THE PHOTOGRAPHIC NEWS November 11 1859, p.118

Photographic Notes and Queries

R. Mason

Sir,--Having tried some of the dry processes, but not, however, with the success of a Woodward or a Sidebotham, I at length determined to have a "plunge" into the wet; and as, in this process, a good portable tent is the sine qua non of success, I set about to contrive one myself. All those previously described in the "PHOTOGRAPHIC NEWS," I considered defective in more points than one--the aristocratic-looking " barrow," it is plain, would be worse than useless in many of the peregrinations of the photographer; while others, though entitled to the designation "portable," could not possibly afford " elbow-room "within their limited capacities.

The annexed is a sketch of the one in question I designed and executed myself, and though I will not say it is free from defect, yet it possesses the following characteristics

1. It is roomy--measuring 7 feet in height and 18 in circumference at the base; so that the largest plates can, with ease, be manipulated within it. 2. It occupies little time in "pitching "--five minutes being sufficient to put it up or take it down. And 3. It is portable--weighing only 13 pounds when packed up (fig. 5).


Description.--The framework or legs, L L L L, consist of eight rounded deal rods, of an inch in diameter, joined together in the middle by means of four brass hoops, each 3 inches long; these hoops are fastened on the lower extremities of the upper part of the legs, a (fig. 2), and when about to be joined, the lower part of the leg b (fig. 2) is pushed into the hoops after the manner of putting together a fishing rod. The upper half of each leg is square, and left stronger than the remaining portion A (fig. 2); this is necessary, as it has subsequently to be slit down with a saw to 18 or 20 inches from the top (fig. 2). On each side, at the top, is screwed an iron plate; through these are riveted the iron pills]) p p (fig. 2), of an inch long. The tent top (fig. 4) consists of two pieces of deal, 20 inches long, 1 inch broad, and thick, fastened together in the middle with a bolt and thumb-nut s (fig. 1). On each side, and near the extremities, are bored holes, h h, to receive the pins p p (fig. 2); thus forming a movable joint. It is well to have the holes in question protected by thin iron plates, to prevent the possibility of their being torn out. To the legs (fig. 1) are attached the stays P O N V by means of brass-headed thumb-screws (obtainable of any ironmonger) passing through each leg at x x x1 x x x. To save the trouble of taking out these screws each time the tent is set up or taken down, the stays have each a slit cut in place of a hole near their ends e e (fig. 6), to receive the body of the screw, which now only requires tightening up, and the whole framework is rendered perfectly rigid. Upon the stays O N rests the operating bench B--a board 3 feet long and 1 foot broad, divided into three parts and hinged together. It is secured to the stays by two brass hooks and eyes, the stay P being placed at a convenient height above the operating bench serves to rest the plate against to drain. The cover is coin-posed of two thicknesses of yellow calico and one of black round the bottom are sewn twelve brass rings--three on each side; through each a peg can be pushed into the ground; thus giving security to the tent in ease of wind, and venting the ingress of white light. It is entered on the side opposite the operating bench, over which is the yellow light W (fig. 3). R. Mason.