Goes Lithographing Company History
Since 1879 Goes Lithographing Company has been the foremost leader in offering world class lithographed certificates, borders, awards and stock certificates the likes of which can’t be duplicated even in today’s digital era.
What does Lithographing mean ?
The Lithographic process was invented in 1798 by Aloys Senefelder who called it “chemical printing”. The process depends on chemical interaction of grease, nitric acid, gum arabic and water. The stone from which the term lithographic is derived, is etched by skilled artisans . When inked the imprinting occurs from this planeographic surface. The ink only adheres to that part which is prepared.
Lithographed Art Posters
Goes Lithographing Company was also a leader in printing Art posters for numerous events and shows including The Worlds Fair, Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, Magician acts, Cover Girl Calendars – the list goes on and on. Selected prints are now available for sale at our Goesproducts.com Web Site.
Before the digital world there was lithography……
Learn more about Lithography and Goes (download)
To download an historical brochure from approx 1925 about Goes Lithographing Company , the HB process (Huebner-Bleistein of Buffalo NY) and the Art of Lithography click here.
Changes in Production and Technology
Goes Picture Archives contain images stored on Stone, Metal, Glass, Film and now Digital. Early images were graphics rendered by Artists for reproduction for sale to the public. Goes purchased many small lines of pictures in the years prior to 1940 as well as making their own subjects for sale. All these items were lithographed from stone and zinc plates in 1 to 10 colors depending on the degree of impression required.
Goes Lithographing began in 1879 and immediately began to produce multi colorful editions of labels, posters and images for various channels of trade by the lithographic process. The most popular being 1 color checks and office forms. Unusual yet effective colorizing techniques were used in the early days by Currier and Ives of New York. A litho would be printed in 1 or 2 colors of black and gray and then colorized by an artist following a supplied sample.
Even today photographic outlines of an image are colorized by computer software.
Goes used the color fill method extensively for commercial, hand bill and event program works. But the finer tones were done in repeated color formats on separate plates using stipple techniques of dot placement for tonal ranges, this is seen in our religious line today. The finest example being “The Sacred Heart of Mary and Jesus”. A transitional image is represented by “The Way of the Cross” which combines colorful stipple, type and color fill.
About 1885 the halftone method was developed in photography by Levy of Philadelphia. Geo Eastman of Kodak fame, and Kramer of England. Camera lens advancements by Carl Ziess of Germany, enabled dots to be placed by photographic means and in sizes corresponding to the amount of RGB spectrum present through a filtration process which was popular through the 1980’s. This is the same essential process used by scanners and desktop publishing equipment today. Smoother tones could be produced in black and white, however one had to wait until the 1930’s to photograph color and separate it into the components we recognize as color printing today. Many of our early prints show these early techniques used to adjust tone and enhance scenes. This included scraping open areas of negatives to put additional red ink over solid yellow ink to get a bright red while the white stripes of our flag were opaqued out in 6-8 colors to show white paper only!
Smooth tones were obtained by spraying negatives and positives with Korn’s neutron opaque, a black India Ink substance to lessen printing of negatives or to increase color on positives. Going back and forth in this manner took 3-10 weeks for 6-8 colors with many test proving plates for color. After World War II this procedure became a chemical dot etching technique. Image detail on these prints were varied with need, some are sharp as on buildings and scenic’s, others such as portraits are fuzzy to smooth out blemishes on the skin tones and reduce focus of backgrounds! By the mid 1960’s Kodak had developed fast films and masking techniques for Color Photography and excellent reproductive films for color correction by process. This slowly replaced hand retouching on films in the 1980’s.
The Digital Age
Goes converted to digital scanning by 1989 which replaced conventional color reproduction and retouching of film by hand. This yielded digital files to be manipulated for color, size and contrast before printing. Today we can remove items in an image that doesn’t pertain to a scene or simply add in a person that wasn’t present when the picture was taken. Ink used up to 1960 was very opaque and produced a darker color gamut than the 4 color process transparent inks today. 6-10 color lithography relied on additive color inks being produced by single or 2 color print and dry process thus 10 make a full gamut. Shadows were very deep and highlights filled with pink, light blue greens, oranges and grays. Paper was of excellent fibre strength and quality to 1915 then the acidic process took over through 1950’s when paper was cooked and washed clean of acids to retain whiteness. Today papers are alkaline and yellow, very slowly. Additions such as whitener, plastics and coating can preserve the original look for decades. Our prints sold here are described in this way with year and # of colors used in the production to determine using the level of attention given. These cover a range of 130+ years all under 1 ownership family. Reproduction of print, electronic files are available for some prints. Actual litho’s from 1926 to date are available on a limited basis in 4 – 10 colors.
Goes LIthographing Company and the Community
Goes has donated original stone and plate printing presses to The Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, Stout State University, Menominee Wisconsin Graphics School, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. We support local college internships for learning on the job and have had instructors and professors attend on-site production events for Wet Plate, traditional separation and preparation work and digital photography.
Goes Lithographing Company Today – Tradition and Service
We feel our service to the customer requires the best value for the best work produced. While history is important and helpful in direction only, continuous commitment to quality and learning is the means to continued survival, it is these print values the customer deserves to get for his dollar spent.