• This hand colored albumen print depicts the Uji-bashi Bridge located in the small city of Uji, Japan. The wooden bridge is the oldest of its kind in Japan. Hand coloring photographs was introduced in Japan by British photographers during the 1860s. By the 1880s, the popularity of the technique in Japan far exceeded that of Europe. Upon the advent of photography, the production of Japanese woodblock prints declined and many unemployed woodblock artists applied their skills to hand coloring tourist photographs. The tedious process was expedited by the use of an assembly line method: one artist would color skin tones then pass the print to another artist to color foliage and so on. Water soluble pigments prepared with buckskin glue were used producing a subtle transparent color pallet. Later prints were colored with more vibrant aniline dyes. Explore the Albumen identification page to learn more about this process.
  • Ambrotypes are usually enclosed in protective cases and are assembled in many layers. They are housed in the same style as daguerreotypes, which they are often confused with. Interestingly, the method of casing daguerreotypes was itself influenced by the style of cased painted miniature portraits popular during the 17th and 18th centuries. Like daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are almost exclusively portraits. Take the guided tour of this object.
  • The vast majority of 19th century portraiture depicts the sitter(s) standing or seated with their gaze directed toward away from the camera. Active portraits in which the sitters are engaged in an activity, such as this, are less common. However, as photographic portraiture became less expensive, portraiture became less formal, particularly tintypes. The tintype is a direct positive, meaning it is a positive image made directly in the camera. Technically, a negative image is created when light sensitive materials are exposed in a camera. However, in 1850 Louis Desire Blanquart-Evrard noticed that an underexposed negative appeared positive when placed against a dark background. This is the basis for the tintype, in which the light sensitive layer is applied to a dark lacquered iron support. Initially the lacquer was black. Brown lacquered supports became popular in the 1870s. These are known as chocolate tintypes. Explore the Tintype identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This 1950s stereo Kodachome depicts a curious chipmunk with a Graflex camera. Kodachrome was a chromogenic color product produced by Kodak. This product differs from other chromogenic materials in that the dye producing color couplers were introduced during development, rather than being incorporated into the material during manufacturing. As a result, Kodachrome dyes are slightly more stable than the dyes in other chromogenic products. Stereo was a popular format for Kodachrome in the 1950s and 1960s. When viewed through a special viewer the images appeared in 3D. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • What makes this tintype particularly interesting is difficult to articulate, but nonetheless it draws the viewer in. The studio setting is typical in its oddness—it gives the pretense of having been taken outdoors with a garden bench and tree complete with a birdhouse, however the edge of the backdrop is visible on the left. What is striking is how the women are posed. The woman seated confronts the camera directly, but lacks the air of confidence demonstrated by the woman standing, whose gaze is directed away from the viewer. They are, however, both wearing fabulous hats. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This small cyanotype is an example of an early 20th snapshot. Cyanotype paper was commercially produced and marketed to amateur photographers. Creating a cyanotype was very simple making it a widely accessible process. The paper was contact printed, meaning the negative was placed in direct contact with the cyanotype paper, and exposed with sunlight. The paper was then simply washed with water producing an image in a pleasant shade of blue. The highlights of this print are a bit muddy suggesting the paper may have been old or fogged or the negative was too dense. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This matte collodion print has been given the descriptive title “Three out of Four Mustaches” for obvious reasons. The matte collodion process was popular for a short period of time, only from about 1895-1910. This image was likely taken toward the end of the process’s popularity judging by the style of the men’s shirt collars. Matte collodion can be difficult to distinguish from early silver gelatin developed out prints as early silver gelatin prints also tend to be matte and presented on thick card mounts. This print exhibits a few identifying characteristics. The image shows very little image deterioration. The image tone appears neutral, black and white, but with a closer look it is slightly purple-black. Matte collodion prints were toned with gold and platinum producing a very stable image. If the image was more heavily gold toned the image tends to be more purple. Early untoned silver gelatin prints typically exhibit moderate to major image deterioration. Another identifying feature in the abrasion across the bottom of the print. Collodion is very brittle and easily abrades. Explore the Matte Collodion identification page to learn more about this process.
  • Shown here are two cartes de visite likely made in the early 1860s at the beginning of the format’s heyday. The date is evidenced by the style of the card mounts and the framing of the image. The mounts are thin and hand cut, they are different sizes, and there is no studio information present. Finally, producing a full figure portrait in the carte de visite format was more common in the 1860s than in later decades. The two photographs were made during the same studio sitting as the man appears in both images and is wearing the same clothes. Also notice the dark marks on the man’s face. Silver halides (the light sensitive chemical that produces the photographic image) are only sensitive to ultraviolet and blue light. As a result, freckles or any kind of redness in the skin appears as dark spots in the final image. The prints are albumen prints, the most popular printing process of the nineteenth century. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Shown here is a set of three tintypes with the same sitter depicted, from left to right, with a child, two women, and alone. These were all made on the same day—the man is in the same attire, the studio backdrops and props appear multiple times, and two of the three have matching mats. The third tintype has evidence on the back that it had a decorative mat which is now missing. The three objects are a popular size called the bon ton and were possibly made on the same plate. Usually multiple images were made on a large, single plate, which were then cut apart into individual plates with tin snips. In the tintype in the middle, there are heavy abrasions over one woman’s face that appear intentional. The last step in making a tintype is to apply a protective varnish. The varnish appears to be over the abrasions suggesting they were made at the time the photograph was taken. Finally, the man is wearing a distinctive hat that is unidentified, but likely points to his profession. It is similar to those worn by train engineers. Explore the tintype identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This matte collodion print has three images that were taken on a single negative. The image depicts a toddler in a studio setting. The child was in motion, as evidenced by the slight motion blur in frames one and two. The images were taken successively, but likely with a pause in between exposures; the chair is missing form the second frame and reappears in the third. The matte collodion process was popular for only a short period of time placing this image sometime between 1895 and 1910. The photographer attempted to diminish the fuzzy white line dividing the three frames by retouching the line in the mid-tone areas. Matte collodion prints were toned with gold and/or platinum. The warm, brown tones of this image suggest it was toned with platinum. Explore the Matte Collodion identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen photograph was made in the late 19th century, likely by an itinerant photographer. Itinerant photographers did not necessarily have a physical studio, but rather a portable studio which they moved from place to place offering portraits usually outdoors. Evidence that points toward this image being made by such a photographer are in the image and in the manner in which it is mounted. There is a tuft of grass in the lower left-hand corner of the image. Also, the backdrop and ground covering are rudimentary consisting of a tapestry and a rug. Studio photographers in the late 19th century usually had more elaborate painted backdrops. The books in the image may have been the photographer’s props or provided by the sitter. The print is mounted to a cabinet card mount. The borders of the print were trimmed before mounting and the photographer did a rather sloppy job of trimming as the edges are not square and are a little jagged. Also, there is no studio information on the mount. The front is plain and the back has a generic floral pattern. Studio photographers were typically more careful in trimming the prints and often had mounts printed with their studio’s name and address. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This gelatin printed-out print was printed from a negative made with a No. 2 Kodak Camera. The original Kodak was introduced in 1888 and was the first camera to hold flexible roll film. This product revolutionized photography by making it accessible to anyone who could afford to buy it (it cost $25). The No. 2 Kodak, produced from 1889 to 1897, was the third camera introduced by the company. These early Kodak cameras were purchased already loaded with film. After all the exposures were made, the entire camera was sent back to Kodak where the company processed the negatives, printed the images, and the sent prints and reloaded camera back to the consumer. The images made in the original Kodak were round measuring 2 ½ inches in diameter. The round image was a useful composition device but was also a technical necessity. The camera’s lens did not produce a sharp image at the edges, to compensate Kodak used a round mask when printing the images. The No. 2 camera was larger and the round images were 3 ½ inches in diameter. This print is also on the original Kodak mount. The original mounts were a dark brown or cream card, such as this, with a floral pattern on the back as well as the company’s logo and address. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The wet plate collodion process, used to make tintypes, was a relatively slow process. Depending on the time of year and intensity of light, exposures could take from a few seconds to minutes. This made photographing babies and small children particularly challenging. As a result, the child’s caretaker was often photographed holding the child, but masked or made invisible in some way, such as by being placed under a dark cloth. These images have been classified as “Hidden Mothers” by collector’s circles. The child in this image is sitting on a woman’s lap. The woman’s face and the white collar of her dress have been painted over, but are still slightly visible. Also, her hand holding the child is visible in the lower left side of the image. Explore the tintype identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen carte de visite was made by the G.C. Arless studio, which operated in Montreal and Bedford, Quebec. The image depicts two men dressed in work attire and the man on the left holds a cigar. This image could be classified as an “occupational portrait.” Usually these images show the sitters with tools of their trade. However, in this portrait, there are no clues as to the nature of their occupation, although their clothes suggest they are laborers. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This matte collodion print was likely made by a professional studio photographer. The matte collodion process was popular for a relatively short period of time, from 1895-1910. The gelatin dry plate was the dominant process for making negatives during this time. Exposure times for the dry plate were significantly shorter than earlier processes, nevertheless, the swift movements of a crying baby were captured as motion blur in this image. Regardless, the image was printed and mounted (and sold to the customer). The object has some condition issues. The mount has significant surface grime and discoloration. There are several stains from the presence of mold as well as abrasions on the print. Collodion is very brittle and susceptible to abrasions. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This object is a souvenir produced by the French photographer, Pierre Petit, commemorating the one-hundred-year anniversary of the independence of the United States. The image is a photographic reproduction of an illustration of the Statue of Liberty. The Statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States as a commemoration of the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. Petit was commissioned to photograph the stages of the construction of the Statue from 1871 to 1886. At the time of the centennial, the statue was not complete, however, the torch-bearing arm was on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Therefore, Petit had to reproduce an illustration of the completed Statue for his commemorative souvenir. This print is a carbon print, a process known for image stability due to the use of pigment as the image material. Petit also produced this image as albumen prints in a variety of formats. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This French carte de visite (CDV) was made around 1860. The plain white design of the cardboard mount suggests this early date, as later CDVs generally had ornate designs and colored mounts. The sitters in the image carry a slightly stiff pose, likely a result of the collodion glass plate negative’s low sensitivity that required several seconds for an exposure. This albumen photograph is in particularly good condition, showing only slight fading and yellowing that is typical of albumen prints. On the back of the CDV, a simple stamp shows the photographer’s name and studio address in Castres, France. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This mid-20th century silver gelatin developed-out print depicts a small boy presenting his catch of the day. The style and subject of the image suggest it is a family snapshot. However, the size and choice of paper suggest the photographer was either a serious amateur or professional. The print measures 5 x 7 inches. The paper is a double weight paper with a fine-grain applied texture and matte surface sheen. This type a quality of paper was a popular choice for more serious photographers that printed their own negatives in the darkroom. In the mid-20th century, most amateur snapshot photographers had their negatives processed and printed in professional photo labs. These prints are typically small and have a glossy, ferrotyped surface. A print made for publication would also have a glossy surface. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen print is an unmounted stereoview. Albumen prints are made on very thin paper stock and tend to curl severely due to the difference in absorption and desorption of moisture between the paper and the albumen binder, making mounting a necessity. Unmounted prints are relatively uncommon. Notice the two images are not quite identical. The image on the right is shifted slightly when compared to the image on the left. This indicates these images were taken with a stereo camera. In its finished state the two images would have been cut apart, mounted side by side to a card mount, and viewed through a stereoscope resulting in the illusion of a three-dimensional image. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This illustration adorns the back of an 1880s booklet for "Good Luck" Guano, a fertilizer manufactured by the Geo. W. Miles Company in Baltimore Maryland. The booklet, which is entirely printed in relief, contains letters written to the company by a range of experts praising the quality of the fertilizer. The wood engraving process used intaglio engraving tools, such as the burin also called a graver, to cut the image out of the end grain of hard woods like boxwood. Several blocks of wood would be bolted together to create one large block. The harder wood allowed for more detail and the use of engraving tools allowed the craftsman to cut away from himself. Beginning in the 19th century a metal surrogate was often made from the original wood block in order to preserve the original and allow for larger print runs. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This real photo postcard was printed on Kodak Azo postcard stock by an amateur photographer. Components of its back printing suggest it was made between 1907 and 1909. Azo postcards were Kodak’s least expensive and most popular brand of silver gelatin postcard paper. This image was likely printed from a hand camera negative through a rectangular mask. Interestingly, the photographer chose this negative despite evidence of camera shake during exposure and fingers obscuring a large portion of the frame. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This print is an example of a memorial card, also known as mourning, mass or prayer card. These cards, which grew in popularity during the late 1800s, were distributed amongst the family, friends and community of the deceased individual, serving as an obituary. They were also given to attendees of the individual’s funeral service. This example includes a chalk-manner lithographic portrait of the deceased. Chalk-manner lithographs were made to mimic chalk drawings. The image was drawn on a roughened stone with a greasy crayon. The non-image areas were etched with dilute nitric acid and the stone was wetted. Greasy ink was then applied, which adhered to the image areas and was repelled by the water soaked non-image areas. The stone was then printed onto paper in a lithographic press. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This real photo postcard was printed on Kodak Azo postcard stock by a professional photographer at The Fair Postal Studio in Chicago. During the postcard craze of early 20th century, studio photographers often added real photo postcards to their list of services. In some cases, particularly in large cities, studios were devoted solely to the production of photographic postcards. Although undated, components of this postcard’s back printing suggest it was made around 1910. Azo postcards, made on silver gelatin DOP, were Kodak’s least expensive and most popular brand. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This dye imbibition print depicting flamenco dancers was possibly made using the Eastman Wash-Off Relief process, the precursor to Dye Transfer. However, it is difficult to distinguish early Dye Transfer from Wash-Off Relief when prints are not dated, such as this print. The print is made on the Kodak A surface, which was a common paper for Wash-Off Relief prints. Another, more subjective, identifier is the saturated color quality, which is consistent with both early Dye Transfer and Wash-Off Relief. Color photography was embraced first by photojournalism and advertising. This image was likely made to illustrate a magazine article. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This offset lithograph postcard has an applied texture referred to as "linen". Linen postcards were made between 1930 and 1950. The illustration, done by artist George Leusch, is a humorous one promoting the Indiana Dunes in Michigan City, Indiana. According to the National Parks Service, Leusch owned an ice cream and novelty shop on the corner of Franklin and Michigan streets. His promotional images of the Indiana Dunes adorned postcards, plates, match holders and other items. These images helped popularized the area as a recreational destination and summer cottage location for people in nearby Chicago. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen carte de visite dates to the 1860s. The strong vignette around the woman's head is typical of roughly half of the portraits made during this decade. Portraits depicting the entire sitter were also popular. Warm image colors as well as deterioration, such as highlight yellowing and image fading typify albumen prints. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This cyanotype print was likely made by an amateur photographer in the 1910s. While the cyanotype process was introduced in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, the process didn’t reach peak popularity until several decades later with the introduction of the hand camera in the late 1880s. Easier to use cameras and roll film allowed a greater number of people to take up photography. Commercially manufactured cyanotype paper was the perfect match as it was also easy to use, requiring only water to process the prints. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This silver gelatin snapshot depicts a boy sitting on the lap of a large rabbit. The tradition of the Easter Bunny or Easter Hare comes from Germany with the first written account dating to 1682 in the De ovis paschalibus by Georg Franck von Franckenau. The symbol of the rabbit and its association with the Christian celebration of Easter has both secular and Christian roots. Rabbits are prolific breeders, particularly in the spring, and are therefore an ancient symbol of fertility and new life associated with the spring season. Also in the ancient world, it was thought that rabbits could reproduce as virgins and therefore became associated with the Virgin Mary, the mother Jesus. This is evidenced in medieval illuminated manuscripts in which rabbits appear alongside the Virgin. The warm, brown-black image tone of this print is due to silver image deterioration which has also caused the image to fade, particularly in the highlights. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • In this gelatin dry plate negative the image was inverted to show how the image would appear as a positive print. The bicycle in the image dates to the 1890s at the height of the “bicycle craze.” Safety bicycles were introduced in the 1880s and inflatable rubber tires were introduced in 1890. These improvements to the bicycle led to a surge in the popularity of cycling at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century by adults as well as children. The gelatin dry plate was also introduced in the 1880s, peaking in popularity in the 1890s. The dry plate was easier to use than earlier photographic technology so, like the bicycle, there was a surge in the number of people using photography. This image represents the accessibility of both photography and cycling to a greater number of people due to the many technological achievements of the late 19th century. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This silver gelatin print is a real-photo postcard. Photographic papers with a postcard back could be purchased from any photographic supply company and were popular during the early part of the 20th century. This image was likely taken closer to the mid-20th century. The car the women depicted are posing in may be a studio prop as evidenced by the painted backdrop. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Matte collodion prints and glossy collodion prints are similar in that they are both printed out and have a collodion binder. However, they are structurally different and often toned differently. Glossy collodion prints have a thick baryta layer giving them their characteristic glossy surface sheen. Matte collodion have a very thin bartya layer or matting agents producing a semi-matte or matte surface sheen. Like glossy collodion prints, matte collodion were gold toned producing a range of purple to purple-red image tones. Matte collodion were also commonly toned with platinum, or both gold and platinum producing a range of image colors depending on the length, strength, and type of toning solution. Platinum toning produced a brown image color. This print was likely toned with more platinum than gold resulting in an olive-brown image color. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This late 19th century tintype shows a baby in a wicker baby carriage with an attached parasol. Carriages of this type were popular in the 1890s. The image was taken out doors suggesting the photographer was an itinerant photographer rather than a studio photographer. Regardless, the plate is very well made indicating the photographer was skilled. Tintypes are made on a lacquered iron plate. Typically, the plate is lacquered on both sides with a thicker layer on the side that will hold the image. This plate is only lacquered on the image side. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This sulfur toned silver gelatin DOP print was previously used for research in the library collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Silver Gelatin DOP prints first appeared in the mid 1880’s and became the most dominate printing process throughout the twentieth century. According to the handwritten label on the verso, the mummy is from an animal tomb found in Biban el Moluk or “Tomb of the Kings Valley.” The description identifies the object from the XVIII Dynasty, which was considered the first of three dynasties of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Egyptians would often raise animals in colonies and sacrifice animals either as offerings to the gods, or to accompany them in the afterlife. During the XVIII dynasty, monkeys were being imported to Egypt from the land of Punt. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This silver gelatin DOP was donated to IPI with a selection of family photographs. The photograph was made in the 1910’s and was likely made by a parent or family member. The introduction of roll film and easy-to-use cameras in the 1880’s made intimate, candid photographs like this one possible. The quality of this print suggests the photographer was a serious, skilled amateur or that the print was professionally made. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Photo collage was a popular pastime among aristocratic Victorian women. Often, as demonstrated in the image seen here, these compositions featured a photographic head on an illustrated body placed in an imaginary landscape. The subject matter depicted ranged from romanticized scenes, such as this one, to whimsical fantasies featuring human heads on animal bodies. These images were typically placed in albums, similar to today’s scrapbooks. This collage, made in 1878, features a cutout from an albumen print pasted onto a pen and ink drawing. Though the albumen binder has yellowed and the silver image has faded, retouching in the woman’s hair reveals that the photograph’s original tone and density closely matched those of the ink drawing. Explore the Identification page for Albumen to learn more about this process.
  • In this 35mm Kodachrome slide the photographer is drawing on the rich cultural symbolism of pomegranates. By showing the fruit split open, exposing its seeds, and paired with a sensual nude female statue, the symbolic meanings of fertility and marriage found in many Western and Eastern cultures are recalled. For instance, the Greek goddess Persephone was made to live in the Underworld because she had eaten the seeds of the pomegranate. She is understood as a symbol of rebirth since each spring she was allowed to emerge and spend half the year with her mother. In Christianity, the pomegranate was the fruit brought to Moses to demonstrate the fertility of the promised land. Pomegranates are also found in medieval European art, such as the famous tapestry "Unicorn in Captivity," in which the unicorn is tied to the pomegranate tree and the seeds are spilling out on him. Turkish brides throw the fruit to the ground, with the number of seeds that spill out when it bursts open indicating the number of children the couple will have. Similarly, in China the fruit is used to bestow the hope of numerous children on married couples. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • According to a handwritten inscription on the verso, this hand-colored silver gelatin developed-out print (DOP) features Alvin Therrien in the South Pacific during World War II. Soldiers deployed in the South Pacific were often equipped with machetes, such as the one pictured here, to cut through the region’s dense jungles. This silver gelatin DOP was made on a heavy weight fiber-based paper with an applied textured surface. Although not in common practice by the mid-twentieth century, the image has been heavily hand colored. Silver gelatin prints could be colored with pigments or with water-soluble colorants. Under magnification pigment particles are visible in this print indicating a pigment colorant, such as watercolor, was used. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This small, “real photo” postcard measuring 2 ¾ x 3 ½ inches is a type of novelty postcard known as a “midget” or “miniature”. It is a collodion POP that was printed on paper with a postcard back. Midget postcards were made primarily in Britain at the turn of the 20th century and were usually images of popular celebrities of the time. However, the subject matter and the text on the back of this postcard (not pictured) indicates this is a candid photograph between friends while on vacation together. Papers used for making real photo postcards were available for both the commercial and amateur photography markets. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This 35mm color transparency film depicts a sweeping landscape of mountains dotted with Scandinavian-style houses by the water. The emulsion side of the film has a distinct surface relief that is characteristic of Kodachrome film. The film was originally housed in a Pakon pre-closed plastic slide mount, which did not require the mount to be sealed or folded after the film was inserted. This unique mechanism made it impossible to imprint a processing date or sequence number on the mount until 1982. A stamped date on this mount reveals that the film was commercially processed in "JUN-84." Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The size of this tintype is referred to as “bon ton", the most common tintype size. Usually multiple images were made on a large, single plate, which were then cut apart into individual plates with tin snips. This image, measuring 2 ½ by 4 inches, would have been one of eight exposed on an 8x10 inch plate. Often, cutting the plate resulted in sharp and irregular corners, which were clipped such as those seen here. Tintypes required exposure times of a few seconds or more even in bright light. Impressively, the child in this image, likely with the aid of the props depicted and some off-camera coaxing, managed to remain still and smiling throughout the duration of the exposure. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen print is a commercial studio portrait mounted on a standard-sized cabinet card. Cabinet cards, typically measuring about 4.25 x 6.5 inches, grew popular in the 1870s, replacing the smaller carte-de-visite, which measured roughly 2.5 x 4 inches, as the dominant format for portraiture. As indicated by a handwritten date on its verso, this print was made in June of 1879. Albumen prints were made on very thin paper stock and tended to curl severely due to the difference in absorption and desorption of moisture between the paper and the albumen binder, making mounting a necessity. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This 1909 postcard is not printed, but rather embossed and painted. The paint was likely applied with an airbrush. Embossed postcards were common in the early twentieth century, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of postcards. However, typically they were printed and embossed. A postcard that is just embossed is less common. This New Year greeting was sent to Mrs. Ira B. Myers in Ithaca, NY from her friend Margaret.
  • This silver gelatin DOP is a direct positive image likely made by a street photographer circa 1915 using a camera manufactured by the Chicago Ferrotype Company or an imitator. The Chicago Ferrotype Company was formed in 1904 by brothers Manuel and Louis Mandel. In 1907 the company began selling products marketed towards street photographers and rapidly grew to be the largest manufacturer of street photography cameras of the era. To produce this print, the photographer loaded a stack of manufactured black cards coated with a silver gelatin emulsion into a special camera outfitted with a developing tank. After exposure, the card dropped through a slot in the bottom of the camera into the tank containing what the company referred to as a "3 in 1 developing solution." The card was retrieved using a small hook-shaped tool, allowed to dry then given to the customer. These photographs are characterized by their overall dark appearance, muddy highlights and warm tone. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This chromogenic print made in 1961 is on a fiber-based support. The print exhibits image deterioration typical to prints of this vintage such as a shift in color toward the magenta due to preferential fading of the cyan dye, as well as yellowing of the borders and highlights due to coupler staining. Depicted here is Dudley Palmer, Christmas 1960. This print is part of a larger collection of photographs from the Palmer family. The Palmer collection includes images of Dudley and the tinsel laden tree nearly every Christmas from the late 1950s through the 1970s. The collection not only gives insight into amateur snapshot photography in the mid-20th century, but also gives insight into the photographic materials of the mid-20th century. Explore the Chromogenic Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This silver gelatin developed out print is mounted in a folder. The bow design is printed with letterpress (relief) as is the design on the front of the folder, which is not shown here. The photographic print has a textured surface known as the Kodak tweed surface. Tweed and tapestry textures were made by pressing the felt side of cloth into the paper support during the paper making process. A thin baryta was then applied before applying the silver gelatin emulsion. Explore the Silver Gelatin DOP Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • Following the introduction of the Kodak Brownie in 1888, photography became accessible to the average person, allowing amateur photographers to document day-to-day occurrences such as changing a tire. This silver gelatin DOP print features what appears to be a 1924 or 1925 Model T. What Kodak was to photographers, Ford was to motorists: the mass-produced Model T, manufactured from 1908 until 1927, was an affordable vehicle marketed toward common consumers. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen carte-de-visite is a composite print. Around the late 1860s, studio photographers began using masking techniques to superimpose a variety of backgrounds and props with portraits of their sitters. The background seen here was likely a painting, which was photographed to produce a negative. The photographer created a mask for this negative and for the negative of the sitter then combined the two images during printing. This technique was perfected by Daniel and David Bendann of Baltimore in 1872. Their patented method of compositing portraits with scenery was known as "Bendann Backgrounds." Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This silver gelatin DOP print was likely made during the late 1920s to early 1930s. Wild turkeys are native to the North American continent. However, due to colonization and deforestation, wild turkey populations began to decline during the late 18th century. Around the time this photograph was taken, the number of wild turkeys throughout the United States and Canada had reached an all-time low. Following World War II, state and federal hunting regulations and land preservation mandates helped restore the dwindling turkey population. Although this print has been hand colored, much of the colorant has faded. It is likely that this print spent several years exposed to light while on display in a frame. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Judging by the simple set and informal nature of the image, this unusual duo was likely photographed at a low-end studio or by an itinerant photographer. Tintypes were relatively easy and inexpensive to produce. Photographers could prepare the plate then expose and process the image within a few minutes. Perhaps working in haste, this photographer managed to leave fingerprints in the collodion while coating, processing or handling the still-wet plate. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This print was made using offset lithography, a photomechanical process that combines lithography, photography and offset printing. The image was made from a photograph, which was broken up into halftones in order to create ink reproductions. The halftone process involves the use of a process camera, which captures an image (projected through an angled halftone screen) on a sheet of high-contrast film. This patterned film is used to photographically create a lithographic plate. During printing, the inked plate bearing the halftone image is printed onto a rubber blanket before being transferred (or offset) to its final substrate. Though not present in this copy, the title “Efforts” is typically printed below this image. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This offset lithograph postcard of Oblong Geyser Crater, Yellowstone National Park was published by Frank Jay Haynes. Haynes began photographing in Yellowstone National Park in 1881. His target audience was tourists who were beginning to visit the park by the Northern Pacific railway, which was completed in 1883. Haynes was the official photographer for the Northern Pacific and became known as the “official” photographer of the park. He established several studios throughout the park and began publishing postcard views in 1897. This postcard is on a textured paper known as linen paper. It was printed with cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks, which are called process colors. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This twentieth century lithograph titled Dance Macabre is a modern adaptation of the medieval allegory of the universality of death, Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death. In medieval representations, the personification of death comes for individuals representing all stations of society from kings to peasants. This modern interpretation is more literal, as Death appears to be actually dancing. The lithograph was done in the pen and ink style, one of most prominent styles of lithographic drawing. Pen and ink style lithographs closely resemble pen and ink line drawings. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This real photo postcard depicts a group of men bathing and shaving outdoors. The German text, “Big Wash, Campaign 1914/15,” indicates the men depicted are likely German soldiers. The image is surprising playful considering it was taken at the dawn of of the First World War. The slightly warm image tonalities are due to silver image deterioration. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen print portrait of a boy is quite large, the mount measures 8x10 inches. The inscription on the back indicates it was taken in February 1866. The print also has two, one cent revenue stamps on the back. In order to help finance the Civil War, Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1862. Among other things, it required revenue, or tax, stamps to be purchased and placed on certain goods and services, particularly luxury items like playing cards and tobacco. In June of 1864, Congress placed a new luxury tax on photographs requiring photographers to apply a US revenue stamp on the back of photographs. The act was repealed in August of 1866. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This mid-20th century silver gelatin print was possibly made by a professional press photographer. The print is 8x10 inches, ferrotyped, and it is well made suggesting it was printed for reproduction and was not an amateur snapshot. The name of the performer "Ruthie Lee" is written on the back of the print. However, there is no caption adhered to the back or press stamp suggesting it was likely never published. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • An alien, likely a Martian, is depicted proudly walking an Airedale Terrier down the street in this late 20th century chromogenic print. Although the photograph has no backprint indicating the photographic paper manufacturer, the surface texture and sheen is very similar to the Kodak E surface resin coated paper. The E surface was introduced in 1976. The style of clothing worn by the onlookers of this seen suggest this print was likely made in the first years of the E surface production. To create the distinctive texture, pigmented polyethylene was extruded onto the paper support, passing through a nip and was cooled against a textured steel roller called a "chill roll." Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This Dye Transfer print was made as an illustration for the 1951 Kodak Dye Transfer Process data book, which describes how to use the process. Included in the data book is a full color illustration of this image as well as illustrations of the separation negatives used to make the print. This Dye Transfer print is part of IPI’s Condax Collection. The Collection includes materials from Louis Condax and his son Phillip. Louis Condax was a Kodak Research Scientist and is known as the father of the Dye Transfer process. Many of the prints in the Collection were made by Louis himself or under his direction in the Kodak Research Lab, including this print. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This image was made using a gelatin dry plate negative, which has been inverted using digital editing tools to appear positive. The photograph documents The McCall Grocery Co. in Newark, NY in the 1890s. The commercial introduction of gelatin dry plate in the 1880s marked the birth of the modern photographic industry. The dry plate was easier to use than its predecessor, the wet plate collodion negative, making photography more accessible to a broader audience creating a new class of amateur photographers. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen print depicts a woman in a three-quarter pose gazing out beyond the camera from an open window. The drapery is pulled aside giving the viewer a glimpse the inside of the home. By the late 19th century many photographic studios had elaborate studio sets and props. Closer inspection of this image reveals that the window is a painted studio prop. The “home” is likely the studio arranged to look like a domestic interior. While studio sets and backdrops emulating outdoor scenes are fairly common, window scenes like this showing a mix in interior and exterior space is less common. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This Swedish made collodion cabinet card is a composite print. Decorative masks used to frame the image were common in the late 19th century in the United States and Europe. This mask suggests an interior space appearing as if this is a photograph of a photograph, framed and hung on a wall complete with wall paper and a flower arrangement. In reality the image of the frame and wall was a separate negative. Images such as this would have been more labor intensive and difficult to make than using a standard studio backdrop. This print is also made on a paper with a pink tinted baryta giving the image an overall pink color cast. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This tintype depicts a group of young men and women. The exact circumstances surrounding the image are unclear. The women are wearing American Civil War style military hats, however the rest of their attire suggests post reconstruction, likely the 1880s. This is further evidenced by pince-nez eye glasses worn by the woman on the left. Pince-nez glasses reached peak popularity from 1880 to 1900. Two of the women are also wearing flag pins and two have flowers. The man in the back left is in military uniform and the man in the front left is wearing a uniform under his overcoat. The studio backdrop and props are minimal with the exception of an oddly placed branch in the lower right coming across the knee of the man seated on the right. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The outdoor setting of this albumen cabinet card is fairly uncommon. Made in the 1870s, cabinet cards of this vintage were typically made in photographic studios with props and backdrops, although outdoor images were made by itinerant photographers. While little is known of the Van Woert studio in Oneonta, NY, there are no other known images by this studio that were taken outside suggesting Van Woert was not an itinerant photographer. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This 1930s silver gelatin DOP snapshot depicts two couples posed in front of their cars. The car models are difficult to identify, but appear similar to models produced by Chrysler in the late 1930s. Cars are a symbol of wealth and status. This was particularly true in the United States in the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression. Despite the economic depression, car technology improved greatly during this decade with innovations including the automatic transmission and hydraulic breaks. The print was likely contact printed. It’s on a slightly textured, semi-gloss paper with no back print to indicate the paper manufacturer. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Composite prints using a decorative mask to frame the subject were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While some masks were decorative, some were more thematic and perhaps pointed towards the sitter’s personal interests, such as this image in which the sitter is framed by a bicycle wheel. Safety bicycles were introduced in the late 1880s and ignited an American bicycle craze which reached its peak in the 1890s. They were called “safety” bicycles because they were safer than the penny-farthing bicycle, the models with the giant front wheel. Bicycling became linked with the women’s movement of the 1890s. Susan B. Anthony was quoted in an 1896 issue of New York World’s saying bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” It is possible the woman depicted here was an avid cyclist and even a suffragette engaged in “The New Woman” movement of the 1890s. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This albumen carte-de-visite was likely made in the mid to late 1860s. A combination of factors help to date this print. The sitter’s attire is typical of the mid to late 1860s. She wears a silk dress with a very full skirt and somewhat puffy sleeves. Also, her hair is parted in the center. The mount is plain with no studio information suggesting it is a relatively early CDV, however it is a relatively thick board. The image is nearly full-figure. Throughout the 19th century CDV mounts become thicker and more elaborate. The full-figure as well as vignetted heads were popular in the 1860s. Bust portraits become more popular in the 1870s. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This snapshot was printed in the early 1950s on Kodak Velox paper. Velox was a silver chloride paper invented by Leo Baekeland, inventor of Bakelite plastics, in the early 1890s and produced by Kodak from 1899 through the 1970s. Velox is a Latin term meaning “rapid,” a characteristic featured in advertisements for the product. Amateur photographers often used Velox paper for contact printing snapshot negatives. Exposure took less than a minute and could be completed using gas or electric lamp light. Prints are easily identified by a “Velox” back stamp. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • During the early years of the hand camera era, ushered in by Kodak in 1888, snapshot photography was immensely popular amongst women. As the growing middle class began to devote time to leisure activities, scenes of hobbies and relaxation were often depicted photographically and gathered together in family photo albums by women in the household. This print was made with the cyanotype process likely using a commercial pre-sensitized cyanotype paper such as Eastman’s Ferro-Prussiate paper. The medium was popular due to its simplicity: to produce a print, consumers needed only to expose the paper to sunlight beneath a negative then develop it in water. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • In this early 20th century photograph, the young man’s playful interaction with the camera is typical of photo booth images. However, this print was not made in a photo booth. It was likely made using an automated photo machine developed by General Electric or a penny picture camera with a sliding back that would allow for up to sixteen or twenty-four exposures on a single 5x7 dry plate. These systems, popularly called “penny pictures” were precursors to the photo booth. While photo booth prints are on direct positive, water-resisted supports giving them black borders and a plastic backing, penny pictures are on fiber-based paper supports and do not have black borders. Like the photo booth, earlier automated photo machines and sliding back cameras produced a series of sequential images. The automated camera or camera operator left time between exposures for the sitter(s) to change props and poses. The resulting images range from serious to silly as observed here. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This silk fan is an example of a collotype with hand-applied color. Because collotype is a soft plate process, images could be printed on textured substrates such as fabric without a loss of detail. The collotype process was popularized in Japan by photographer and printer Ogawa Kazumasa during the late 19th century. Kazumasa studied photographic and printing processes in Boston and Philadelphia from 1882-1884 before returning to Japan and establishing the country’s first collotype printing company in 1889. Collotype is a photomechanical process combining planographic and photographic technologies. Printing plates are produced based on the light sensitivity dichromated colloids. From the plates, images are printed using greasy ink in a manner similar to that of lithography. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This letterpress halftone postcard postmarked on March 10, 1904 features Gertie Millar, a popular English theatre performer during the early 20th century. Millar rose to fame while performing at the London Gaiety Theatre from 1901-1910. The venue featured musical comedy shows and employed female dancers known as the Gaiety Girls, the popularity of which inspired the production of several “girl” themed musicals. Millar became one of the most famous Gaiety Girls and often performed in leading roles. This postcard was produced using two different processes. A black ink image was printed using letterpress halftone then false color (color selected by hand) was applied using chromolithography. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This Silver Gelatin DOP print is from a family photograph album containing photographs dated 1915 to 1919. This print was made around 1916. Many of the images in the album feature this group of young women engaging in playful scenes. By 1918 the influence of World War I becomes apparent as the photographs shift to images of women in Red Cross nurse uniforms and men in military uniforms. Compiling photograph albums was a common activity dating back to the mid 19th century. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This daguerreotype is a sixth plate, the most common size for American daguerreotypes. Notice the sitter holds a book and her hands appear very large. This is an optical distortion due to the short focal length of portrait lenses used at the time. This effect could be minimized through careful posing. The plate itself is in fairly good condition considering the damage to the case. Case damage as seen here is common and often caused by poor handling and excessive dryness and humidity. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • An itinerant or street photographer likely made this image. Itinerant photographers, later referring to themselves as street or sidewalk photographers, were individuals who travelled with photographic supplies in order to produce and sell photographs on the spot. During the mid 19th century into the early 20th century, these photographers often carted portable darkrooms with them via horse drawn wagon or bicycle. The earliest practitioners created daguerreotypes and adopted new processes as photographic technology advanced. Take a guided tour of this object.
  • This early twentieth century Collodion POP was likely made by an amateur photographer. With the introduction of gelatin dry plate and then roll film, photography became easier and more accessible, allowing more people to become amateur photographers. This in turn increased demand for manufactured photographic papers marking the birth of the modern photographic industry. This print is mounted to a square, cream card mount typical of this time period. Explore the Collodion POP Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This image was taken from the Nuremberg Chronicle, a well-known biblical paraphrase by Hartmann Schedel published in 1493. The book was among the first to include both images and text. It was published in both Latin and German. Seen here is a page from the German Translation. The images and text were printed by Anton Koberger, owner of one of the largest publishing houses in Europe at the time. The book contains 1,804 images made from 652 woodblocks. Some copies, such as from the one seen here on the right, were hand colored at the request of purchasers. Explore the Relief Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • This gelatin dry plate lantern slide was made by a member of an amateur photography club in the early twentieth century. As photographic technology advanced and the medium became easier to use and less expensive photography clubs expanded throughout the United States and Europe. These clubs provided a space for serious amateurs and artists to meet and to separate themselves from weekend snapshot amateurs. The major format for sharing their work with fellow club members was through slide projection. Many photographers paid as much attention to making a fine slide as they did to making a fine print. Explore the Gelatin Dry Plate Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • On the verso of this silver gelatin DOP snapshot, a handwritten inscription reads, “Cave at La Jolla.” Located in San Diego, La Jolla is an ocean front community and popular tourist destination. This image was taken in one of the seven caves found within the sandstone cliff face of La Jolla Cove. This particular cave is referred to as “Sunny Jim.” Although the origin of the name is unknown, it is widely believed to have been coined by Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz,” who noted the shape of the opening resembled the character Sunny Jim featured on Force Food Company cereal products. This naturally occurring cave was made accessible by land in 1903 by Gustav Schulz who hired laborers to construct a stairway passage down to the cave’s opening. Tourists, such as those silhouetted here, paid a small fee to utilize the passage, which is still in operation today. Take a guided tour of a similar photograph to learn more about this process.
  • Matte albumen is a variation of the albumen printing process. Aesthetic trends throughout the mid to late 19th century shifted towards glossier surface sheens peaking with double coated albumen, glossy collodion POP, and gelatin POP. However, with the introduction and popularization of platinum papers some photographers desired a more matte surface. In 1895 matte albumen papers were introduced and were commercially produced until the late 1920s, primarily in Europe. Take a guided tour of this object.
  • Although easily mistaken for a muskrat, the white rodent seen here is a nutria. Nutria are large semi-aquatic rodents native to South America. They were introduced to the United States in 1889 for their fur and have since become recognized as an invasive species, particularly in states along the Gulf Coast. They are typically brown, and can be distinguished from muskrats based upon their larger size, round tails, webbed feet and prominent whiskers. The docile nutria in this image exhibits albinism, a congenital absence of pigmentation. Take a guided tour of a similar photograph to learn more about this process.
  • This nineteenth century steel engraving is mostly mezzotint with some added detail in etching. The engraver, John Sartain, is well known for his mezzotints. Nineteenth century mezzotints often include other techniques and were made on steel plates, while eighteenth century mezzotints do not include other techniques and were made on copper plates. Steel is much harder, therefore it allows for fine, shallow lines that are close together, resulting in more detailed images with a lighter gray tone. Explore the Intaglio Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • The gum dichromate, also called gum bichromate, process was favored by Pictorialist photographers for its painterly qualities. Pictorialist artists strove to elevate photography to the status of fine art and to separate themselves from the masses of amateur snapshot photographers. Pictorialists emulated the aesthetics of painting and printmaking and often utilized labor-intensive printing methods, such as gum dichromate. The end of Pictorialism is often marked with Alfred Stieglitz’s transition to Modernism and the end of his publication, Camera Work in 1917. Take a guided tour of a similar photograph to learn more about this process.
  • This early twentieth century postcard was printed using color lithography, also known as chromolithography. In the mid to late 19th century, at the height of commercial color lithographic printing, color lithographs began to be known as chromolithographs. The term color lithograph was then reserved for the work of artists or “up-market” prints. Commercial chromolithographs were often made with a stipple technique giving them a dotted appearance. Making a color print required a separate stone for each color to be printed. Take a guided tour of a similar photograph to learn more about this process.
  • This Silver Gelatin DOP real photo postcard was made by the Rotograph Company, a major printer and publisher of postcards in the early twentieth century. The company’s German founders were Ludgwig Knackstedt, who owned a commercial printing company specializing in German Views, and Arthur Schwartz, who was a photographic materials manufacturer specializing in silver gelatin bromide papers. They bought the National Art Views Company in 1904 allowing them to publish American views under the Rotograph name. Explore the Silver Gelatin DOP Identification page to learn more about this process.
  • Based upon the women’s attire and bobbed hair, this silver gelatin DOP snapshot was likely made during the mid to late 1920s. Prior to WWI, female skiers conventionally wore billowing ankle length skirts. Their engagement in the sport did not typically extend beyond a leisurely pastime reserved for the upper class. Following the War, as skiing grew more popular and societal perceptions of women shifted, an increasing amount of women took to the slopes. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The precursor to the daguerreotype was the portrait miniature popular between the 16th and mid 19th centuries. These small painted portraits were placed in decorative cases or in jewelry and kept as mementos of loved ones. The tradition of the painted miniature was replaced with the daguerreotype in the 1840s. Like its predecessor daguerreotypes were also cased and incorporated into jewelry such as this locket. This locket has a double portrait, likely a married couple. Lockets are also found with a single portrait and sometimes with a lock of hair. Explore Daguerreotype formats to learn more about this process.
  • Donning a stylish flat-brim baseball cap, this woman was likely featured in a local publication such as a city newspaper. This print was made on stabilization paper, a silver gelatin paper manufactured with developer crystals incorporated into the emulsion in order to facilitate extremely rapid print processing. This type of paper was often used by news agencies to create source prints for the photomechanical reproductions used in their publications. The print includes markings in the borders indicating how the image should be cropped. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This 1960s stereo Kodachrome from the Edith and Silvio J. Treves Collection depicts the Temple of Jupiter in Baʿalbek, Lebanon. The Romans built three temples on this site: Jupiter, Bacchus, and Venus with the largest being Jupiter, which was constructed in the first century AD. The Treveses traveled extensively documenting each trip using Kodachrome stereoview slides. When viewed through a special viewer the images appeared in 3-D. Stereo was a popular format in the 1950s and 1960s.Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The most distinctive feature of this object is the mount, which helps to date this carte de visite to ca. 1865. Early mounts such as this, are thin, usually made of higher quality paper, and were used between 1860 and 1866. Later mounts are thicker and usually composed of good quality paper on the front and back with a core of poor quality paper. This mount is also slightly smaller (2 3/8 x 4 in.) than what became the standardized size for CDV mounts (2 ½ x 4 in.). The ornamental motif, a lithographically printed oval frame with tassels and a hanging cord is sometimes referred to as a “cartouche,” and was used between 1865 and 1868. Take a guided tour of this object.
  • “Desert Sweethearts” was published by Western Publishing and Novelty Company, a popular Los Angeles based publisher of materials for California’s tourism industry. This postcard features a pair of snuggling burros described as “hardy shaggy little animals” by a caption printed on the verso. Postmarked August 12, 1949, the writer recounts recent highlights of her trip to California: butter rum ice cream, visiting a friend and ironing. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The strikingly rich red tone of this real photo silver gelatin DOP postcard was produced by toning the print, possibly with uranium or copper. Metal ferricyanide toning converts the silver image into a silver ferricyanide complex, which is then converted to a ferricyanide salt of a different metal (iron, copper, uranium). Metal ferricyanide toning can result in a diverse rainbow of image colors. Explore the Identification page for Silver Gelatin DOP to learn more about this process.
  • This Johnsons Colour screen plate shows a brain with tuberculous meningitis, an infection of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by the same bacteria responsible for tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The screen plate process is based on a theory introduced by Louis Ducos du Hauron in 1868 in which he said a color image could be produced by placing a screen made up of colored stripes in front of a light sensitive emulsion. After processing, the image is viewed back through the same screen giving the illusion of full color. Explore Screen Plate variations to learn more about this process.
  • This etching is a simplified copy of a ca. 1545 woodcut by Nicolo Boldrini, which is after a design by Titian, which is a parody of the Hellenistic marble sculpture, the Laocoön Group. The original sculpture, which was excavated in Rome in 1506, depicts the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons being strangled by sea serpents. The sculpture was extremely influential to Renaissance artists. Titian parodied the sculpture portraying the figures as apes, perhaps as a commentary on the adulation of the sculpture by his contemporaries although the meaning of the parody is not truly known. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This group portrait depicts three sitters. Notice the man on the left is slightly blurred and the man on the right has a book in his hand. Improvements to daguerreotype chemistry and camera technology reduced exposure times from 30 minutes to several seconds making portraiture possible by the early 1840s. Nonetheless sitting perfectly still for an exposure of several seconds could be challenging. The man on the left must have moved slightly during the exposure. Take a guided tour of this object.
  • This week marks the 81st anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth. Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo Mississippi. The "King" cut his first demo record in 1953 and his first single, "That’s All Right," in 1954. This chromogenic snapshot of Presley in concert was made near the end of his life. Manufacturers and printing labs began printing chromogenic prints without borders in the mid 1970s. Presley died of heart failure in August 1977. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This holiday card is a silver gelatin developed out print with a textured surface resembling the Kodak “G” surface. The inscription is hand-written in black marker. With magnification, the paper fibers are slightly visible indicating the distinctive texture was applied to the paper support, followed by the application of a thin baryta layer and the gelatin binder. This surface was popular in the mid-20th century for both amateur and professional photographers. Everyone at IPI (as well as "Sis and the Tad") wish you a Happy New Year! Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • These chromogenic prints from 1970 are part of a larger collection of photographs from the Palmer family. Depicted here is the son, Dudley Palmer, at Christmas in 1969 opening a Polaroid camera. The Palmer collection includes images of Dudley and the tinsel laden tree nearly every Christmas from the late 1950s through the 1970s. The collection not only gives insight into amateur snapshot photography in the mid-20th century, but also gives insight into the photographic materials of the mid-20th century. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • The tradition of children posing for a portrait with Santa likely began sometime in the mid 20th century as photography became faster, easier and less expensive. However, before the ability to instantly view the image, there was a certain amount of chance involved—with luck and good timing all the sitters may be looking at the camera, smiling, and not blinking. This silver gelatin DOP print has been ferrotyped; a common finishing method in which a wet print was dried against a hot metal sheet to create a glossy surface. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This chromogenic print of a "Texas Christmas Tree" was made in 1969. Between 1959 and 1968 dramatic improvements were made to the stability of the dyes as well as the couplers in chromogenic materials. However, this print was stored in a relatively humid environment and in a cellulose acetate sleeve. This combination of factors caused the yellow dye to preferentially fade resulting in a slight shift in color. The borders and highlights have also yellowed due to deterioration of residual color couplers. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • On February 21, 1947 inventor and Polaroid co-founder Edwin Land demonstrated a new one-step photographic process at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The process, as Land explained, “produce[d] finished positive pictures, directly from the camera, in about one minute after the exposure.” The system consisted of a specially designed camera—the Polaroid Land Camera Model 95 – and film. The film was a product of three years of experimentation with various means of diffusion transfer. Take a guided tour of this object.
  • This photo booth photograph measuring 3 x 2.5 inches bears the Photomatic trademark and design on its cardboard back. By the 1930s, Photomatic was one of many coin-operated public amusements manufactured by the Mutascope Reel Company of New York. The image came cased in a frame and was produced in a mere sixty seconds on silver gelatin reversal paper. Due to the fast processing time, these prints often contain residual fixer, indicated by an unfavorable yellowing of the image. Residual sulphur compounds from the fixer have also interacted with the metal in the frame to produce rainbow-colored bands of tarnish in the image areas around the frame. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • This collodion POP depicts a group of ladies (and one boy) behind a love seat displaying pillows, which the group likely made. The photograph bares hallmarks of amateur, or snapshot, photography. For example, most of the women are looking to the right suggesting there is another photographer present giving the image a haphazard feel. It was common for amateur photographers to mount prints to card mounts. While professional studios used standardized sized mounts, such as the cabinet card, a wider range of shapes and sizes were available for the amateur market. The rectangular, textured cream colored mount seen here was a popular choice for amateurs. Take a guided tour of a similar object to learn more about this process.
  • Dufaycolor Film was a "combined system" on a cellulose acetate base. In combined screen plate or film systems, the panchromatic emulsion is applied directly to the screen film. Dufaycolor was a revival of an earlier screen plate product on a glass support called Dufay Dioptichrome, which was available from 1909 to 1914. It was produced by Guillemino Boespflug et Compagnie of Paris and marketed by the Societe des plaques et pruduits. Dufaycolor was re-introduced in 1932 as a motion picture film. In 1935 it was re-introduced as roll, sheet and pack film by Ilford that included processing services. Dufaycolor was the last popular screen film manufactured, ceasing production in 1958. Take a guided tour of this object.