• FA-112418 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
Typesetting and Printing
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1910 - 1919

Three-colour Half-tone Printing Printing plates

around 1910


Printed photographs

At the end of the 19th century, George Meisenbach develops half-tone printing, a procedure enabling the print of photographs in the press. 

In around 1880, Georg Meisenbach, a copperplate engraver from Nuremberg, develops the half-tone printing procedure. For this purpose, a photographic image is exposed on a zinc plate coated in asphalt. In areas with a high incidence of light, the asphalt hardens, in other areas it can be washed off. The washed off areas are etched deeper into the plate and an embossed template remains. In order to also depict shades of grey, a glass plate with a very fine grid is positioned between the photo negative and the zinc plate. The lighter an area is on the negative, the more light finds its way in-between the respective grid fields, causing larger and correspondingly denser points on the light-sensitive layer. After the deeper etching, the plate offers a print image on which the black dots – depending on their density – appear in various shades of grey.

Inv.Nr. 13888/1
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