she describes ‘the rural seclusion of this lovely place.
The following method of producing Daguerreotypes has by some been named as above. Most experienced operators have been long acquainted with the effect of the vapor of ammonia upon the chemically coated plate. I will here insert Mr. W. H. Hewett's plan of proceeding. This gentleman, in referring to it (published in 1845), says:
"This improvement consists in using the vapor of ammonia, as an object to accelerate the action of light upon the plate. The effect is produced upon a simple iodized plate, but still more upon a plate prepared in the ordinary way, with both iodine and bromine. By this means, the author obtained impressions instantaneously in the sunshine, and in five to ten seconds in a moderate light; and he hopes to be able to take moving objects. It can be applied by exposing the prepared plate over a surface of water, to which a few drops of ammonia have been added (sufficient to make it smell of ammonia); or the vapor can be introduced into the camera during the action. In fact, the presence of ammonia, in the operating-room, appears to have a good effect, as it also neutralizes the vapors of iodine and bromine that may be floating about, and which are so detrimental to the influences of light upon the plate."
GALVANIZING THE DAGUERREOTYPE PLATE.
In consideration of the importance of galvanized plates, I shall endeavor to give as plain and concise a manner of manipulation as possible. For some time it was a question among the operators generally, as to the beneficial result of electrotyping, the Daguerreotype plate, but for a few years past our first operators have found it a fact, that a well electro-silvered surface is the best for producing a portrait by the Daguerreotype.
From my own experiments, I have found that a plate, by being galvanized, can be rendered more sensitive to the operation of the light in proportion of one to five, viz.: if a plate as furnished by the market, be cleaned, polished, coated and exposed in the camera, if the required time to freely develop an impression be ten seconds, a similar plate prepared in like manner and galvanized, will produce an equally well-defined image in eight seconds. In connection with this subject, there is one fact worthy of notice; a plate with a very heavy coating of pure silver, will not produce an equally developed image, as a plate with a thinner coating, hence the thin coating, providing it entirely covers the surface, is the best, and is the one most to be desired. The experiment is plain and simple. Let the slate receive a heavy or thick coating by the electrotype, then polish, coat, expose in the usual manner, and the result will be a flat, ashy, indistinct impression; when, on the other hand, the thin coating will produce a bright, clear and distinct image, with all the details delineated.
The style of battery best for the purpose has been, and now is, a question of dispute among operators; some preferring the Daniell battery to Smee's. Some claim the superiority of the first from its uniformity of action; others, of the latter, for its strength. I consider either good, and for the inexperienced would prefer the Daniell. This is more simple in its construction, while it has certainty in action. The more skillful electrotyper would prefer Smee's, and this is the one most generally in use. I would remark that the plan of galvanizing plates should be followed by every operator, and when once thoroughly tested, no one will abandon it.
To any desired quantity of chloride of silver in water add, little by little, cyanide of potassium, shaking well at each addition, until all the cyanide is dissolved. Continue this operation, and add the cyanide, until all the precipitate is taken up and held in solution.
This solution is now ready for the plate-cup. Enough water may be added to cover any sized plate when held perpendicular in the cup. The strength of the solution may be kept up by occasionally adding the chloride of silver and cyanide of potassium. There should alway be a very little excess of the cyanide.
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