Ink stone on stand, ca. 1740
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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The heavy, rectangular ink stone is an essential part of the hand-printing process. Set into a table or frame, its upper surface holds thick printers' ink. Hand tools, called ink balls or inking pads, with thick absorbent pads, are rubbed in the ink, then passed over a galley of type before it is printed. Terms of Use Credits