Nitrate Film

It doesn't just deteriorate, it explodes.

Nitrocellulose was used as the first flexible film base, beginning with Eastman Kodak products in August, 1889. Camphor is used as a plasticizer for nitrocellulose film, often called nitrate film. It was used until 1933 for X-ray films (where its flammability hazard was most acute) and for motion picture film until 1951. It was replaced by safety film with an acetate base.

Mathew Brady - Civil War Photographer

Although I didn't know his name, as a student of history, I have been in awe of his photographs for decades.

Mathew Brady opened his first photographic office in 1844. To his studios in New York and Washington, D. C., flocked politicians, generals, actors, and actresses. Anyone who was anyone sat to “have their likeness taken” by Brady and his assistants, several of whom, including Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, were destined for fame in their own right.

My First Post

I've always had a fascination with photography. As someone who loves wandering through antique stores I would often spend much of my time looking through the old photos (and coming home with a few.). As a student of history I was curious to learn how photographers made these images - especially knowing they weren't using modern tools, dark rooms, or even transportation. I could imagine Ansel Adams traipsing through the Rocky Mountains with his equipment which included enormous cameras and glass plates, glass bottles of dangerous liquids for making his own emulsions, slide.