You’d call it a cut in USA, but back before World War II this is how a halftone block would be prepared for the printer (and for some time after the war). The work tended to be done by specialist engravers: in this case Scottish Studios and Engravers Ltd. of Glasgow. Note that after all that work the block is wrapped up along with a proof and the original sketch and entrusted to the mails.

The films are silent. I find them fascinating, but it is a 26 minute commitment. And just watch that man on the first film doing the “type” on the ad using just a fine paint brush (at about 5 minutes in). Such skills used to be widespread.

In the first part those of you who weren’t around when this was the normal way of doing things can see how a photograph was developed.

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