Ferrotype plate?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by mersu, May 24, 2005.

  1. mersu

    mersu TPF Noob!

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    I found 3 carton packages in a big trash can near my house. Each package has a chrome coloured plate about 30x40 cm in size, which has two holes punched into the corners of one long side.

    The label on the carton folder reads:

    Dia Ferro-Type Plate
    hard chrome
    kashimura co., ltd

    I found out Kashimura is a company businessing in print & visuals, but what is a ferrotype plate and what is it used for?
     
  2. mersu

    mersu TPF Noob!

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    ..I'd like to add, that figuring by the style and font of the label, I think these plates date back to somewhere between 1950-1970.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You mean, someone threw the plates out too, or did you just find the empty boxes?

    To answer, ferrotypes is a wet-plate darkroom process. You can still do them today, I've never done one though. I believe you simply coat the plate with liquid emulsion and expose it, develop it and fix in a regular darkroom. I believe the plates are made of baked tin, but honestly I don't know details.

    It's one of those things considered an "alternative photographic process" that is really just an old-timey darkroom process. They can look beautiful.
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I always thought ferrotype plates were black. They have to be - you coat them with emulsion, expose and process giving a negative. The negative is bleached using mercury bichloride to give a white image. With the black background the image becomes reversed to appear positive.
    Hard chrome plates would be too expensive and rather unsuitable for use as ferrotype (also known as tintype) plates - the whole point of the process was it was cheap and quick.
    If the plates are polished chrome then I believe they are most likely to be glazing plates. These were polished plates that were used for giving a glass-like finish to photographic paper.
    I seem to dimly recall them being called ferrotype plates (don't know why) - but I could be wrong as I can find no reference in my library. I'll keep looking, though.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, Hertz, I believe the "baked" part rendered the plates black....? And you proceeded from there. Also referred to as "wet plate collodion process" if that helps with the general search.

    A tiny bit of info that gives historical perspective:
    http://www.collodion-artist.com/History/
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The historical info says they used thin steel sheet and japaned it black (enamel) and some beach photographers were still using the process into the 1960's. It would be pointless to chrome plate something if you were going to paint it.
    I still think they are glazing plates...
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    That's what it sounds like to me. Not many places using them these days. Somebody cleaned out the back supply closet.
     
  8. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    I still have my dad's plates. I remember him calling them ferrotype. When I first started in the darkroom with him in the early 70s we would stick the washed prints to the polished chrome emulsion down and roller off the water and wait for them to dry and fall off. They would curl like hell. If I remember right he would put them in the pages of a phone book for a day to flatten them out. I have no idea if this was good or not but the prints still look great today.

    Eric
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I KNEW I hadn't imagined hearing them called that. Thanks Airic!
     
  10. mersu

    mersu TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for answers, at least I seem to be in the right place with my questions.

    -Yeah, the plates ARE inside the carton folder. They're bendy, so you can do 'mirror house tricks' with them. On the reverse side they're just some kind of uncoated metal, which has patches and spots on it perhaps due to becoming oxygenated (?)..

    They are clearly unused and I was just wondering what I could use them for. I don't process pictures myself, so I guess I'll just figure a new use for them.
     
  11. bcaka

    bcaka TPF Noob!

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    These are used to press the wet photo paper to so that you can get glossy prints
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Wow a thread from 2005!
     

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