why the year 1865? Because the civil war ended? Seriously, do you mean washed emulsions and dry-plate technology harkens back that far?
EDIT: forgot about the dry collodion stuff - so nevermind.
I am of the mind that not everyone has the means to develop a fullblown lab, to make more modern film emulsions. I am with Ian that making modern emulsions seems to be a major undertaking. In this case I find it worthwhile to also have a different direction which is more basic and hobby-oriented, with all the trials and errors that entails.
The more people who are interesting in emulsion making, as a means of artistic expression, the better. Even if it starts out with store-bought liquid emulsion on a piece of paper or glass.
Both ends of the spectrum are needed, I think. Even if some of us are colorblind moles while others are panchromatic butterflies...