[*] “The mode of making the best black printing ink: Make a large lantern, two feet and a half broad on each side, and ten or twelve feet in height, and cover it with cotton paper or parchment, for one is as good as the other, and let there be a door at the foot of it, and put into it a tripod, and on the tripod a pan, and on the pan two pounds of Greek pitch. Set the pitch on fire, then shut the door ; take care that the lantern is air-tight, and let the pitch burn until it is entirely consumed, when the smoke from it will affix itself to the interior of the lantern like soot ; then take out the earthen pan and the tripod, shut the door, and with a rod beat the outside of the lantern, when the black will fall to the bottom, leave it to settle there ; then take it out and preserve it for use. But if you wish to clean the lantern more perfectly, tie some hen’s feathers to a rod, and sweep the inside of the lantern with these, and add the black which you thus sweep off to the other black.”
Marciana Manuscript, 1503-1527. Bibliotheka Marciana di Venecia. MSS Manoscritto It.III. 10. In Merrifield. 1849. Original Treatises Dating from the XIIth, Vol. 2: p. 618, 619.