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Open Access Platinum and Early Photography

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The stability of platinum was well known, and the light sensitivity of some of its salts had been studied, long before a practical photographic process was available. Early photographic prints based upon silver salts lacked permanence, however, so alternatives were sought and eventually a much improved process using platinum was evolved. These platinotype prints became very popular around the turn of this century but the non-availability of platinum for this application during the First World War resulted in the virtual disappearance of the process from commercial photography. This article considers some of the work and just a few of the many people who contributed to the success of the platinum printing process which, fortunately, is still practised by a small number of creative enthusiasts.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1984

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