Did you know that all the illustrations of the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911 are steel engravings? Steel engraving is an engraving technique for printing illustrations on steel instead of copper and was used regularly in the 19th century for reproductions. It is a technique that was first introduced in 1792 by Jacob Perkins for use of banknote printing and was adapted in 1820 by Charles Warren and Charles Heath for the first published plates engraved on steel. Engraving starts out with the process of etching after which engraving is carried out using a burin which is a small bar of hardened steel with a sharp point. Steel engraving replaced copper engraving in the 1820s because steel gave a much harder wearing plate that could be used for thousands as opposed to a few hundred copies before signs of wear appeared and it also allowed much finer detail to be engraved. Although the task of steel engraving necessitated changes in methods and finer, harder tools, devices such as the ruling machine enabled even greater detailing such as engraving exact parallel lines in very close proximity. However, it was met by strong rivalry from other commercial techniques at the time such as woodcut, wood engraving and later lithography. Today, steel engraving is still carried out but for manufacturing other than artistic purposes. Where as past techniques involved using a burin and scrapers to etch out the images, today laser engraving can be done on most metals such as aluminum, titanium, copper, brass including steel. Engraving using laser techniques can also be carried out on plastics, wood, glass and leather. Laser engraving is a technique that uses lasers that are directed in movement by a computer to engrave or mark an object. Laser engraving is precise and clean and can be achieved at a high rate without the use of easily worn tool bits. Using lasers to perform steel engraving produces high precision markings such as hallmarks, trademarks, stone weights, personalized text, serial numbers, corporate logos and digital images. Laser steel engraving can be used in the promotional industry to mark logos onto steel gifts such as Swiss army knives or in the medical industry to mark surgical tools for tractability. It can also be used in the engineering industry for marking part or serial numbers and scales. For professional and accurate steel engraving of rings, surgical tools, promotional items and other steel items, contact Laser Engraving Express at www.laserengravingexpress.com. It is situated in the heart of the Diamond District of Los Angeles on the third floor of the California Jewelry Mart Building and as its name suggest can carry out steel engraving using laser techniques to provide you with results in a short turn-around time. The company carries expertly trained operators who are capable of engraving jewelry, surgical tools, cell phones, iPods, cameras, promotional items, award plaques and much more. Laser steel engraving can be used to engrave barcode, variable information, logos, icons, symbols and personalized texts that are accurate, of high quality, repeatable, flexible, permanent, have high resolution and can be done in special fonts and custom writing and textures. Whether you are a jeweler, an industry or someone looking to make a memory, www.laserengravingexpress.com is the store for all your engraving needs!