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GB Patent: GB-178,001,244
Method of copying letters
James Watt - Birmingham, England

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James Watt & Co. - Birmingham, England


Patent Dates:
Granted: Feb. 14, 1780

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Wikipedia biography of James Watt
Before this invention, copying mechanical drawings required laborious line-by-line retracing of the original. Watt's innovation was to press a solvent-soaked sheet of thin paper over the original. Some ink was transferred to the second sheet which could then be viewed when held up to the light. Watt experimented to find the right combination of ink, paper and solvent plus a press and a method of wetting the thin paper. He partnered with Matthew Boulton (see the description for patent GB-176,900,913 and business manager James Keir, to create a business, James Watt & Co., to manufacture his copying system.

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