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The hectograph, gelatin duplicator or jellygraph is a
While the original use of the technology has diminished, it has recently been revived for use in the art world. The hectograph has been modernized and made practical for anyone to use.
The master is placed on the gelatin and spirits applied to transfer the ink from the master to the gelatin.
After transfer of the image to the inked gelatin surface, copies are made by pressing paper against it.
When a pad ceased to be useful, the gelatin could be soaked with spirits, the ink sponged away, and the pad left clean for the next master.
A grey-colored, thick, absorbent paper pad was supplied to cover the gelatin surface for storage. This also removed ink from the surface, but it took many hours to do so. Care needed to be taken that the gelatin surface was kept clean, and not damaged (e.g. by
The gelatin process produced print runs of somewhere between 20 and 80 copies, depending upon the skill of the user and the quality of the original. At least eight different colors of hectographic ink were available at one time, but purple was the most popular because of its density and contrast.