Printing from plates 1

The technique of making prints from engraved metal plates developed in Europe not long after the invention of the printing press, and its precision and detail made it extremely popular, notably for mapmaking. Lines were engraved into a copper plate, and the plate was inked. After wiping the surface clean, ink remained in the grooves; this was then transferred to paper by pressing the plate onto it, leaving behind the detailed image. The map produced by this printing plate was published in 1789 in Porto-Bello: or a plan for the improvement of the port and city of London.


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