I got a new book in the mail today - a reprint of "The Art and Practice of Silver Printing" by Robinson and Abney, 1881. The preface caught my eye and imagination. If this quote is well known on APUG, I beg only a little forgiveness. Although the book is primarily about albumen printing, toward the end of the book it mentions the 'new' idea of using gelatin, so seems especially appropriate for our time in the history of photography. "Silver printing has been often doomed, but it still survives. Other processes of photographic printing have been introduced, nearly all of them having their individual merits, especially that of permanency, but all lacking in two essential qualitites - ease of production and beauty of result. In these particulars no process has ever approached the one to the working of which this little book is devoted. The one defect of silver printing is the possibility of its results fading; but surely it is better to be beautiful, if fading, than permanent and ugly. It is better to charmed with a beautiful thing for a few years, than be bored by an ugly one for ever. But is silver printing necessarily a fading process? ... That silver prints should be permanent as well as beautiful, has been the object of The Authors."