James McBey taught himself to make etchings using a book he borrowed from Aberdeen Public Library.
Following the instructions in the book, he learned how to coat a copper plate with wax, etch an image, dip the copper sheet in an acid bath, ink it and make a print by pressing it through rollers.
Without access to special equipment, McBey improvised, adapting the family's washing mangle and turning it into a printing press.
James McBey went on to become a highly successful artist. Creating a single etching allowed McBey to make multiple prints of his work. These were extremely popular and sold for large amounts of money in the 19205.
Although some parts of the etching process have changed today, much remains very similar to how James McBey made his etchings 100 years ago.