Rose engine lathe used to manufacture compound printing plates, built by Bryan Donkin, London, 1821.

Made:
1821 in London
maker:
Bryan Donkin and Co.
Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Whole set, including box. Top 3/4 view. Grey Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Plates separated. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Joined plates. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Separate plates. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Whole set, including box. Top 3/4 view. Grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Plates separated. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Joined plates. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large die for printing Indian revenue stamps, c. 1872, in mahogany box. Separate plates. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Large unfinished die ('pattern plate') for printing Indian revenue stamps, in wooden box with label: BOMBAY STAMP
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rose engine lathe used to manufacture compound printing plates, built by Bryan Donkin, Bermondsey, London, 1820.

Sir William Congreve patented a process known as compound-plate printing in 1821, and the printing plates were engraved using this machine. It was devised primarily as a means of preventing forgery – from 1797 until 1821 Britain depended solely on paper currency, and in the decade to 1820 detected counterfeiting cases rose by more than 500%. Compound printing became widely used for producing duty stamps, postage stamps and much else from the 1820s onwards - but not for manufacturing banknotes, where a combination of techniques which also included compound printing, were applied.

Congreve’s concept was completely new, and he gave the practical project of making it work to Bryan Donkin. The process consists of highly detailed two-colour printing. This was done using a printing plate comprising two intricate and interlocking parts, an upper part fitting through appropriately-shaped apertures in the lower part. The two parts were separated vertically so that two different colour inks could be applied (one to each) and then they were brought together and the impression made on paper. Most importantly, the detail engraved on the two-part plate was made while they were fitted together, so any potential forgers were faced with the near-impossible challenge of not only reproducing the complex mathematical shapes generated by the machine, but also duplicating the colour changes for each individual line exactly.

Details

Category:
Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
2008-26
Materials:
cast iron, gunmetal, mahogany (wood), paint and wrought iron
type:
rose engine
credit:
Bryan Donkin Archive Trust