with this costly machinery,
and bring the process within the reach of all. A careful consideration of
the principles involved in the Woodbury process will show that if a gelatine
relief were produced from a positive instead of a negative, this relief would
serve as the printing mould in the same manner as the impressed lead, were it
not for one serious drawback, and that is, that being of gelatine it would be
destroyed when it received the necessary wetting.
drawback was overcome by Woodbury after a long course of labourious experiments
by a most simple expedient. It was simply by protecting the relief by a
sheet of tinfoil, pressed well into contact with it.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 3:45
Subject: Re: The Woodburytype and Stannotype
>I believe it was the Gerard Aniere who was working
with the Woodbury. He
> worked with William Ingram at Metro in London.
Metro was a big graphics
> firm and set up a shop in the basement for
mostly platinum printing. If
> I remember he was using photopolymer
plates as a both a matrix and
> printing plate. His results were
intriguing but I think he had gone as
> far as the material would take
Barret Oliver's book may offer some way of making the Woodbury process even
more available than Stannotype was.
John - Photographist - London -