Ancient xerox technology.
2008-07-28 23:02:57 +0000 personal
The Romans (among others!) wrote in wax with a stylus; the wax was embedded in boards, which were bound together in pairs. If a Roman were to place clay between these boards, could they make a copy of their wax tablet in the clay?
It strikes me as remarkable that coins were minted so long before books were printed—though I guess the motivation behind minting coins and printing books are rather different.