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THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY. September 1, 1860, p.254

OBSERVATIONS ON THE TINCTORIAL PROPERTIES OF ALBUMEN.

By M. GUIGNET.

THESE observations have been conducted upon a cotton fabric impressed with albumen, and exposed to steam, so as to coagulate the albumen.

In the albumenised parts, the cotton readily takes certain dyes which wool and silk do not take: it becomes tinted yellow by picric acid, and red by fuchsine, &c.

This property has been known and applied a long time in factories. I have observed certain facts which reveal new tinctorial properties in albumen, which the industrial arts will, doubtless, also turn to account.

A fabric printed with albumen is quickly moistened in pure water, except the albumenised parts, which are penetrated by the water very slowly.

If a liquid, insoluble in water, is added to the water, and stirred briskly, this liquid will go only to the albumenised parts and tinge them, if it contains a colouring matter of a suitable nature. For example:--Water and a fat oil holding alkanetin solution: water and crude aniline (which tinges albumen brown), &c. Aqueous solution of iodine tinges albumen yellow. In contact with water holding starch in suspension, this yellow tint becomes green, then blue, and disappears entirely. The iodine leaves the albumen to go to the starch, and the blue colouring becomes imperceptible in the mass.

Neutral chromate of potassa gives no tinge to albumen; but the bichromate, or a diluted solution of chromic acid, tinges it yellow.

Albumen also assumes a vivid citron yellow colour in a solution of acetate of lead; red in a strong solution of nitrate of silver; black in a bath of logwood.

Permanganate of potassa tinges albumen brown, without tinging the non-albumenised parts.

Albumen is tinged a pale yellow brown in a boiling solution of a salt of the peroxide of iron. Prepared in this manner, it assumes a blue colour with ferrid cyanide of potassium--violet with decoction of madder--black with logwood, &c.

In a solution of sulphate of copper, albumen acquires no tinge; but it is coloured blue in a solution of ammoniacal sulphate of copper. By the action of alkalis, this blue tint becomes a very vivid violet lilac. With ferrid cyanide of potassium the marron-red tint of ferrid cyanide of copper is obtained. Ammoniacal solution of cobalt also tinges albumen.

The salts of gold, platinum, and palladium, also tinge albumen yellow without affecting the non-albumenised tissue. Albumen tinged with chloride of gold becomes of a deep violet, almost black with protochloride of tin or protosulphate of iron. Albumen tinged with chloride of platinum is coloured of a vivid yellow brown with protochloride of tin.

Finally, as might easily have been foreseen, albumen printed upon cotton also fixes bichloride of mercury, and assumes the scarlet hue of bin-iodide of mercury when treated with a very dilute solution of iodide of potassium.


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