WARNING: Several of the substances used in the preparation of ink are
HAZARDOUS. These include but are not limited to Carbolic Acid or Phenol,
Sulfuric Acid. Aniline Dye.
ALL RECIPES ARE AS THEY COME FORM THE REFERENCED BOOK.
A high school chemistry teacher may be able to help you with the
translations, ingredients and formulation. To the best of my knowledge the
have been no new recipes published since the mid 1930's.
1. From the HOME BOOK OF MONEY-SAVING FORMULAS, Barnes & Noble 1947
A BLUE-BLACK WRITING INK
Naphthol Blue-Black 1 ounce
Powdered gum Arabia 1/2 ounce
Carbolic acid 1/4 ounce
Water 1 gallon
Do not allow the acid to touch the skin. Dissolve the ingredients
in a glass container stirring thoroughly.
2. An example of a gall ink formula, taken from ink Technology for
Printers and Students, E.A.Apps, 1963, Part III, Office Inks.
A WATER FAST BLUE-BLACK INK
26% TANNIC ACID SOLUTION ...14.0%
Ferrous sulphate ....0.9
Gum Arabia ....0.9
Anhydrous sulfuric acid ....0.4
Ink Blue AS ....0.2
"Galls are still used as a convenient source of tannin. When
Chinese galls are used they are fermented with yeast to transform the
tannic into gallic acid and sugar. Aleppo galls are powdered and mixed
with straw, when like warm water is added fermentation takes place; yeast
is not required with Aleppo and straw prevents the powdered galls going
slimy. Alternatively, tannic acid and/or gallic acid may be used, gallic
acid modifying the shade of the final black.
The function of the mineral acid, e.g., sulfuric or hydrochloric
acid is to prevent premature reaction between the ferrous sulphate and
tannic acid. Gum Arabia controls the viscosity, and possible assists in
suspending any pigmented iron tannate that is formed. Phenol functions as
a fungicide to inhibit mold growth.
The ink is prepared without addition of dye and left to stand for
several months; the clear solution is decanted and the dye added to the
Wide variations in formulations are permissible, e.g., in the
amount of tannic (or gallic) acid, ferrous sulphate and mineral acid.
Tartaric acid has been used when making ink powders.
...It is recommended to pack the ink 8in stoneware bottles
(internally salt glazed) with well-fitting non-porous corks, so that the
ink is kept from the action of the air and sunlight. Alkali-free amber or
plain glass bottles might be used."
3. Circular of the Bureau of Standards, No. 183
Federal Specifications Board Specification No. 164; GPO 1924
Tannic acid 11.7 grams
Gallic acid crystals 3.8 grams
Ferrous sulphate 15.0 grams
Hydrochloric acid, dilute, USP 12.5 grams
Carbolic acid (phenol) 1.0 grams
Soluble blue, Schultz No. 539 3.5 grams
Water to make 1000 cc
4. Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes, by Wm. Dick,
Fitzgerald Publishing Crop. 1872
6406 BEAUTIFUL BLACK INK
Take a sufficient quantity of elder berries, bruise and
keep them for 3 days in an earthen vessel; then press out and filter the
juice. To 12 1/2 pints of the filtered juice, add 1/2 ounce each of
sulfate of iron, and crude pyroligneous acid. The ink that results has,
when first used a violet color, but when dry is an indigo blue-black, in
writing, it flows easily from the pen without gumming, and does not
thicken as soon as common ink.
Special Note to Sidnie: The ink will make no difference with a tattoo,
anything put under the skin will stay there, even pencil. JH