Even the few knowledgeable writers on this subject have fallen into the rather tedious habit of handing out a lot of preliminary guff about bees and pollen. One could almost go so far as to say that many a growing lad (or lassie - Ed.) has had his (or her - Ed.) enthusiasm nipped brusquely in the bud by such evasive tactics. I propose to dispense with both bees and pollen - and, indeed, any other red herrings - and get right down to bedrock.

The Purpose Of Mechanical Reproduction

The primary aim is to speed up reproduction so that everybody who wants one can have one. It is erroneous to assume that a reproduction must of necessity be a facsimile of something: modern photo-eugenical reproduction sets out to improve upon the originals.

Print From The Yellow Plate

Print From The Yellow Plate.

Print from the RED plate.

Print from the RED plate.

Print from the BLUE plate.

Print from the BLUE plate.

The final print in full colour.

The final print in full colour.

How It Is Done

Thoroughly to analyse the various Reproductive Processes is beyond the scope of a purely introductory article of this kind; I will therefore concentrate on broad principles rather than sordid detail.

Briefly, the procedure is as follows: either (1) the original is photographed down on to a suitable printing surface and etched into relief or intaglio, or (2) the original is photographed down on to a suitable printing surface and not etched into relief or intaglio.

For example, this book was produced by a special application of the latter principle called Photo-Lithography after a man named Alois Senefelder, who wrote down his greasy washing list on a piece of limestone. Apart from the fact that washing lists are now usually written on the backs of envelopes the process used to-day is very similar.

The Reproduction Of Coloured Originals

Despite my remarks anent similitude there is one branch of reproduction in which a certain resemblance to the original is almost a social duty. I refer, of course, to colour reproduction. If the originals are, for instance, a sort of yellowish-pink, and the reproduction turns out to be a strong chocolate-brown, there is bound to be a lot of local disillusionment and tittle-tattle. For the purpose of reproduction the primary colours are regarded as being Red, Yellow, Blue and Black - not Red, White, and Blue, as is commonly supposed. (N.B. - Printers are the only section of the community to call black a colour.) The colours are usually printed one at a time and compound colours are made by putting the different colours on top of, or very close to, each other - in the same manner as when cheating at Patience.

One way in which this might happen is shown on page 76 (Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4), whilst the series of coloured Continuous Sequence Photographs entitled "Hot Feat" (see Appendix "A") is a good example of the heights to which Photo-Mechanical Colour Reproduction can rise when in the hands of an expert.


Although there is no actual Registrar of Inks and Colours (yet! - Ed.), registration is essential. Reproduction without registration has been frowned on for years in the Western World, although it is still encouraged by certain carefree tribes in Bloomsbury and the Upper Congo. The illustration in Appendix "F" is a disgusting example of reproduction practised without the slightest regard for registration: one has only to compare it with the legitimate examples on page 80 to see where the difference lies.

In conclusion I would advise beginners to leave reproduction to the experts, for, unless one is constantly aware of a definite urge towards that sort of thing, one soon finds that more time is being spent in worrying about details, errors of omission and commission, and other irritating factors, than can be spared from more exciting photographic pursuits.