A. Hoen & Co.

A. Hoen & Co. was a Baltimore, Maryland-based lithography firm founded by Edward Weber in the 1840s as E. Weber & Company. When August Hoen took it over following Weber's death, he changed the name and built the company into one of the most prominent in the industry at the time.

Lithograph by A. Hoen & Co.: A map of Granites and Gneisses in Maryland (1898)

In 1877, Hoen entered a print produced by his patented lithocaustic process in the Centennial Exposition. This work, entitled "The Continentals" was "commended for excellence in chromo-lithographic art" by the judges.[1]

August Hoen patented his lithocaustic method (originally spelled lithokaustik) in 1860. This covered etching with a mix of citric acid and gum arabic so that the lithographer could see the progress of shaded patterns as they were etched into the stone.[2] He continued to explore methods of producing fine gradations in shading. In 1880, August Hoen was granted several patents for a methods of producing halftone prints using lithography.[3][4]

Alfred Hoen, August's son, was not only an accomplished printmaker, but he also maintained a laboratory for testing lithographic limestone and carried out laboratory tests and experimental print runs using stones from promising new sources.[5]


  1. Supplement to Group XXVII, Reports of Judges on Appeals, International Exhibition, 1876, Reports and Awards, Group XXVII, United States Centennial Commission, Philadelphia, 1877; page 112.
  2. August Hoen, Composition for etching stone, U.S. Patent 27,981, Apr 24, 1860.
  3. August Hoen, Lithographic Process, U.S. Patent 227,730, May 15, 1883.
  4. August Hoen, Lithographic Process, U.S. Patent 227,782, May 18, 1880.
  5. A. B. Hoen, Discussion of the Requisite Qualities of Lithographic Limestone, with Report on Tests of the Lithographic Stone of Mitchell County, Iowa, Iowa Geological Survey Annual Report, 1902, Des Moines, 1903; pages 339-352.

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