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ISO: Origin of the CMYK Four-color Wet Process

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I’m researching the industrialization of four-color process printing. Your printing history timeline, as well as many blog posts other sites, states that in the year 1906 “CMYK four-color wet process inks developed by the Eagle Printing Ink Co.” Can you please share the references for this entry? I know Eagle Printing Ink was later part of a merger with other firms to form General Printing Ink (later Sun Chemical). However, I cannot find any resources that verify the claim that Eagle Printing Ink developed the four-color wet process inks. I am interested in tracing the history that led to this development and how the four-color process spread from there. Your help is much appreciated.

Brian Gamm


  1. Paul Moxon, Website Editor 8 May, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    While I can’t consult it at the moment, I believe it’s mentioned in The GATF Encyclopedia of Graphic Communications.

    WorldCat shows Eagle as the author of two titles, held by at Northwestern University, that may be relative: Facts from the Research Department of the Eagle Printing Ink Co and Color acceptance : its normal demands and wartime limitations.

    I did find this advertisement in The Inland Printer, April 1911. Perhaps an earlier issue may contain an article or technical note substantiating the claim.

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