photo-lettering machine

photo-lettering machine

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Usage conditions apply
The Weber Photolettering Machine, designed by and patented by Martin J. Weber in 1942, was used in the Weber Printing Process for graphic design and advertisements requiring a unique photolettering or special three-dimensional effect. The machine itself includes a metal frame holding an adjustable glass plate. A light fixture and camera lens or prism were placed below the frame, holding film groupings, to achieve a specific lighting effect while exposing the film that would later be used to print the final result.
The Weber Printing Process: A printing process invented and developed by Martin J. Weber (1905-2007), is often characterized by the three-dimensional "posterization" effect. His printing processes also included many other techniques, including mezzotinting, circle-line renderings, and fine line renderings, which he specially marketed for retail advertising, which was well suited to precise detailed depiction. Though his other techniques were not as popular, his posterization technique was used extensively, both by his studio, Martin J. Weber Studio, and by independent artists, especially psychedelic artists of the 1960s and 1970s. The technique was easily achieved and inexpensive; it allowed the printer to make a color separation of an image and print each layer successively off-set from the layer before it, thus creating a three-dimensional and even photo-realistic effect.
Currently not on view
Object Name
machine, photo lettering
Object Type
Photomechanical Lithographic Processes
date made
ca. 1942
graphic artist
Weber, Martin J.
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 13 1/2 in x 30 in x 23 in; 34.29 cm x 76.2 cm x 58.42 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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