viernes, 14 de abril de 2017

The gelatin dry plate. Albert Levy. Robert Taft. Photography and the american scene. 1939.

Photography and the American Scene

 Robert Taft, Photography and the American Scene—A Social History 1839–1889, Dover Publications, New York, 1938

ISBN: 0-486-26202-2
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 64-18373

In this book we can read the following:

Official recognition of the dry plate by the profession did not
come until 1880, when the Photographers' Association of America,
meeting in Chicago, appointed a committee to investigate the matterof dry plates. The committee requested that manufacturers of dry plates submit samples of their products to the committee for their examination and trial. This was in August, 1 880; between this time and January of the following year three manufacturers complied with the request, although other firms were making dry plates at the time. The firms submitting plates were John Carbutt of Philadelphia,
D. H. Cross of Indianola, Iowa, and Cramer and Norden of St.
Louis.38° Carbutt was at this time the president of the Association.
He had moved from Chicago to Philadelphia in 1 87 1 and was there engaged in promoting photo-mechanical processes. He was among the first to manufacture commercial dry plates in this country, his celebrated Keystone plates first appearing in 1879. He was preceded in this effort, as far as I can definitely ascertain, only by Albert Levy of New York, who began the manufacture of gelatin dry plates in 1878. (381)
Cross and Cramer and Norden began their commercial production
of dry plates, as far as the records show, in 1 880. Other firms
were putting them on the market in this year also. In May, E. and
H. T. Anthony announced for sale a product said to be of their own
manufacture, the Defiance plate. George Eastman also began commercial production of gelatin dry plates in September, 1 880, although he had made them as early as 1 879 for the use of several ofhis friends.  

Taft ref. 381:

38 1 . For a biographical sketch and
portrait of John Carbutt see journal
of the Franklin lnstilute, v. 1 60, p.
46 1 ( 1 905) ; and Dirtionary of A merican
Biography, v. 3, p. 485. PhotoMiniature,
v. 4, p. 9 ( 1 902·3) credits
Carbutt in 1 884 with being the first
American to use a celluloid base for a
photographic emulsion. Mention of
the Levy dry plates and cameras will
be found in Philadelphia Photographer,
v. 1 6, p. 95 (1879). As the
notice appears early in 1 879 and states
that Levy is well known for his dry
plates, it is quite evident that he was
making them as early as 1878 and possibly

El descubrimiento de los principales procesos fotográficos se realizó de manera continua en la segunda mitad  del siglo XIX.
Uno de los principales fue la dry plate que permitia mucha mayor libertad de acción a los fotógrafos. 
Pues bien en él internvinieron diferentes actores y uno, al final, consiguió difundir el proceso de manera comercial a gran escala : George Eastman .
Pero antes Maddox y Albert Levy también desarrollaron la dry plate, este último bajo el nombre de French Emulsion.
Pues bien la historia de la fotografía de esos tiempos nos permite buscar el rastro documental de dichos descubrimientos pues las revistas de fotografía ya existían en la época y era el lugar de difusión de los avances  que hacían estos pioneros de la fotografía.
Así, uno de ellas Philadelphia Photographer tiene, ya antes de la comercialización de Eastman, diferentes artículos  de Albert Levy dando publicidad a su método, indicando como funcionaba e incluso anuncios del mismo: Levy's French Photographic emulsion

 Hay una web,  Archive org, donde se encuentran bastantes de estas revistas de manera digitalizada y , por tanto, nos permiten hacer las búsquedas adecuadas de manera relativamente sencilla para localizar documentos, hechos, y sus autores. En ella encontré los datos que expongo a continuación.

En ( google translate)

The discovery of the main photographic processes was carried out continuously in the second half of the 19th century.
One of the main ones was the dry plate that allowed much more freedom of action to the photographers.
Well, he internalized different actors and one, in the end, managed to spread the process in a commercial way on a large scale: George Eastman.
But before that Maddox and Albert Levy also developed the dry plate, the latter under the name of French Emulsion.
Well, the history of photography of those times allows us to look for the documentary trail of such discoveries since the photography magazines already existed at the time and was the place of diffusion of the discoveries that made these pioneers of photography.
Thus, one of them Philadelphia Photographer has, before the marketing of Eastmans, different writings of Albert Levy advertising his method, indicating how it worked and even ads of it: Levy's French Photographic emulsion

There is a website, Archive org, where many of these magazines are found in a digitized way and, therefore, allow us to make the appropriate searches in a relatively simple way to locate documents, facts, and their authors. In it I found the data I set out below.

Library of Congress

In 1879, experiments resulted in the dry plate, a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion. Dry plates could be stored for a period of time. Photographers no longer needed the cumbersome and time-consuming portable darkroom. In fact, photographers began hiring technicians to develop their photographs, and the art of photo finishing was born. In addition, dry processes absorbed light quickly so rapidly in fact that the tripod could be stored in the closet and the camera held in the hand. With the speed of the film and the influx of hand-held cameras, action shots became more feasible.


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

The Philadelphia photographer
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
The Philadelphia photographer

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
The Philadelphia photographer

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......

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