Rudolph Ackermann

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Rudolph Ackermann (April 20, 1764 - March 30, 1834) was an Anglo-German inventor and publisher.

He was born at Schneeberg, in Saxony, where he visited the Latin school. His wish to visit the university was made impossible by the lack of financial means. Therefore, he became a saddler like his father.

He had been a saddler and coach-builder in different German cities, Paris and London for ten years before, in 1795, he established a print-shop and drawing-school in the Strand. Ackermann set up a lithographic press and a trade in copper lithographies. He added later a manufacture for colours and thick carton paper for landscape and miniature painters.

He applied the press in 1817 to the illustration of his Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, etc. (monthly until 1828 when forty volumes had appeared). Rowlandson and other distinguished artists were regular contributors. He also introduced the fashion of the once popular English Annuals, beginning in 1825 with Forget-me-not; and he published many illustrated volumes of topography and travel, The Microcosm of London (3 vols., 1808-1811), Westminster Abbey (2 vols., 1812), The Rhine (1820), The World in Miniature (43 vols., 1821-1826), etc.

Ackermann was an enterprising man; he patented (1801) a method for rendering paper and cloth waterproof, erected a factory at Chelsea for the purpose and was one of the first to illuminate his own premises with gas. Indeed the introduction of lighting by gas owed much to him. After the Battle of Leipzig Ackermann collected nearly a quarter of a million sterling for the German sufferers.

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