Hermann Mennert, ed. Faust, Polygrafhisch-illustrirte Zeitschrift für Kunst, Wissenschaft, Industrie und Unterhaltung. Vol. 2, nos. 1-24. Vienna: M. Auer, 1855.
Faust was a bi-monthly publication of the Austrian National Printing Office in Vienna, ably managed by the polymathic printer Alois Auer. Among his other printing accomplishments, Auer claimed precedence of invention for Naturselbstdruck. or the Nature Printing process, a technique which could produce astonishingly lifelike results. A specimen of the object whose reproduction was desired-a leaf for example-was squeezed between a steel plate and a lead plate, producing a depression in the softer lead. Since this depression followed the contours of the original leaf exactly, an electroplated version of it could filled with a pigmented gelatin ink and then used to print an image onto a sheet of paper. The image was as perfect a duplicate of the natural object as any mechanical process could ever hope to achieve. Flat objects worked best, as may be deduced by examining one nature print in this book which shows a bat. The wings are perfectly reproduced, but the body is less well-defined for reasons that are somewhat unpleasant to contemplate!
The Cary Collection also owns the rest of the run of Faust, which features examples of many other printing techniques, including lithography, wood-engraving, galvanography, glasdruck stilographie, and xylography.