Print

Albumen

(Fr.: procédé à l'albumine)

(1850-1890s) The albumen printing process was invented by the Frenchman Louis Désiré Blanquart Evrard in the late 1840s. He communicated his discovery to the French Academy of Sciences on May 27, 1850. By coating paper with albumen (i.e., white of egg) containing ammonium chloride, before sensitizing with silver nitrate, a smooth, slightly lustrous surface was achieved. This filled the pores of the paper and made it possible to record fine detail.

The albumen paper was a printing-out paper that was perfectly suited for contact printing under the then popular collodion negative. It was rather less prone to fading than the plain paper salt print, which it quickly overtook in popularity. The albumen process was the most popular printing method from 1850 to the 1890s when it was replaced by the silver gelatin paper. (Nadeau, Encyclopedia, p. xxx.).

Circular albumen print 2.5 in. probably from the Eastman American Film (stripping), 1888-1895. Circular albumen print 2.5 in. probably from the Eastman American Film (stripping), 1888-1895.

Circular albumen print 2.5 in. probably from the Eastman American Film (stripping), 1888-1895.