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Subject: Photo identification

Photo identification

From: Sue Bigelow <sue_bigelow>
Date: Sunday, October 13, 1991
My apologies for not passing this on to you sooner.  Here are all
the correspondences I have received to date on the photo ID inquiry,
along with my replies, to use as you see fit.  I suspect there will
be more to come.

Sue Bigelow

    Subject: Photo Identification
    To: Sue Bigelow
    From: fr0c+ [at] andrew__cmu__edu

    >"I would have identified it as an ordinary 20th century silver gelatin

    Which decade?

    >"The entire photograph has a brilliant reddish-orange cast, as
    >though the gelatin layer has been dyed this unnatural color;"

    Do both what would normally be the black and white areas of the
    photograph have the "reddish-orange cast" or just what would be white?

    Is the "reddish-orange cast" evenly distributed over the photograph or
    is it uneven with the image looking faded in some places?

    Is there a manufacture's name the back of the photograph?

    Frank Reynolds

    To: Sue Bigelow
    Subject: Reddish Photo Identification
    From: fr0c+ [at] andrew__cmu__edu

    ...  If your photograph had been made more recently, I through that
    it may have been on a photographic paper that has color built into
    the emulsion (Luminos by name).  Your description would seem to
    indicate that it has been toned, but that is just a guess from a

    If you are able to obtain books through interlibrary loan the
    following may be of help to you in identifying your photograph;

    "Conservation of Photographs, Kodak Publication No. F-40."

    Also if the photographer used an older photographic process;

    "Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints, Kodak
    Publication No. G-2S." ...

    Frank Reynolds

    Subject: Copper toned photo
    To: ah670 [at] cleveland__Freenet__Edu
    From: Sue Bigelow

    Michael McCormick,
    Thanks for your suggestion of Berg Copper Toner.  I'd never heard of
    it.  I thought toners only affected the colour of the silver image.
    How does this one work? There are no borders on this photograph; it
    has been trimmed to an oval shape.  The colour is equally intense
    throughout the photo in both highlights and image area.

    Sue Bigelow
    City of Vancouver Archives

    Subject: Copper toned photo
    To: Sue Bigelow
    From: ah670 [at] cleveland__freenet__edu

    I'm not certain what the chemical process is for copper toner, and
    it may well act like the other toners in plating the image silver.
    Another thought: Edwal makes dye toners that are absorbed by the
    gelatin, and color the entire surface. But again, copper toner
    doesn't provide any stabilizing effect for the image. In fact, Berg
    warns that the copper toner is NOT stable in in the long term.

    >to an oval shape.  The colour is equally intense throughout the
    >photo in both highlights and image area.

    I have used copper toner in instances where the patron has wanted
    that particular tone, rather than selenium or sepia.  It acts much
    the way you describe.  The color sounds right for an fairly intense
    application of copper toner.

    Mike McCormick

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:25
                 Distributed: Sunday, October 27, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-25-003
Received on Sunday, 13 October, 1991

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