February 11, 2017

Victorian Beauties: 16 Rare Glass Plate Negatives of Beautiful Lady Portraits From the 1860s to 1890s

In these days of instant digital images, it's hard for many to imagine the effort that went into creating photos during photography's first century and a half. Each single image was precious and painstaking to create.

Before the film era and way before the digital era, photographic emulsions were made on glass supports, known as glass plate negatives.

Two types of glass plate negatives exist: the collodion wet plate invented by Frederick Scoff Archer, in use from the 1850s, and the silver gelatin dry plate created by Dr. Richard L. Maddox, in use from the 1870s. The wet plates were hand coated by photographers. The dry plates were easier to transport (though still heavy) and didn’t require as much exposure to light. Both processes are still in use by fine art photographers, for their great tonal range and detail, but back in the day they were commonplace for news photography.

Here below is a rare collection of 16 glass plate negatives that captured beautiful portraits of Victorian ladies from the 1860s to the 1890s.


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