THE PHOTOGRAPHIC NEWS. Dec. 3, 1858, p.152
A Catechism of Photography.
WAXED PAPER Process--(continued.)
Q. What is the best method of preparing the paper for the waxed
A. The best, simplest, and most rapid process of waxing the paper
is as follows:--Procure an iron plate, about a quarter of an inch in
thickness, and a little larger than the paper to be used; place this
plate over a furnace heated with charcoal, and keep it at a regular
temperature; upon this plate then place one or two sheets of clean
paper, on which arrange your paper for waxing.
Q. What sort of wax should be employed?
A. Either white or yellow wax will answer; but white,, being the
purest, is generally used in preference to yellow.
Q. How is the wax to be applied to the paper?
A. A piece of fine white wax is passed to and fro upon it until
the surface of the paper is completely impregnated. Another sheet of
paper is then laid on and waxed in a similar manner; a third and a
fourth, even up to ten, may be added. They must then be separated,
and each piece be placed between folds of blotting paper, and an
ordinary iron, moderately hot, be passed over them.
Q. Wherein does the necessity exist for the further
A. The waxed paper being placed between blotting paper, the
additional heat is applied for the purpose of removing any excess of
wax which it may have taken, and which is, by this means, absorbed
by the blotting paper.
Q. What is the advantage obtained by this waxing process?
A. The chief advantage of the wax in this operation is,
not solely that it gives greater force to the picture than by the
ordinary process, but that it gives additional transparency to the
paper and by impregnating its texture renders the subsequent
operations far more complete than would otherwise be the case, and
consequently makes the paper retain its sensitive properties for a
Q. The paper having been waxed, what is the next operation?
A. A solution is prepared in the following
proportions:--Sugar of milk, 620 grains; iodide of potassium, 225
grains; cyanide of potassium, 12 grains; fluoride of potassium, 7
grains, in about a pint and a half of rice water. The cyanide and
fluoride of potassium may be substituted by about 45 grains of
bromide of potassium.
Q. Will this solution keep for any length of time?
A. It will keep perfectly good for a considerable
Q. How is the solution applied to the waxed paper?
A. Some of the solution is poured into a bath or
earthenware dish, and the waxed paper is plunged into it sheet by
sheet, one over the other, great care being taken to remove any air
bubbles which may arise. The sheets may remain in the bath from half
an hour to two hours, until they have thoroughly absorbed the
solution. The whole mass should then be turned over, and the first
sheet removed and hung up to dry. It may easily be attached to a
line by means of a pin at one corner; the drop on the lower angle
should be removed by touching it with blotting paper.
Q. What is the next operation?
A. The paper, prepared as already stated, may either be
employed at once or preserved for future use.
Q. Is it, then, in this state, ready for the camera?
A. No, it has to pass through a third process before it is
capable of receiving a photographic impression.
Q. What is the third process?
A. A solution has to be prepared as follows:--Distilled
water, 1 pint; crystallised nitrate of silver, 665 grains;
crystallised acetic acid, 760 grains.
Q. How is this solution applied to the paper?
A. Three baths of glass or earthenware should be placed
near each other. Great care must be taken that these vessels are
chemically clean. A portion of the last solution must be filtered
into one of these baths; in the other two should be pure distilled
water. A packet of thick blotting paper is also required. These
preparations being made, take a number of sheets of the waxed paper,
and proceed thus:--Take the first sheet, and carefully place it upon
the aceto-nitrate bath, taking great care that no air bubbles
interpose. Allow it to remain in contact with the fluid until
chemical combination is effected.
Q. What is the general time taken to effect this combination?
A. Eight or ten seconds arc sufficient for some kinds of
paper, and four or five minutes are required for others. When a
violet tint appears the paper should he removed. It must be
immediately removed; immersed in the distilled water (No. 1);
thoroughly washed, and then removed to distilled water (No. 2);
after which it should be dried, or partially dried, by the blotting
Q. Must the sensitive paper be used immediately?
A. When it is desired to keep the paper for same time
before using, it is recommended that the application of the nitrate
of silver be less than on other occasions. It will thus be seen,
that the papers which are prepared for keeping are not those which
are the most sensitive; hence it is necessary to expose them for a
much longer period to the action of the light than those prepared by
a stronger solution of silver.
Q. How is the image taken in the camera developed?
A. By a solution of gallic acid in distilled water, in the
following proportions:--Gallic acid, 6 grains; distilled water, 4
ounces; and a few drops of the silver bath. The paper should be
immersed in this solution, and allowed to remain in it until the
picture is fully developed.
(To be continued.)