Invented by Alois Senefelder of Bavaria, lithography is a printing process that involves using a flat and smooth piece of limestone and drawing onto it an image with a grease pencil. The limestone is then etched with an acidic solution, leaving greased areas in slightly higher relief than the rest of the stone. Next, the stone is wetted with water and covered in a greasy ink. Since grease and water repel each other, the ink is repelled from the wet areas of the stone and adheres to the grease pencil lines. A piece of paper is then placed on the inked stone, pressure applied, and then removed from the press.

Currier & Ives Lithography,

A visual art printing technique, invented by Aloysius Senefelder (1771–1834). This method of printing is based on using a limestone and a grease crayon as the medium. The limestone surface is chemically treated and very highly polished, then inscribed (Inverted, since it is a kliche)with the crayon. The stone is then colored with oil based ink, but the ink will only 'stick' to the crayon drawing. A lightly moist paper is then pressed on the stone to form the final artwork.

A litography is probably the second-most valuble form of paper-based paintings. It represents a lot of work and is not usually printed in large amounts, only small series. The finished litography is most often signed by the artist and numbered.

Li*thog"ra*phy (?), n. [Cf. F. lithographie.]

The art or process of putting designs or writing, with a greasy material, on stone, and of producing printed impressions therefrom. The process depends, in the main, upon the antipathy between grease and water, which prevents a printing ink containing oil from adhering to wetted parts of the stone not covered by the design. See Lithographic limestone, under Lithographic.

<-- now used for a similar process using any flat surface, such as a metal plate, for a similar purpose. (b) The process of producing patterns on semiconductor crystals by exposing photosensitive coatings on a matrix, such as silicon, to light patterns in the form desired for the circuit, and subsequently treating (e.g., chemically) the patterns thus formed in such a way as to create integrated semiconductor circuits with the desired properties. This is the principle method (1990's) to create the high-density integrated circuits used in the digital computers on which you are reading this. -->


© Webster 1913.

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