Neil, So what you are citing here is the only ones who didn't varnish back then were probably the ones who didn't have the time to. Yes chloroform is still used today in some varnish formulas. But a lot of people have come to the conclusion that it is a solvent and it adds no significant value when compared the the voliatility of the chemical. But some will argue otherwise. But the bottom line is if you want to do wet plate then learn to varnish. The plate is warmed, then flowed with vanrish with the pour off end dabbed to take off the excess then warmed again to set the varnish. The formulas we use now are just like the formulas used back then. It doesn't take that long unless they were shooting for a penny a pic back then and were in a hurry to produce as many plates that were equal to the people that were standing in line. So they were in a hurry. There were a lot of very small plates being produced in 1/9 plate and 1/16 ( postage stamp size) For these they may have figured, why bother. When there was a line of 20 people waiting to get their picture taken and varnishing just held things up. And at a penny a pic?
Last edited by RobertP; 10-14-2007 at 08:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.