Original printing plates for Wilts & Berks Canal maps

Mary Ainsworths copper plate p2About three months ago we were contacted from Calgary in Canada by public spirited people who had been safeguarding the original 1793 printing plates for the production of maps of the proposed Wilts & Berks canal. The custodians are descendants of Mr W J Ainsworth, the last General Manager of the canal. Here is a hyperlink to his story in the History section of our website:  WJ Ainsworth - Manager of the WIlts & Berks Canal

We are now in discussions with the custodians to bring these plates to the UK. We then plan to make test prints, using exactly the same process as in 1793, to decide whether we can reproduce our original mapping authentically. If we can, we will have made a very important connection with those who first conceived the Wilts & Berks canal.

A picture of one copper plate is shown here. As a printing plate it is the reverse of the printed map.