martes, 24 de diciembre de 2013

Albert Levy, George Eastman: Dry Plates. Some data from The Philadelphia Photographer

In the Wikipedia we can read .

Dry plate, also known as gelatin process, is an improved type of photographic plate. It was invented by Dr. Richard L. Maddox in 1871, and by 1879 it was so well introduced that the first dry plate factory had been established. With much of the complex chemistry work centralized into a factory, the new process simplified the work of photographers, allowing them to expand their business.
Gelatin emulsions as proposed by Maddox were very sensitive to touch and mechanical friction and not much more sensitive than collodion emulsions to light.Charles Bennett discovered a method of hardening the emulsion, making it more resistant to friction in 1873. In 1878, Bennett discovered that by prolonged heating, the sensitivity of the emulsion could be greatly increased.George Eastman developed a machine to coat plates in 1879 and opened the Eastman Dry Plate Company, reducing the cost of photography. A competitor of Eastman in the development and manufacture of gelatin dry plates was the architectural photographer Albert Levy.

1878 - George Eastman was one of the first to demonstrate the great convenience of gelatin dry plates over the cumbersome and messy wet plate photography prevalent in his day. Dry plates could be exposed and developed at the photographer's convenience; wet plates had to be coated, exposed at once, and developed while still wet.
1879 - Eastman invented an emulsion-coating machine which enabled him to mass-produce photographic dry plates.
.In 1877 he entered the Rochester Savings Bank as clerk, and was successively 
assistant bookkeeper and bookkeeper. He left this position in 1880. 

" It was in 1878 that Mr. Eastman began experimenting in photography with the 
idea of making a dry plate. He experimented in his own house at first, and began 
making the plates for sale while he was still in his own house. He began selling 
dry plates in 1880, and he was so successful with them that he formed a copartner- 
ship with Henry A. Strong, who is now President of the Eastman Kodak Company, and under the firm name of Strong & Eastman they continued the manu- 
facture of these plates. He is now the Treasurer of the Eastman Kodak Com- 
pany, the largest establishment of its kind in the world."

The Philadelphia Photographer is now available  thanks to the Boston Public Library 
 In this publication we can find important data about the Albert Levy's work in the use of the french emulsion, french plates and also the Dry Plate Camera early in 1878.

  • The Philadelphia Photographer Vol XV May 1878 nº 173

Levy's French Photographic emulsion

..........A great deal of interest prevails in the growth ot the emulsion process, and the practical photographer is waiting patiently until some one develops a method for working emulsion sufficiently certain reliable and speedy, to warrants its introduction into every day practice, or, in common parlance, that will be "as good as wet"
A number claim to have yet been found have done so fully.
There is one gentlemean, however, Mr. Albert Levy of New York, to whom much credit is due for having made great progress with emulsion, and who, so far as we know, more progress than everyone else.
He has simplified the manipulation so much as easy as the "wet process"
... Dry plates, far more than wet, are disposed to loosen on the edges and lift from the glass to obviate all possible danger of such an occurrance, the use of an ending prepared and for sale by Mr. Levy is recommended............................ 


  • The Philadelphia Photographer Vol XV August 1878 nº 176

Levy’s emulsion plates

A letter from Mr.Levy
......A great trouble with emulsions having always been found in their liability to lift partly or fully from the plate,especially after the fixing , I manufactured an improved edging fluid, which is now largely used and pronounced invaluable.

..........I am glad to be able to say that with my emulsion dry plates,as made by me or by others with my emulsion and preservative, well lighted views can be taken  with an ordinary Darlot lens....


  • The Philadelphia Photographer Vol XV August 1878 nº 176

Editors Table

....From Mr. Albert Levy nº 77 University Place, New York, some instantaneous views made with his improved rapid working emulsion , views of animals, steamboats on their rapid course and yachts flying before the breeze. This is a wonderful advance in photography, for not only is the general character the view secured, but even the smallest details are brought out with perfect distinctness , the ripples of the water, the white foam dashed up by the wheel of the steamer , and the reflection of the boat in the glittering waves..

  • The Philadelphia Photographer March 1879 nº 183

Editor’s table

Levy’s  Emulsion Dry Plate Camera

.......Mr. Albert Levy 77 University Place New York so well kown in connection with with his emulsion and emulsion plates  quick to see the needs of the fraternity , has already placed in the market a unique litte camera for dry plates , to serve the purpose of the “Stereographe” , described in our last number, and offers camera and lens for $12 , for plates 4x5 inches. For this sum a half of dozen plates, developer, pyro, and hypo, are  included, with full instructions for working the same. Mr. Levy has thus doubtless met a real want......

  • The Philadelphia Photographer Vol XV July 1878 nº 175

.....We have just received of Mr. Albert Levy of 77 University Place New York a four page circular containing full particulars as to  the use of his emulsion and dry plates. He also describes a number of other useful articles which his manufactures has for sale......

  • The Philadelphia Photograph Vol XV December 1878 nº 180

Advertissment of Levy's  French emulsion
Emulsion photographique Francaise
Unequalled for rapidity ( fully equal to the both plate) intensity to any degree on simple developement without silver or other intensifier and absolutely permanent and without change.
Albert Levy sole propietor
Preservative for dry plates ( more rapid than wet). Also prepared Dry Plates ready for use and photographic chemicals at lowest market prices always on hand.
Price list on application
N.B. All dry plates made with my emulsion bear my signature

The Philadelphia Photographer Vol XV July 1878 nº 175

We have just received of Mr. Albert Levy of 77 University Place New York a four page circular containing full particulars as to  the use of his emulsion and dry plates. He also describes a number of other useful articles which his manufactures has for sale

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