On this day in history – the first patent for carbon paper was secured

In 1806, Englishman Ralph Wedgwood secured the first patent
for carbon paper, which he described as an “apparatus for producing duplicates
of writings.” In his process, thin paper was saturated with printer’s ink, then
dried between sheets of blotting paper.

His idea for the carbon paper was a byproduct of his
invention of a machine to help blind people write, and the “black paper” was
really just a substitute for ink. In its original form, Wedgwood’s
“Stylographic Writer” employed a metal stylus instead of a quill for writing,
with the carbon paper placed between two sheets of paper in order to transfer a
copy onto the bottom sheet.

A sheet of carbon paper, with the coating side down. 

The manufacture of carbon paper was formerly the largest
consumer of montan wax. In 1954 the Columbia Ribbon & Carbon Manufacturing
Company filed a patent for what became known in the trade as solvent carbon
paper: the coating was changed from wax-based to polymer-based.

The manufacturing process changed from a hot-melt method to
a solvent-applied coating or set of coatings. It was then possible to use
polyester or other plastic film as a substrate, instead of paper, although the
name remained carbon paper.

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Posted on October 7, 2015, in Useful Information. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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