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History of Technology
Waterlow's Autographic Press (1850)

Thanks to Steve Roberts for this advertisement for Waterlow's lithographic presses, which appeared in 1852 (in Dickens' "Bleak House") and was repeated for many years. The patent was granted on January 6, 1850.

WATERLOW'S
PATENT IMPROVED AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS,
OR PORTABLE
PRINTING MACHINE,

FOR THE COUNTING-HOUSE, OFFICE, OR LIBRARY, BY MEANS OF WHICH EVERY PERSON MAY BECOME HIS OWN PRINTER.

The process is simple, and thousands of copies may be produced from any writing, drawing, or piece of music, or design (previously made on paper), and the requisite number of copies being finished, the subject may be effaced and another substituted.

Many hundreds of these Presses have now been sold, and are being successfully used by Railway and Public Companies, Bankers, Merchants, Amateurs, &c, &c.; also in Public and Private Schools, for the production of lessons in Music, Drawing, &c., &c.

The Press may be seen at work at the Patentees, and specimens of its production will be forwarded free, upon application.

PRICES.       On Mahogany Stand.
To Print a Subject 11 - 9 £7- 7-0 £9-9-0
To Print a Subject 16½ - 10½ £8-8-0 £10-10-0
To Print a Subject  18 - 13½ £9-9-0 £12-12-0

PATENT AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS FOR TRAVELLERS,

WHICH FROM ITS COMPACT FORM IS RECOMMENDED FOR USE ON VOYAGES AND FOREIGN MISSIONS.

To Print a Subject 11 - 9 Price complete £9-9-0.

Waterlow portable autographic press for travellers

PATENTEES WATERLOW & SONS, MANUFACTURING STATIONERS, &c.
65 to 68, LONDON WALL, LONDON.

For Notices of the Press, see other side.

THE
PATENT AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS,

(HAND POWER),
ADAPTED FOR EXPORTATION TO THE COLONIES, OCCUPYING LITTLE SPACE AND VERY PORTABLE.

The attention of MERCHANTS and SHIPPERS is particularly called to the importance of this invention, for the Colonies and Foreign Countries: and when it is considered that in many places no printer is to be found, and that in some countries, especially in the East, the complication of the numerous Oriental characters renders it necessary for all documents to be multiplied by the tedious process of transcribing, the peculiar advantages of the Autographic Press become manifest.

PRICES.      
To Print a Subject 14 - 9 £4-4-0
To Print a Subject 16 - 10 £5-5-0
To Print a Subject  18 - 13 £6-6-0

PATENTEES—WATERLOW AND SONS, LONDON.

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

From the City Article of The TIMES.

A very useful invention has been patented by Messrs. WATERLOW & SONS, which will be productive of great convenience to Banking Establishments and other concerns requiring to send out circulars with despatch. It is called the Autographic Press, and a letter written on prepared paper with which it is furnished, can be transferred by a short process to a metallic plate, from which any number of copies may afterwards be taken on common paper and by ordinary pressure. In the colonies and other places where facilities for such operations are now scarce, and in all cases where the documents to be copied are of a confidential nature, it is likely to prove particularly valuable.

MORNING CHRONICLE.

AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS. An invention has been patented which is likely to prove of great utility to public companies and men of business generally. It will become a great desideratum to merchants in the colonies, and will be found very useful at the chief offices of banks, in suspending the necessity for copying any number of circulars which it may be necessary to send to the Branches from time to time. We understand it has received the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Albert, and it is the invention of Messrs. WATERLOW and SONS, London Wall, by whom it has been patented.

WESTMINSTER REVIEW.

THE AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS, OR PORTABLE PRINTING MACHINE. Under this name the Messrs. WATERLOW, of London wall have patented a very simple but effective apparatus, the merits of which cannot fail to be duly appreciated as soon as they are known. The subject to be printed is transferred from paper to the surface of a highly-polished metallic plate, and being charged with ink in the usual manner, the paper on which it is to be printed is placed upon it, and the tympan being laid down, a wooden scraper with a sharp edge is passed over it by the hand, when a perfect impression is at once obtained. All this may be done even upon the drawing-room table; and the whole of the apparatus, when not in use, is enclosed in a neat French-polished box, which may be carried beneath the arm. The utility of such a simple application of the lithographic principle must be obvious to mercantile men and others, who require a number of copies of their correspondence.

The name of Autographic Press may perhaps induce the idea that this is some cumbrous machine similar to that used in lithographic printing. Such, however, is not the case, for no press, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, is used at all, the impression, as we have before mentioned, being produced by hand. The requisite number of copies having been obtained, the design is effaced from the plate, which is then ready to receive another.

ATLAS.

BANKERS' AND MERCHANTS' CIRCULARS.  An invention has been submitted to us, which is likely to prove of great utility to public companies and men of business generally. It consists of a press and materials, by means of which any person may, from a document previously written on paper, produce any required number of copies. Circulars, letters, prospectuses, &c., can be produced by this invention with the greatest facility; and any number of designs, music, plans, &c., may be expeditiously printed in the same manner. The apparatus is extremely simple, and is all contained in a box of small size, perfectly portable. It will become a great desideratum to merchants in the colonies, and will be found very useful at the chief offices of banks, in suspending the necessity for copying any number of circulars which it may be necessary to send to the Branches from time to time. We understand it has received the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Albert, and it is the invention of Messrs. WATERLOW and SONS, London Wall, by whom it has been patented.

ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS.

WATERLOW'S AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS. Amongst the most practically useful inventions which have recently come under our notice, whether we regard it in reference to the commercial world, or as an instrument in the hands of a private gentleman The Autographic Press, patented by WATERLOW and SONS, is entitled to foremost mention. By this apparatus, any person may with facility print any number of letters, circulars, pen and ink sketches, musical notations, or other matters in which duplicate copies are wanted; the whole machinery being compassed in a neat box not larger than a lady's writing-case. The mode in which the transfer is effected may be briefly described. For instance: a letter is written on prepared paper, and then transferred to a polished metallic plate by means of hand-power, assisted by a scraper. The paper is then washed off the plate with water, when the writing remains on the plate, and is charged with ink from a roller somewhat similar to the ordinary printing roller. Paper is now laid on the plate, and upon the application of pressure, in the manner before described, the impression is derived, and the process may be repeated sixty or seventy times in the hour, the plate being subjected to the ink roller for each impression. When sufficient copies are cast off, the plate is cleaned, and ready for a fresh operation. The specimens we have seen are equal to lithography.

BANKERS' MAGAZINE.

AUTOGRAPHIC PRESS. An invention of great utility. Bankers' Circulars may be printed from it with the greatest facility. It will become very useful at the chief offices of banks, in suspending the necessity for copying any number of circulars which it may be necessary to send to the branches from time to time. It has received the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Albert, to whom it has been submitted by the Patentees, Messrs. WATERLOW and SONS, London Wall.

SAUNDERS'S DUBLIN NEWS LETTER.

During the course of the week we have had exhibited to us a novel but highly useful machine, called the Autographic Press, invented and patented by WATERLOW and SONS, of London. The object of the inventors is to enable merchants, bankers, clerks, &c., to take an ad infinitum number of copies of their circulars, letters, documents, &c. It entirely supersedes the old mode of copying by the ordinary press, and far outstrips the manifold system. In fact, it is a complete lithographic press, put up in a neat portable box, and can be purchased at a moderate price. To the commercial community it must prove a great desideratum.

BOMBAY GAZETTE.

We see that a very useful invention has been patented by Messrs. WATERLOW and SONS, of London, which with be productive of great convenience to banking establishments, and other concerns requiring to send out circulars with despatch. It is called the Autographic Press, and a letter written on prepared paper, with which it is furnished, can be transferred, by a short process, to a metallic plate, from which any number of copies may afterwards be taken on common paper, and by ordinary pressure. In the Colonies, and other places where facilities for such operations are now scarce, and in all cases where the documents to be copied are of a confidential nature, this invention is represented as being likely to prove particularly valuable.

RAILWAY RECORD.

GENERAL ORDERS TO STATION CLERKS. Messrs. WATERLOW and SONS, London Wall, have recently patented an invention which is likely to prove of great utility to all public Companies. A press and material are put together in a neat box, in such a way that any person may, with the greatest facility, reproduce from MS. any number of copies that may be required. It is called the Autographic Press is very neat, and perfectly portable. Railway Companies would find it exceedingly convenient in issuing orders to their Stations; and it would in point of expense very soon repay its moderate cost.

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Last revised: 8 May, 2009

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