London: G. Heath Robinson and J. Birch Ltd., 1922. Item #03786
A Remarkable Survival…
ROBINSON, W. Heath, illustrator. [The Art of Papermaking. As explained by W. Heath Robinson].
Original glass printers slides for the Thomas & Green Ltd., Paper Makers Calendar for 1922.
London: G. Heath Robinson and J. Birch Ltd., 1922.
A complete set of ten 3 3/16 x 3 3/16 inches: 82 x 82 mm. glass printer's slides, each one depicting a humorous image of the art of paper making. Each one printed in black on the inside of two sheets of glass secured together with a thin black tape border.
1. "Rag experts selecting the best rag for a special paper"
2. "Carrying the rag to button removing dept"
3. "A busy afternoon in the button removing dept."
4. "The rag soaking tank"
5. "The combination of rag with esparto grass before rolling out"
6. "Rolling out. A new idea for drawing out the fibres to produce a strong sheet"
7. "A new method of accurate cutting, not yet adopted by Thomas & Green Ltd."
8. "Testing a coloured paper for resistance to fading"
9. "The "which is which?" test for the accurate matching of a customer's sample" (signed W. Heath Robinson).
10. An additional plate "The Latest Thing in Paper Making Machines by W. Heath Robinson"
(which was not used in the advertisement) with "Printed on 285 white drawing cartridge" on lower margin.
The first nine of these drawings were issued, printed in color, on a single board calendar for the paper making firm of Thomas & Green Ltd., Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire with a 'tear-off' tablet at lower center.
The calendar appears in Geoffrey Beare's book Heath Robinson Advertising (Belew Publishing London, 1992)
as Beare 119 (with a full-page image on p. 177).
The description reads: "119. The Art of Papermaking as Explained / by W. Heath Robinson, a calendar / for 1922. Thomas & Green Ltd, / Wooburn Green, Bucks, 1921. / A single board covered in handmade / paper. / 530 x 390 mm / Nine small drawings in full colour / plus mounted tear-off date tablet. / Produced by G. Heath Robinson & / J. Birch Ltd, 17 & 18 Took's Court, / London EC4. / Also published as a press / advertisement in The British Printer, / vol. 34, no. 203, Jan.-Feb. 1922, / facing p. 228."
A copy of this book is included with the slides.
We contacted Geoffrey Beare regarding these slides - his comments follow:
"Dear David, I did see these a couple of months ago at a fair. You seem to have all the relevant information about the original artwork. With regard to the slides, I can only think that they were made for use at trade shows, or more likely for someone in the company who gave lectures. I did recently see a newspaper cutting from about 1930 that reported on a talk on asbestos cement roofing that was illustrated with slides, including reproductions of drawings that Heath Robinson had made for the company. I think that WHR’s standing was so high that companies that had secured his services wanted to make sure that his drawings for them were seen as widely as possible. I attach a copy of the original design that was in full colour. Best wishes, Geoffrey"