"Melanograph" - What is it?
I was looking at a book today that has some old pictures of my town, with descriptions under each one. One of them is described as being a "Melanograph taken on black paper".
I've heard of many of these processes, but not this one. Does anybody know what this is (was)?
The only thing I can find on this is a listing of processes that date it to 1853 and list it as an alternate method of atrograph. Interestingly enough, atrograph is listed as an alternative method ot melanograph. Perhaps it is related to carbon printing? The 'melan' part tickles something in my memory that I can't quite place but that I remember has to do with carbon printing of some type of another...
Anyway, here is the link I have on this...
from a quick google search..not sure if it really explains it, and an excerpt from another search..
>I recently found an old print in a antique (junk) shop. It measures approx
>2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. It appears to be a ferrotype on paper. The reverse
>is a "post card" type back. In the upper right where the stamp would go, it
>says: "Mandel's Positive Process-No Negatives" there is also a line drawing
>of what I assume to be the process camera. It looks like an old lantern
>slide projector. At the bottom it says: "Copyright 1911 By The Chicago
>Ferrotype Company". All of this text appears to have been applied with a
>rubber stamp after )I assume) the print was made. The paper is
>approximately the weight of modern double weight silver paper. The image is
>that of an average family sitting on a porch (a snapshot) so it's not like
>it was a commercial postcard of the Grand Canyon or something.
>Two photo historians at the local university looked at it, one specializes
>in non-silver processes and the other in 19th century photography, neither
>of them had seen one before or had heard of the process. Both did agree
>that it appears to be a 'paper' tin-type.
Tell them to check Melanograph and Monobath processes in my Encyclopedia
for a clue. They are fairly common.
I don't have my databases at hand but I am about 99% sure that this was a
direct reversal print, popular early this century with itinerant
photographers. It may also refer to the type of camera specifically used
for it. I'll check tomorrow.
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
Aha! Here is a better listing for it...
1853, Dr. Langdell, Philadelphia; A.A. Martin, France. 1854; G.M. Campbell, England, 1854.
Collodion print on black paper sensitized with silver nitrate; a combination, like the ambrotype, not noted for its brilliance.
It sounds like what you would get if you sat out in the sun for an hour with a negative taped to your chest.
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Cool idea! Excuse me, I'll be back in an hour...
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
DON'T DO IT, Randy, unless you know you REALLY want the image! I had a melanograph taken off of my back. I used a negative that I liked at the time, and processed it archivally... and I must have done a good job because it really lasted. But later in life I had second thoughts... I didn't like it anymore. The removal experience wasn't any fun.
Originally Posted by reellis67
I think Gorbachev must have had a really serious melanograph fetish to get Southeast Asia imprinted on his forehead.