YoCo Dates Photos with the Ottawa Jewish Archives, Part 8: Silver Gelatin Photos

The Bytown Museum Youth Council recently hosted guest speaker, Saara Mortensen, archivist from the Ottawa Jewish Archives to learn about the history of photography and techniques for determining the age of a photo.

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  1. Richard Leach Maddox and Charles Harper Bennett introduced and refined the silver gelatin process in 1871 and 1878, respectively. Silver salts were suspended in gelatin, and the mixture was coated onto a backing like glass or baryta paper. Silver gelatin was used from the 1880s until the second half of the 20th century, with the rise of digital photography.
  2. Silver Gelatin DOP - Sulfur-Toned, Studio Portrait
    Silver Gelatin DOP - Sulfur-Toned, Studio Portrait
  3. Silver Gelatin DOP - Cabinet Card
    Silver Gelatin DOP - Cabinet Card
  4. Silver Gelatin DOP - High Gloss, Snapshot, 1972
    Silver Gelatin DOP - High Gloss, Snapshot, 1972
  5. Silver Gelatin DOP - Ferrotyped, 1946
    Silver Gelatin DOP - Ferrotyped, 1946
  6. Saara shared a website with YoCo containing more information on the history of photographs and how to identify the different processes. The website is Graphics Atlas, run by the Image Permanence Institute.
  7. Saara and the Bytown Museum also provided some photo artifacts for YoCo to examine.
  8. The guest talk was very engaging, and YoCo learned a lot about the history of photographs and how to figure out when they were taken.
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