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Leggotype

(Fr.: leggotype)

William August Leggo, of Québec, Canada, and George Edward Desbarats printed a negative on a grained film, which they then transferred onto stone or zinc. This was one of the first attempts at the half-tone process.

In 1869, the Canadian Illustrated News, of Montréal, owned by G.E. Desbarats, published its first leggotype. The same Desbarats founded the Daily Graphic of New York (which was the first to use a half-tone, in 1880) and used leggotypes for illustrated inserts in 1873; they were made by printing the negative on a mesh film and transferring it onto zinc. The quality of the process was criticized by many who found that it was inferior to conventional wood engraving, which it was trying to displace. For another leggotype method, which was called helio-engraving or photo-engraving and was practiced from 1873 in America, it is asserted that the screen was placed before the negative plate during the original exposure, but Leggo did not present proofs of this claim. By the end of the nineteenth century various kinds of screen and grain methods for photographic typographic printing plates had been invented. (Nadeau, Encyclopedia, p. xxx.).

Leggotype illustrations from the Canadian Illustrated News, 1871. Leggotype illustrations from the Canadian Illustrated News, 1871.

Leggotype illustrations from the Canadian Illustrated News, 1871.