THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY. July 15, 1864, p.245
Take albumenised or any smooth-surfaced paper and coat it with a thin solution of starch; after it is dry it is ready for coating with gelatine The gelatine I generally prepare by soaking for half-an-hour in a surplus of water, and pour off almost as much as will draw. Put this into the boiler and it melts immediately. If the quality is good it needs no filtration, but if inferior it is better to be treated with albumen and clarified. I next add about an ounce more or less of golden syrup to eight ounces of the prepared gelatine, and four drachms of a saturated solution of bichromate of potash, or of the bichromates of ammonia and potash: either will do. The colouring matter is now added and allowed to settle for a time, and then it is strained into an earthen tray which is placed in a larger one with warm water to keep it at a temperature of about 90°.
As soon as the solution is free from bubbles the starched paper is floated on it, precisely as albumenised paper is done for silver printing, about half-a-minute; then carefully and rapidly lifted and any drainage drops allowed to fall into another dish, as dropping into the sensitising bath might make air-bubbles, which must be carefully avoided.
If it does not lie flat place it on a glass plate; turn it slowly round a short distance from the fire till it runs smooth all over; then place it flat on the table or levelling-stand, and in five minutes you may pin it up to dry.
It is best dried in a warm room in which air circulates freely without dust. This, when dry, is exposed under a negative on the gelatine side, and the exposure is from three to four times quicker than in silver printing, depending a good deal upon the thickness or otherwise of the colouring matter.
I may here mention that it is by no means imperative that the gelatinised surface of the paper be very free from waves or thick and thin parts, as the light rarely penetrates right through the full thickness of gelatine, and the thick parts wash off. If the paper be uneven it is better that it should be rolled, however, before being printed, in order to get a flat surface close to the negative.
After exposure--which I generally time by exposing a bit of clean bichromate paper till it is well coloured, then expose a second bit, and when it is also coloured the print is fully done--I now remove the frame into the dark room; remove the print; soak it in water for a minute; give it a shake to remove superfluous water; then rapidly pass a rather larger bit of albumenised paper through the water; place them both in close contact and roll on plate glass with a thickness or two of blotting-paper above and below. It is essential to the success of the transfer that not a single air-bubble, however minute, be left, otherwise it will. make a hole in the resulting proof.
The back of the damp albumenised paper is now wetted with spirit of wine and again rolled and hung up for a few minutes before the fire to dry. When dry it is placed in warm water anti the first paper come off in a few minutes; and immediately, if the exposure has been right, the picture begins to develop. If it becomes clear slowly it has been over-printed, and I find the best way then is to pour from a height of two feet or so a stream from a kettle, which generally clears it in a sufficient manner. It may, however, require prolonged soaking and this treatment afterwards.
The picture, if taken from an or ordinary negative, is reversed, and if it be not desired that it remain so I proceed a little differently. I take, instead of the albumenised paper, a thick solution of shellac and Venice turpentine in spirits of wine (methylated) in about equal parts, and attach the printed surface to a bit of common paper by rolling the two together with the lac paste between, allowing to dry, and proceeding as I have stated for the albumenised paper; and, after development, I saturate a bit of blotting-paper of the same size as the print with methylated spirits, and place it in contact with the second paper (having previously gone through the albumenised paper method with the developed surface), and leave it between two surfaces of glass for a quarter-of-an-hour or more, when the cemented surface will easily leave the picture, and a slight-wash with a sponge dipped in spirits will make it clear; and, if prepared for a transfer, will make it ready to be put on a grained stone. If for a simple print it is finished; but in the latter case the proportions of the gelatine and ink are changed.W.H. DAVIES.