Working the Stone
In 1798 when Alois Senefelder, a Bavarian actor and playwright, invented what we now call lithography as a way to reproduce musical scores and play scripts, he probably never dreamed that the process would become as popular as it did. Within a few years of the first patent in 1799, Senefelder established printshops and trained lithographic technicians in Germany, England and France. Noted for its ability to reproduce the drawn mark in all its variety, this complex procedure of "stone writing" was readily adopted by artists and industry alike. Today lithography is still a major force in the fine arts, while a modified version continues to dominate the commercial printing industry.