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Early Glassware Container for Collodion Photographic Chemistry

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Vintage Camera Accessories23 of 28M.A. Root's Daguerrian Gallery Token & Award c.1850Daguerrian Photo Gallery Token c.1850
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Posted 5 years ago


(273 items)

This is a mid-1870s bottle that held collodion photographic chemistry (the stuff is really caustic and noxious). The bottle advertises Phenix plates which were very popular at the time.

Before 'dry' photographic processes became popular in the late 1870s, it was all 'wet' photography. Photographic emulsions coating plates had to be mixed ahead of time for each picture, used while in a liquid state and developed before drying. It was a race against time and cameras of this era typically have collodion stains (considered a badge of honor) on the wood where the stuff dripped out of the plate holders and from photographers' hands.

As photography moved into the 'dry' period (plates could be prepped ahead of time and used 'dry' in the field), there was no need to keep these stout, heavy bottles. Sadly, very few have survived.


  1. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    Thanks vetraio50 and BELLIN68! And yes, the design is nice. I like the imperfection whereby it leans a little bit. There's another collodion bottle design that is just as interesting but I'm not aware of an example in any collection.
  2. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    Thanks AmberRose and Phil!
  3. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    Thanks, Hardbrake!
  4. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    Thanks, bratjdd!
  5. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    Thanks, officialfuel!
  6. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
    Thanks, tom61375!
  7. tom61375, 4 years ago
    You are very welcome!
  8. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
    Thanks, aghcollect!
  9. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
    Thanks, Radegunder!
  10. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
    Thanks, f64imager!
  11. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
    Thanks, David!
  12. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Thanks, austrohungaro!
  13. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago

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