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albumen photograph

Broader Term: 

n. ~ An image created using a silver halide as the light-sensitive agent and egg whites (albumen) as the binder.


Albumen photographs were introduced in the 1840s and were common by the 1850s. Albumen photographs can be on a glass base and were widely used to create lantern slides. Albumen photographic prints (a paper base) were the predominant print process through the 1890s when gelatin silver processes were introduced. Albumen photographs are monochromatic, but may be hand-colored.

(Jones 1911) [albumen process] Negatives: An old process invented by Niepce de St. Victor, in 1848. Glass was coated with albumen containing potassium iodide, and the film was sensitized by dipping in a nitrate of silver bath. Many modifications followed, but probably the most widely used was the one published on May 21, 1855, by Mayall. ¶ At one time the albumen process was widely used for the production of positives or lantern slides. . . .