The lithographic process was invented by accident in Bavaria, Germany in 1796. Aloys Senefelder, and it was the first new printing process since the invention of gravure printing in the fifteenth century. In the early days of lithography, An artist uses a greasy ink or crayon to make a drawing on the surface of a polished piece of limestone (hence the name "lithography" from the Greek word for stone). After the oil-based image was put on the surface, acid burned the image onto the surface. Gum Arabic, a water soluble solution, was then applied, sticking only to the non-oily surface and sealing it. During printing, water adhered to the gum arabic surfaces and avoided the oily parts, while the oily ink used for printing did the opposite. Paper is finally applied to it in a planographic press to make a print.

Senefelder quickly realized the implications of a process he called "Chemical Printing." He also pioneered using materials like zinc instead of stone plates, and the use of transfer paper to take original designs from other mediums to plates.


Home | Contact | Location | Links | Antique Prints | Fine Art | Antique Maps | Omnium Gatherum | Specialty Sñervices