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Albumen Paper

solution, silver, tray and bottle


Albumen paper, ready for sensitizing with silver, can be pro . cared from dealers in such goods, of better quality than any one can make for himself. The usual size is 18 by 22 inches, and to sensitize a full sheet requires a tray somewhat larger to hold the silver solution. It will be more convenient, however, for the amateur to cut the paper to slightly more than double or quad. ruple the size required for his plate, which will allow the use of a smaller tray. The paper to be sensitized should be kept in a damp place for half a day before use, as it is more easily and smoothly floated on the silver bath if slightly damp. The silver solution should be prepared by dissolving in a glass bottle: Nitrate silver, 600 grains. Distilled water, 10 ounces.

When this is dissolved, it should be tested by laying in the bottle a small piece of litmus paper. If the litmus paper is not reddened slightly, showing its acidity, add drop by drop nitric acid, shaking the bottle after each drop, until the paper changes to a faint red. Paste a bit of paper on the bottle on a line with the surface of the solution. If it is desired to sensitize a full sheet of paper in' a large tray, a proportionately larger amount of solution should be prepared.

When ready to sensitize the paper, this solution is poured into the tray, and the paper floated upon it in the same manner as described in the beginning of the chapter, raising the paper by each corner to remove with a glass rod any air bubbles that may adhere. The paper should float from a minute to a minute and

a half, and then be removed by drawing it over a glass rod or or tube laid across the tray near one end, to scrape off smoothly a portion of the solution. Hold the paper by one corner over the tray to allow the solution to drip off, and then hang up to dry in the dark, using for this purpose the ordinary spring clothes pins.

After all the paper required has been sensitized the bath can be returned to the bottle. As the paper has taken up a portion of the water and silver, the solution should be restored to its original strength by adding water to bring it up to the marked place, and then adding twenty grains of nitrate silver for each half sheet (11x18) sensitized, or in that proportion. The bottle can be wrapped in black paper, and laid away in the dark room. The sensitized paper will dry in a short time, when it can be cut to the sizes required, and laid between sheets of soda paper, in which way it can be kept fresh for several days.