Nice book about (alternative) 19th century processes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Marco B, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Hi all,

    I just stumbled upon the following book yesterday on the internet:

    "Photographs from the 19th century - a process identification guide" by William E.Leyshon.

    The book is downloadable here:

    http://www.sharlot.org/archives/photographs/19th/leyshon.pdf

    from the website of the Sharlot Hall Museum.

    The book has a comprehensive overview of over 100 different (alternative) processes (albeit including synonyms) as applied in the 19th century. The book is not a "cookbook" for alternative processes though, but gives a good general overview for identification purposes of historical photographs, and many literature links for those who want to know more.

    Although I'm just starting to read it (at page 20 of 184), I'm already thoroughly enjoying it. Ever heard of such exotic process as the "Anchotype"?? that used "extracts of flowers juices coated on paper" that were "light sensitive", recommended flowers being "violet, red puppy and wall flower"?:tongue:

    It already helps me to understand more about all photographic processes, without being lost in details.

    I am surprised that there don't seem to be many links to this book (Google turned up just some 10 unique links for the name "William E. Leyshon", and typing "Leyshon" in the search box of APUG did not turn up any result:confused: ) Is this book really such little known...:confused:

    It seems to be a major work, resulting from some 10 years of study by Leyshon...

    But maybe it's my tiny photographic book collection and ignorance compared to the photographic "oracles" on APUG, and most of you already know about it and have copy on your bookshelf...

    If not, and other people think it's worthwhile too, I will put up a link at the "Links" section of APUG...

    Marco
     
  2. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    "Anchotype" is a new spelling to me. Anthotype (which is what you are describing) seems to be coming up heaps in the past week, just look at a few of the posts below this one. It's not very exotic, to be honest, it's just using non-lightfast natural dyes as a form of printing out paper.
     
  3. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    "red puppy"???? Obviously no SPCA back in those days!:smile:
     
  4. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Thanks Marco, I have not seen this before.

    Barry
     
  5. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Yes, of course you're right: I misspelled it and it should be "anthotype"... Well, it's probably not so exotic, but to someone with the amount of knowledge and experience of alternative techniques like me, a complete novice, using flower extracts sounded "exotic" enough...:D

    And another misspelling :surprised: : "red puppy" should of course be "red poppy", we don't want the dogs howling...:D
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    Anchotype is what pizza parlor owners printed with all of those anchovies they had sitting around going to waste. :smile: Sorry, had to do it.

    Thanks for the link I will have a read. Good to hear it is not too complicated. As a complete novice I have been pretty lost at times while reading what people are writing on boards like this.
     
  7. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    hehe I was thinking Achote.. the seeds that are a good yellow dye... I suspect they produce a dye that is too lightfast. Things that stain very badly seems to be resistant to UV light to a point.
    Wait until spring and use some purple Iris petals for anthotype. It's quite pretty in a watercolour type way but you won't get much detail, at least if my experience is anything to go by.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Or a printing process developed by an overweight Mexican (ancho=wide in Spanish).
     
  9. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Well, I think I go for Mark's "culinary" explanation, which is also more in line with some of the 19th century's photographic research exploration. See the hilarious section from Leyshon's book below... :tongue:

    Next time you put your nose on top of a 19th century collodion negative in a museum, I would think twice about getting into your car to drive back home... You might not be able to pass the "alcohol and drug abuse" roadblock setup on the way home :D

    QUOTE:
    "A great amount of trial and error was expended to find a preservative that would slow the drying and prolong the sensitivity of collodion negatives. Some of the experimental preservatives that were concocted were more ingenuous than ingenious, as Gernsheim has recounted (61, 324): he called it "the culinary period of photography." Preservatives included caramel, camphor, coffee, *** gin and water ***, ginger wine, glycerine, honey, Iceland moss, *** lager beer ***, laudanum, liquorice, malt, magnesium nitrate, milk, *** morphine ***, morphine nitrate, nux vomica, raisin syrup, raspberry syrup, salicine, sherry, sugar, tannin, tea, tobacco (several brands), treacle, vinegar, whey, wormwood, and zinc nitrate. Whiskey was not listed in any of the four references that were consulted, an unexpected and mystifying absence. Perhaps it went into the photographer instead of the coating mixture."
     
  10. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I wonder what "nux vomica" is by the way...:confused:

    Really, it's not latin for "vomit" I hope??? :tongue:

    Well, I guesse after 2 liters of whiskey and a day of 19th century unhealthy experimentation, it might as well be! :D
     
  11. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnine_tree