The New International Encyclopædia/Nature Printing

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NATURE PRINTING. A process by which engravings or plates are produced by taking direct impressions of the objects themselves, and printing from them. The process was invented in 1849 by Alois Auer, director of the State printing establishment of the Austrian Empire, and, though very simple, it cannot be applied to any objects except those with tolerably flat surfaces, such as dried and pressed plants, embroidery and lace, and a very few animal productions. The object is placed between a plate of steel and another of lead, both of which are smooth, and polished. They are then drawn through a pair of rollers under considerable pressure, and when the plates are separated it is found that a most beautiful and perfect impression of the object has been made in the leaden plate. This may be used directly as an engraved plate, if only a very few impressions are wanted; but it is too soft to resist the action of the presses for practical purposes; a facsimile to be used as the printing plate is made in copper by the electrotype process. The inventor published a description of his work in 1854 at Vienna, in which is given a detailed account of the method.