In my collection of books related to printing and publishing is a delightful edition from Dover of line art engravings from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
I wrote about reproducing these illustrations in a series of blogs I wrote in January and February of this year. They are surprisingly challenging to reproduce with digital technologies. I use that book occasionally as a source of early graphic arts illustrations.
Today, while out on a journey to buy some chain lubricant for my bicycle, I encountered a 19th century event here in Munich. I passed a man putting up advertising posters using a long-handled brush with paste on it. First he brushed the paste on the wall, then he applied a poster, then followed by painting paste on the front surface of the poster with his brush.
I suppose that the paste works its way through the poster and helps to hold it in place when the paste dries.
I have never seen this done before. It was amusing to me, as one of my favorite engravings is of a poster-paster putting up a poster by this technique.
What made it even more amusing was that as the man worked, the wind picked up a couple of the posters he was hanging, and they blew down the street. The poster-paster’s assistant took chase and brought them back. The illustration above, drawn in 1836 by British cartoonist Robert Seymour, came to mind.
Today’s poster-pasting experience was an eye-opener for me. Techniques used in previous centuries are still at work today.
Above, the poster-paster with his long-handled brush applies white paste to the wall, then to the posters after he has applied them.