(See Electrostatic Printing)
Xograph is the common name for a type of parallax panoramagram where a two dimensional image creates the illusion of three dimensions. Gabriel M. Lippmann overcame the obstacle of the single viewing angle required to make parallax stereograms work by developing the fly’s-eye lens, a sheet of small round globules through which the photograph would be taken and then viewed. Ives’ son Hubert refined this idea in the 1920’s by replacing the fly’s-eye with a linear array. Photographs were first shot through a parallax barrier but later directly onto a lenticulating sheet of plastic with a photo sensitized back. When the image is viewed through another thin layer of lenticulating plastic, each linear lenticule acts as an individual lens and reflects light back to the eye at the same angle as the image was exposed. As the light fractures at various angles it appears differently to each eye creating the illusion of seeing the objects in the image from a different perspective. This principal was applied to early movie production and by 1964 it was developed further by Cowles Communications and Eastman Chemical Products in Tennessee. Visual Panographics in New York were the first to manufacture these 3D images for use as magazine illustrations, baseball cards, and postcards under the name Xograph. Many other companies followed them into production but rather than becoming the wave of the future Xographs proved only to be a fad and by the early 1980’s the public had tired of them and the process largely disappeared from commercial use.
When wood engravings are used in conjunction with letterpress printing to match text with image it is referred to as xylography. Unlike wooden planks that were cut with the grain of the wood and could stretch and crack under the pressure of a press, wood engravings were hard and durable. They could easily be sized to the same height of type and then locked into the same frame to be printed together. In order to get illustrations into newspapers in a more timely manner, a system was developed in the 1840’s that largely took production out from the hands of artists and gave it to a team of craftsmen. Since engraving blocks are cuts of end grain wood, not planks, they are only available in very small pieces. To create larger images a number of these small blocks are glued together to form one large substrate. When working with a team these small blocks would only be temporarily bolted together, then coated with a wash of white paint so that the master artist could more easily make his drawing. Afterwards the clamps would be removed, and each piece given to an individual engraver to work on. Some engravers specialized in cutting skies or faces and so each piece would be portioned out accordingly. These were finely trained craftsmen whose role was to engrave to a set style and not add their own individuality to the process. When each piece was complete all sections would then be reassembled, glued or bolted back together, and the master artist would finish engraving the image along the lines where all the pieces met up.