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A Recipe "to Make Excellent Ink", By Sir Isaac Newton



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I was reading some of Newton's lab notes and came across this by surprise. I first thought to post it in "Inky Recipes", but I assumed the draw and resultant discussion of the topic would not center on you or me making the ink, but on the ink itself, and the broader historical interest.

 

To make excellent Ink.

 

℞ 1/2lb of Galls cut in pieces or grosly

beaten, 1/4 ℔ of Gumm Arabick cut or

broken. Put 'em into a Quart of strong

beer or Ale. Let 'em stand a month

stopt up, stirring them now & then. At

ye. end of the moneth put in ℥1 or

℥1 1/2 of copperas (Too much copperas

makes ye ink apt to turn yellow.) Stir

it & use it. Stop it up for some

time with a paper prickt full of

holes & let it stand in ye sunn.

When you take out ink put in so

much strong beer & it will endure

many years. Water makes it apt to

mold. Wine does not. The air also

if it stand open inclines it to mold.

With this Ink new made I wrote this.

 

 

Direct link to scanned page.

 

If anyone tries this at home, let me know.

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Excellent find! What do you think this measuring unit is?

 

Also the gum arabic quantity?

Edited by escribo

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.

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Hi Vignette,

 

Not in this way. A few years ago I made my own IG writing ink with pure tannic acid, copperas, gum arabic, vinegar and preserved water and it actualy did worked very well. Unfortunately it was unusable for fountain pen (ink did not flow). Nowadays I have optimized my IG inks to flow very well in fountain pen using pure chemicals.

 

You might have heard about my "famous" Urkundentinte (standard document blue-black IG ink) and the fancy coloured IG inks, like Oriens-Occidens, Darkening Absinthe and Turkish Night. These IG inks flow well with both dip as well with fountain pens.

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Excellent find! What do you think this measuring unit is?

 

Also the bum arabic quantity?

 

I think it is an abbreviation of Uncia (Ounce).

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Ah thanks; I see it must be a weight ounce, based on the wiki article.

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.

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Thanks!

Liquid ounce, do you reckon?

 

In the article I linked, it is said to be close to a Troy ounce.

 

The other symbol is an Apothecarie's pound.

 

Metric conversions, subject to location, are here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apothecaries%27_system#Diversity_of_local_standards

Edited by Vignette
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The Good Captain

I think I cooked this last night - perhaps with a little more garam masala and cumin.

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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I think I cooked this last night - perhaps with a little more garam masala and cumin.

 

Actually using anatto seeds will yield a deep red dye, suitable to make a writing ink :roflmho: .

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I think I cooked this last night - perhaps with a little more garam masala and cumin.

I just used squid ... it came with ink.

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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I just used squid ... it came with ink.

 

 

You have one, you get the other - it's generally known as a squid-pro-quo ... :roflmho:

 

 

 

John P.

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I love stuff like this! I'm very impressed his writing is still black and has not faded to brown. Definitely a good and stable recipe! Thanks for sharing!

 

eta: I've done similar recipes, such as the Jane Austen recipe and Dr. James Stark's recipe (he was a chemist in the 1800's). The Jane Austen one browns over time.

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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I'm heartened to see someone of such scientific acclaim having such mediocre penmanship.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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I keepsh on tryin thish but shomehow can not, uh, canit, uh, can nooot get past teshting the Ale to shee if it is shtill frush!

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Hi Vignette,

 

Not in this way. A few years ago I made my own IG writing ink with pure tannic acid, copperas, gum arabic, vinegar and preserved water and it actualy did worked very well. Unfortunately it was unusable for fountain pen (ink did not flow). Nowadays I have optimized my IG inks to flow very well in fountain pen using pure chemicals.

 

You might have heard about my "famous" Urkundentinte (standard document blue-black IG ink) and the fancy coloured IG inks, like Oriens-Occidens, Darkening Absinthe and Turkish Night. These IG inks flow well with both dip as well with fountain pens.

 

Excuse my ignorance but how would one get these inks of yours? What quantities do they come in? And where can I see samples of the colours please?

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Hi Stompie

 

 

For more details: please send me PM. For reviews/pictures doen by other members search on: Urkundentinte (especially review done by gmrza), Darkening Absinthe, Terra Incinerata, Turkish Night, Oriens-Occidens

Edited by pharmacist
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I'm heartened to see someone of such scientific acclaim having such mediocre penmanship.

 

Funny, I actually liked his penmanship!

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Anyone trying this will need to make the beer first, a modern strong ale recipe should work. Modern beer is processed differently and generally does not have active yeast in it, his beer did.

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Anyone trying this will need to make the beer first, a modern strong ale recipe should work. Modern beer is processed differently and generally does not have active yeast in it, his beer did.

 

I made the Jane Austen ink recipe with commercial beer (Molson Golden Beer, with 6.04% alcohol, the strongest one I could find) and it turned out fine, albeit musky skunky smelling! lol It would be fun to find a home brewer to make it a little more authentic, though.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
    • LizEF
      If one wanted to do this, one could just use the "About Me" field which appears to be unlimited in size.  And if a bunch of people wanted to cooperate, the Member Title field (or signature) could be used to this end - "Ink Giver" (or some such) could be used by those with inks to give...  No software edits required.
    • Arkanabar
      I suppose the update issue could be mitigated.  One would post a link in signature, to the particular part of your profile where you list the inks that you're willing to post samples to others, gratis.  But looking at profiles, I suspect that would require an edit to the board's software, potentially a nontrivial task.
    • A Smug Dill
      I read your idea as getting willing givers to publicly register as members of a set of heterogenous servers, in a system in which a client would explicitly select an available server from a list, to which he/she will then send a request privately and asynchronously. Request handling in the system is unmanaged, and individual requests are handled by the targeted servers completely independently on each other. I think the model is fine, although there are some operational concerns you may want to
    • Daneaxe
      First thought on the method/system of ink sharing: Think the best way, to begin with, is to follow the way of the US thread: offer up a (small) list of inks you are willing to PIF, to whoever expresses interest. Write clearly in the "mission statement" how it works, with a tiny "quid pro quo" that even a struggling student can comply with, i.e. post your opinion and a writing sample, with option of a full review if desired.   So yours truly might say: "I'm offering up samples of D
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