The Photographer’s Friend Almanac and American Year Book of Photography for 1872 contains recipes and information about cyanotypes, gelatine silver processes as well as a very interesting yellow pages section. Read it for free.
This Photographer’s Friend Almanac was kindly donated to us by David Kempton scanned in and shared here for all of you to enjoy! David was gifted the book in the 1970s by a friend who is the great-grandson of the book’s original owner.
The book contains everything from processes, how to mix emulsion, coat paper, develop and fix as well as how to photograph landscapes and deal with weather conditions, deal with indecent photographs and antidotes for poisonous chemicals (which you should NOT follow). Practical hints to young photographers give tips on how to best drain plates and other useful hints as well as observations that the “operators” bad mood may influence the subject and create a rather moody portrait. So, make sure you’re happy when you snap away to avoid losing customers through bad temper and get complaints like:
“Well, I cannot complain about the photograph, and the position is good, but this is not my expression; you must see that for yourself Mr.—-. In fact none of my friends like it, and I should prefer to be taken again.”
Photography was also a new medium that should be treated with caution:
“That Photography can degrade and deprave the mind is well known, though the medium of various indecent productions, that from time to time almost unavoidable come to our notice.”
This treasure does not stop there. It also gives advice on how to run a business and make a living. The advice is to make sure you prepare, turn up on time and keep your things in order as well as learn to say ‘no’.
“Do not stop to tell stories in business hours. If you have a place of business be found there when wanted. No man can get rich by sitting around stores and saloons.”
And whatever you do, don’t miss the love story “The Photographer in Love” starting on page 103. It contains more drama than most Netflix series.
This almanac should of course be treated as a glimpse back in time and not practical advice. Safety first. Always read up on safety before using any chemicals and take proper precautions. We know more now than we did back then.
About The Photographer’s Friend Almanac and American Year Book of Photography for 1872
The size is 4.5 x 7.5 inches.
Edited by Brown, G O.
Baltimore: Richard Walzl, 1871. First edition. original mounted photographic portrait with tissue guard, adverts. Illustrated paper wrappers. Edited by G. O. Brown. Contains articles concerning Coating Pictures with Gelatine; Photographic Poisons and their Antidotes; England’s Collodion-Albumen Process; On Photographing Landscapes (by M. Carey Lea); The Manipulation of the Wet Process; Notes on the Collodion-Bromide Process; The Stereoscope in France; Anthony’s Alum Bath (H.T. Anthony); The Photographer in Love (Squegee); etc.This almanac is from a short-lived serial, 1871 – 1874.
We really hope you enjoy the read!
Download the book as a pdf here (26 mb, yes it’s a big file!)