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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Moss, John Calvin

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MOSS, John Calvin, inventor, b. near Bentleysville, Pa., 5 Jan., 1838; d. in New York city, 8 April, 1892. He received a common-school education, and became a printer, publishing “The Colleaguer” in Washington, Pa. Meanwhile he became interested in photographic chemistry, and devoted considerable attention to the subject of photo-engraving. He experimented for many years, and finally, while in Philadelphia, obtained a relief plate from which printed impressions could be made. In 1863 he came to New York and continued his experiments in perfecting the process. Having interested various persons in the enterprise, he founded the Actinic engraving company in 1870, and became its superintendent. In 1872 he became the superintendent of the Photoengraving company, which office he held until 1880, when he established the Moss engraving company, of which he became president and superintendent. The present corporation owns the largest plant of its kind in the world, and its work is a substitute for wood-engraving, accomplished by chemical means. Mr. Moss was the first to make photo-engraving a practical business success, and while his methods have never been patented, he is known as the inventor of what is called the “Moss process,” “Moss new process,” and the “moss-type process.”