Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
While the size of many of the prints were smaller than 4x5, in essence they were still "large" format, if one was to use camera type as the main criteria and the second criteria being individual negatives (as opposed to rolls which did not exist at the time.). I believe many of the small images were made in rather large cameras that had multiple lenses...and that the film was also large with multiple images on each that were then cut down after processing.

While yes they did shoot multple images on a larger plate I think they were mainly glass negatives that were then printed on a large sheets of albumen paper. The paper was then cut to size. To cut the glass negative after making the image you are risking tearing and damaging the collodion emulsion. I have seen 1/4 plate and 1/6th plate cameras and it is easy to go smaller buy using an insert in the plate holder. The tintype was probably the most common used in the field as it was the cheapest. But again using a multiplying camera then trying to cut the tin without damaging the tender collodion would seem to present a problem. Multiplying cameras came with anywhere from 2 lenses to 32 lenses. They were a great money maker as they could print 32 images on albumen. Now you could knock out quit a few prints of Lincoln to sell in no time. But to make a tintype or ambrotype I would think they shot single plates. I know how fragile the collodion is on a single plate and how easy it will lift on glass unless you albumenize the edges. I can't imagine trying to cut a sheet into 32 different plates. But then again the high quality of work I've seen from that era nothing would surprise me. I actually got to hold a couple of Gardner's glass negatives of Lincoln when I was at the Archives. They were whole plate negatives.