What goes around...

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by dwross, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

    Feb 13, 2004
    Oregon Coast
    Multi Format
    I got a new book in the mail today - a reprint of "The Art and Practice of Silver Printing" by Robinson and Abney, 1881. The preface caught my eye and imagination. If this quote is well known on APUG, I beg only a little forgiveness. Although the book is primarily about albumen printing, toward the end of the book it mentions the 'new' idea of using gelatin, so seems especially appropriate for our time in the history of photography.

    "Silver printing has been often doomed, but it still survives. Other processes of photographic printing have been introduced, nearly all of them having their individual merits, especially that of permanency, but all lacking in two essential qualitites - ease of production and beauty of result. In these particulars no process has ever approached the one to the working of which this little book is devoted. The one defect of silver printing is the possibility of its results fading; but surely it is better to be beautiful, if fading, than permanent and ugly. It is better to charmed with a beautiful thing for a few years, than be bored by an ugly one for ever. But is silver printing necessarily a fading process? ... That silver prints should be permanent as well as beautiful, has been the object of The Authors."
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    May 17, 2006
    Northern Aqu
    35mm RF
    Stunning. Thanks. Over the last 40+ I've read a lot of old books on the subject, including some going well back into the 19th century, and never encountered that quote. Don't apologize!