Re: emulsion flake off in glass plate negatives

From: Joe Smigiel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/26/05-12:32:12 PM Z
Message-id: <>


Are you assuming here the plate is a gelatin dry plate? If it is a
collodion negative, there may be a different procedure. I'd also ask
advice on the reenactors' forum if the plate emulsion has an irregular
edge as if it had been poured by hand rather than applied by a machine.


>>> 05/26/05 1:31 PM >>>
--- V KARTHIK <>
> In one of the plates, the emulsion seems to have
> flaked off the surface of the plate. The hole
> formed by the flake off is growing bigger and more
> emulsion is continuing to flake off the plate (over
> the last 5 years).
> Now, is there any way in which the emulsion can be
> bound again to the glass plate ? If any of you have
> any experience in this matter or could point to info
> on the web, I would remain obliged.

The best advice I can offer is to get advice from a
professional conservationist specializing in photography.
They actually have the special tools and experience to do
successful work.


Would you settle for an untested DIY suggestion?

If it were my problem, I would first moisten the emulsion
with water with an atomizer, then paint the hole's edges
area with a 1% gelatin solution, and let sit for a while
to swell, then again, repeating these two steps, untill
the known weak area is gently reinforced. Spraying it
(atomizer) with a slightly stronger gelatin solution would

Whenever I felt the plate could handle it, short repeated
dips in successivly stronger gelatin solutions would be

I might give it a small treatment in a plasticiser...

Finaly, I would treat it with a hardener.

pit falls might be getting even wetting, gelatin coverage
and drying. but this can be done with a little pratice.

Anyway I think the key might be to get new gelatin into
contact with the glass and then hardening it.

At the least, I think you might be able to make a wrap of
gelatin around the entire glass plate, which when dry,
would shrink somewhat, and therefore tend to hold the
emulsion taught.... (or possibly... rip the emulsion in
the process?)

Any professional conservators on our list with proven


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Received on Thu May 26 12:28:49 2005

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