Ink Is History

Ink is History

Thaddeus Davids, The History of Ink: including its Etymology, Chemistry, and Bibliography. New-York: Thaddeus Davids & Co., 1856.

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Designed in large part to promote Thaddeaus Davids’ Company, self-proclaimed maker of “the best ink known,” later editions of the book were plastered with advertisements and press notices. It took its subject matter seriously, though, from its first sentence declaring, “Ink is history.” Egypt and the Aztecs, writing ink and printing ink, paper mills and poetry about ink are all discussed. The chromolithographed title page (done by Davids’ neighbors, Snyder, Black & Sturn) is particularly vibrant, and demonstrates some of the variety of inks available.

Adopted by Jennifer Brady and Paul Erickson

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