"serum of milk"
I'm sure I'm not the only one doing something REALLY dumb today, tho I hope I'm the only one in this house... The story begins about 10 years ago when I bought all the Photo Miniatures whatisname at The Garage (25 St or like that) had at the time...
So they went on my shelf as life took over & I never even arranged them in order (from about 1884 to 1925, one a month). Whatever possessed me yesterday I am not obliged to know, but I began going through them (maybe because the type is so tiny and I need new glasses desperately, so it put me to sleep without controlled substances). In any event, I made several little discoveries, such as that the Lesbian bar around the corner, named Henrietta Hudson, is the namesake of an actual Henrietta Hudson, a photographer who advertised several times in the back pages... tho, Lisa, owner of the bar, tells me she actually named the bar for the Hudson river, 3 blocks west, but of course wanted copies of the ads anyway.
Then I got in a bit deeper... finding "making enlargements on plain paper for crayon finishing," used for making "portrait enlargements" in large (commercial) quantities. I know that crayon finishing is retouching with any of various kinds of chalk, the closest we have today might be conte crayon (which comes in sepia and black that I know of, and which, among other "chalk", I have).
BUT the instructions are the kind those old books are full of -- telling you something obvious is perfect detail, but leaving out something that "everybody knows" except anyone born after women got the vote, or let's say, for our friends in other lands (women got the vote in Switzerland, if memory serves, sometime in the last 20 minutes -- they sure didn't have it in Canton Basel when I lived there in 1965 -- (tho that may be another story for another day!!!)
ANYWAY, you start this process with a coat of "serum of milk", preferably on Saxe or Steinbach paper. I think I've seen those papers mentioned recently, so if not available, the equivalent probably is... but "serum of milk?" I googled it, and got a bunch of beauty treatments (as if I needed any) and ways to analyse blood serum, et al. Tho by tootling around I pretty much established that it's "whey", as in "curds and... " which I probably could figure out how to achieve, as I've done it by accident when making cottage cheese. This, the Photo Miniature explains, "should be prepared according to the directions given in the method for making enlargements upon fabrics."
Oh. Is there anything discoverable in this or any of the other PMs on that topic? Of course not. Everybody knows that already !!!
Tho an alternate possibility seems to be "a thinned casein." Both being organic material that probably enhances photo action.
I added "old photo process" to the search term and did get to the old chemistry books that Google has digitized -- which were interesting, but further from my goal,,,, since they dwelt mainly on collodion, which no matter how thrilling and beloved in OUR time frame, I am not, not, I swear NOT, going to do. This section has its own maddening nature, as it REPEATEDLY wants to add each of these old treasures (chemistry books) to my "library," but refrains from telling me what they cost. (I've heard hair-raising stories about that.) However, I saw that Tom Persinger and f 295 have been there already: he's a goldmine of information... so he probably knows that already.
I didn't actully mean to go on like this... my question to the list is does anyone know how to make whey... ("serum of milk") tho I thought perhaps some context would eliminate detours.
The method, btw, is first you "salt the paper" with the serum of milk prepared according to the directions given in the method for making enlargements upon fabrics (not yet vouchsafed), then add k iodide, & k bromide, -- or alternatively, first the serum of milk, then am. bromide & magnesium chloride. Filter thru absorbent cotton, and put in a tray, then you do one of those tricks holding diagonal corners of the paper, lowering carefully etc. Hang to dry.
The sensitizing formula is pretty much stuff we know -- and exposure is via "enlarging camera." Then the developer: I happen to have gallic acid & (I'm pretty sure) lead acetate... but I forget what protosulphate of iron is... I may think better of this whole operation before long, but meanwhile, just asking, in case anyone knows how you do "serum of milk."
PS: There have been so far (& I'm only about 1/3 of the way thru the stack) MANY sections on kallitype, probably new at that time. It doesn't need serum of milk either... I realize there may be a reason why kallitype remains & serum of milk is "obsolete"...