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Thread: What were they using to reproduce artwork in the old days?

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    What were they using to reproduce artwork in the old days?

    I've been going off on a bit of tangent reading lately about the older days of publishing, printing, illustration etc. Some of the tools and equipment they used back then are quite fascinating to read about. One thing I haven't been able to find much information on, though, is some of the methods of reproduction for artwork like posters and stuff. Maybe I'm using the wrong search terms.

    Anyway, the most obvious way I can think of is simply photography. Were cameras advanced enough for that kind of thing in say the 70s or something? I'd appreciate any links you guys might have. Thanks.
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    You mean in the 1970s zx? 'Cause back then cameras were pretty primitive...you had to make them yourself out of bark and stuff. And frankly, most folks were more concerned with how big the flare was on their jeans and if that would interfer with their ability to flee from sabretooths.

    Edit: Maybe this well help, or at least be fun: Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.

    Actually didn't have much on photography. Art has been reproduced for centuries mainly via etching, woodcut and stone lithography. Photo-reproduction (outside of just printing the photo ) has been around for maybe 150 years? Others I imagine know more on that than myself.

    BTW...you're gong to make Elwell weep for the future again.
    Last edited by JeffX99; March 25th, 2012 at 07:42 PM.
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    I'm guessing that I shouldn't bring up that I was one of the the guys that had to paint all those tiny little CMYK dots by hand before the sep camera was invented at the turn of the next century?
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    What were they using to reproduce artwork in the old days?

    Taken in 1865 and the uncompressed version is 87mb. Suck it digital.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Edit: Maybe this well help, or at least be fun: Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.
    The Museum of We Think No One Uses Pencils Or Reads Classic Textbooks?

    BTW...you're gong to make Elwell weep for the future again.
    Word.
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    Photography has been around for over 150 years, but began to see use in printed reproduction only much later.

    The earliest reproduction method, as old and older as book printing, was engraving.

    In many cases, color was added to etchings by hand.

    In later half of 19th century, color reproductions were made with chromolithography.

    Modern type of offset printing was in use by 1930s.

    And yes, cameras were quite advanced in 1970s.
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    I probably should have worded that as pre-computers rather than old as in hundreds of years ago. I didn't meant to imply those cameras and stuff were relics of times long forgotten. I can vaguely recall lying in bed last night thinking my thread was going to make a few people groan. Those photos are very impressive. They look better than what I've seen some low end digital cameras produce. I don't know whether that's just because of the camera or post-production stuff? Thanks for humouring me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx52hg View Post
    I can vaguely recall lying in bed last night thinking my thread was going to make a few people groan. Thanks for humouring me.
    Nah - all fun - I mean, I got to talk about 70s fashion and sabretooths in the same sentence - that's a win!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Nah - all fun - I mean, I got to talk about 70s fashion and sabretooths in the same sentence - that's a win!
    Gives a new meaning to Stayin' Alive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    BTW...you're gong to make Elwell weep for the future again.
    Yes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halftone
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoengraving
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_p...color_printing
    Last edited by Elwell; March 26th, 2012 at 06:42 AM.

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    In the Victorian era reproductions of popular artworks were made often by other artists copying the original as an etching. These were then mass printed and sold to the public. I believe one of the most reproduced images at the time was 'Light of the World' by Holman Hunt, the original which toured drawing huge crowds.
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