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Plain Paper and Albitmen Paper

solution, grains, ounces, ammonium, salted, water, corners, thirty and sheet


The gloss and shine of albumen prints are not pleasing to the eye; they usually detract from the beauty of the picture. If albumen prints do not appear finished without a polish, it ought to be an objection to the use of that paper. We hardly think that a per son who possesses a fine engraving would consent to have it pol ished. That would give it a cheap and tawdry appearance.

The plain paper is altogether easier to prepare than the albu men, and the process is so simple that anyone can make it, and make with it most beautiful pictures. Perhaps the simplicity of its preparation is one reason why amateurs are not encouraged to use it, as it would lessen the demand for other papers in which there is greater profit.

The same paper that is used for making blue prints will answer for this purpose. Care should be taken to select a paper that is smooth and not too hard, of pure linen stock. The paper first requires ta be salted, for which purpose we prepare a solution as follows: To 16 ounces of hot water add 16 grains sheet gelatine, and when this is dissolved add 50 grains chloride ammonium.

After this solution has become cool, it should be filtered. The paper should be cut a little larger than it is intended to be when finished. That is to say, if we wish to make some 8x10 plain paper, it would be well to have our sheets for sensitizing 10i or 11x16* or 17 inches. Or, if we wish to make 5x8 paper, the paper should be cut either the size mentioned before, or about 8ix10i inches, as a large sheet can be prepared about as quickly as a small one. Having our paper ready, we pour the solution into a tray, a trifle larger than the paper, and either float the paper upon it or immerse the paper in it. In the first case only one side, the side which comes in contact with the salt solution would be salted. In the latter case both sides. If only one side of the paper is salted it will be necessary to mark the other side with a pencil to show the right side for sensitizing. The manner of floating the paper upon the solution is as follows: Take the paper by two opposite corners, one in each hand, and bring the two corners nearly together; lay the paper gently upon the solution, letting the two corners down in such a way as to drive out any air bubbles that might get beneath them. Then if the corners curl upward, either blow them down or press them down with the fingers till they lie smooth. The paper should remain on the solution about three minutes, when it should be removed by raising one corner, and then hung up to dry. All these opera tions, of course, are done by daylight. In place of floating the paper upon the solution, it can be wholly immersed, which is much the best way, as well as the easiest. This is done by placing one side of the paper in the solution at the edge, and shoving it along under the solution until the whole is in the tray. If any air bubbles are seen on the paper they should be immediately touched with the finger to remove them. The

paper should remain in the solution half a minute, and then be hung up to dry as before. Where both sides in this way are salted it is, of course, unnecessary to mark either, as the sensi tizing can be done on either side. The paper will dry in twenty or thirty minutes, when it will be ready for sensitizing, or it may be kept for any length of time until needed. The time for leaving the paper in, the solution will vary with different quali ties of paper. From ten to fifteen seconds will be long enough for a soft, smooth paper. Hard papers, such as are used for ledgers, require longer time.

The above we should call a normal salting solution. If we decrease the quantity of chloride ammonium to thirty grains, we should have a weak bath, which would require a weak sensitiz ing solution, thirty to thirty-five grains of silver in the place of the sixty grain solution we describe hereafter.

Or we might make a very strong salt bath by increasing the quantity of ammonium to one hundred grains. Paper so strong ly salted should be sensitized with a solution containing sixty five to seventy-five grains of silver in place of the sixty grains mentioned.

The quality of the negative determines the strength of the sen sitizing solution; for a -weak, thin negative the paper should be strongly sensitized and printed in diffused light, or exposed to the sun with a sheet of white paper in front of the printing-frame; for an intense or slow printing negative, the paper should be sensi tized with a weak silver solution, and printed in the sunshine.

For all ordinary negatives, however, it will be found that the salt bath we give first, and the sixty grain silver solution, will answer every requirement.

In fact, we have used this with uniformly good results on neg atives ranging all the way from slightly thin to intense, varying the strength of the solutions only in cases of extreme thinness or intensity.

Another salting solution is the following: Sheet gelatine, 35 grains.

Chloride ammonium, 100 grains.

Citric acid, neutralized, 100 grains. Water to make.30 ounces.

Dissolve the gelatine in fifteen ounces of hot water, and add the chloride ammonium. Then dissolve the citric acid in four ounces of water, and neutralize it by adding slowly, with con tinual stirring, two hundred grains carbonate of soda crystals, or half that weight of the dried soda. When the solution ceases to effervesce, it should turn red litmus paper blue; or it will be just as well to place in the mixture a small piece of blue litmus paper which has been reddened in the acid before adding the soda. This is then to be poured into the first solution, and water added to make the quantity up to the thirty ounces. After filtering, it will be ready for use as previously described.

This is the old formula for salting paper. We do not think it gives as satisfactory results as the salting solution first men tioned.