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World's First Patented Copying Press by "James Watt", 1

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Lot 0058 Details

Description
World's First Patented Copying Press by "James Watt", 1780
The very 1st model with the damping bath inside the apparatus in contrast to the later damping box drawer! – On February 14th, 1780, in England, some 230 years (!) ago, James Watt, the famous inventor of the steam engine, was granted a patent for his first duplicating machine under patent no. 1244. The machine was sold by "James Watt & Company, Soho/Birmingham, England". His invention was a result of his own business as he had permanent correspondence with his partner Matthew Boulton while traveling – mostly to his steam engine projects in Cornwall. James Watt was too often very frustrated when he received a letter after several weeks with answers by M. Boulton to his written questions because he had no copies of his own letters, of course! – So he started developing the world's first portable copying press! And by the end of 1780 150 machines had already been sold, and 630 presses by the end of the first full business year! – It is reported that in the early 1780s Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson used the James Watt copying machine! In 1785 Jefferson was using both the stationary and the portable presses by James Watt & Co. – The portable case opened up on hinges, and its upper section contained a collapsible writing pad for preparing the documents. The typewriter had not yet been invented, and copies could be made only of handwritten letters, diagrams and drawings which were made with a special copying ink! Underneath the writing pad were compartments for pencils, pens, rulers and paper, as well as a special compartment: The "damping box" which was used for treating the copying paper. After 12 hours, the sheets were thoroughly moist, and thus treated and ready to be used for copying. The number of sheets required for immediate use could be removed, and the remainder could be left in the box for up to two weeks, ready to be used at any time. – The actual copying apparatus, consisting of two brass platens which were turned via the side handle, which was also located in the bottom section of the case. The original document was placed in the copying plate in between the felt-covered, swing-up cover plate; the moist copying paper was placed on top of it, and was then covered by oilpaper. The pressure induced by slowly turning the plate between the two platens caused the special copying ink of the original to be taken over, and thus transferred, onto the moist sheet (mirror inverted). The copy was ready for use after 24 hours in a drying book of absorbent paper (as used for postage stamps). Because the ink was passed through in this manner, the printing on the copy could, of course, be read only on what was actually the reverse side of the page. The base for good copies was the special copying ink in which the original was written. A great deal of practice was also necessary to prepare sheets for use as copying paper, as they had to be uniformly moistened. The bottom part of the case also contained inkwells as well as containers of dry ink powder for making ink when traveling.

Der 1. patentierte Kopierer der Welt von "James Watt", 1780
Sehr frühe Variante, noch ohne Schubfach! – Unter Patent-Nr. 1244 wurde vor über 230 Jahren (!) am 14. Februar 1780 in England dem legendären Dampfmaschinen-Erfinder James Watt ein Patent für seinen Vervielfältiger erteilt. Vertrieben wurde der Apparat von der Firma "James Watt & Company, Soho/Birmingham, England". – James Watts Erfindung war das Resultat aus seinem eigenen Geschäftsleben: Auf seinen vielen Reisen – vornehmlich zu seinen Dampfmaschinen-Projekten in Cornwall – führte er ständig Korrespondenz mit seinem Partner Matthew Boulton. Sehr oft war James Watt völlig frustriert, wenn er nach Wochen die Antworten seines Partners erhielt und nicht mehr genau wußte, was er selbst angefragt hatte. So begann er, den ersten Kopierapparat der Welt zu entwickeln. – Es wird berichtet, daß Anfang der 1780er Jahre amerikanische Persönlichkeiten wie Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin und George Washington die Kopierpresse von James Watt einführten. Jefferson hat sogar beide James-Watt-Kopierer benutzt, den stationären und den tragbaren! – Der transportable Kasten wurde aufgeklappt und enthielt im oberen Teil eine falt- und aufstellbare Schreibunterlage zum Anfertigen der Schriftstücke. Da die Schreibmaschine noch nicht erfunden war, bezog sich die Vervielfältigung allein auf handgeschriebene Briefe, Pläne und Zeichnungen. Unter der Schreibunterlage befanden sich Fächer für Stifte, Federhalter, Lineale sowie Schreib- und unpräpariertes Kopierpapier. Der untere Teil des Apparates enthält die "Damping Box", die zum Präparieren des Kopierpapiers diente. Nach 12 Stunden waren die Blätter gänzlich durchfeuchtet und somit kopierfertig präpariert. Die zum sofortigen Gebrauch benötigte Anzahl konnte dann entnommen werden, der Rest blieb im feuchten Fach noch für zwei Wochen gebrauchsfertig und jederzeit einsetzbar. Erst spätere Modelle hatten zur leichteren Handhabung ein Schubfach als "Damping Box". Der eigentliche Kopierapparat, bestehend aus zwei Messingwalzen, die mittels seitlich aufsteckbarem Handgriff gedreht wurden, befand sich ebenfalls im unteren Teil des Kastens. Das Original-Schriftstück legte man auf die Kopierplatte zwischen die filzbezogene hochklappbare Deckelplatte und packte darauf das feuchte, hauchdünne Kopierpapier und darüber als Abdeckung ein Ölpapier. Bei langsamem Durchdrehen der Platte zwischen den beiden Walzen wurde durch den erzeugten Druck die Spezialkopiertinte des Originals von dem feuchten Blatt (spiegelverkehrt) aufgenommen und somit übertragen. Nach 24-stündiger Trockenzeit in einem aus saugfähigem Papier gefertigten "Trockenbuch" (wie für Briefmarken bekannt) war die Kopie gebrauchsfertig. Lesbar war die Schrift der Kopie dann natürlich nur auf der (eigentlichen) Rückseite des Blattes aufgrund der durchgezogenen Tinte. Grundlage für gute Kopien war letztlich eine Spezialtinte, mit der das Original geschrieben war. Außerdem bedurfte es großer Übung, um absolut gleichmäßig befeuchtete Blätter als Kopierpapier zu präparieren. Der untere Teil des Kastens enthielt außerdem noch Tintenfäßchen, Streusand etc.
Condition
(2–3/3)
Buyer's Premium
  • 22.3%

World's First Patented Copying Press by "James Watt", 1

Estimate €3,000 - €5,000May 25, 2013
Starting Price €2,600
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