Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
hi mike

since the lettering is black, it means there is no emulsion

maybe the photographer did something totally crazy-low-tech like
use a rubber stamp and ink ....


One example is from what looks like an original Peter Gowland 8x10 print that I won on ebay several months ago. I received two prints of actress/model Elinor Donahue frolicking in the surf (she was an early Gowland model). I later wrote to Elinor and asked if she would sign the back of the photo for me. She agreed, and also wrote that the photo had been taken in either 1950 or '51.

Gowland's name appears in the actual image area of the print she signed, because there was no border on that one. The printing is actually very small and it doesn't look like it was stamped in ink. It's perfectly aligned and there are no extraneous ink marks. I could test the second print I have, where the name appears in the border area (I could wet it and see if it smears), but it doesn't really look like ink to me. This was a practice that Gowland frequently used, as I've also received a copy of a 1961 Gowland print from another of his models, with the same Peter Gowland credit in the lower right corner of the image (the model was given the print as partial payment for doing a test shoot).

I hope this is not breaking any rules here, but here's an example: (I don't think his first name looks out of focus on the actual print - that was probably due to my scanner).

As Worker 11811 alluded to, I thought perhaps there was a small light-tight box (except for the stencil end) commonly in use that had a light source inside and the photographer could just press the device against the paper and then flip a switch to turn on the light. If no one has heard of such a thing, then I guess my imagination just got the best of me! If the name was just stamped on, I would love to know how it was done, as the printing is very small and detailed, and looks like it's part of the image. I do know that he used a stencil for his medium format contact sheets, where it said Peter Gowland Productions on the left hand side of the 8x10.