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Special Exhibition Label: 'Cameras:The Technology of Photographic Imaging' (20/5/1997 - 13/9/1997)

8. Lewis Carroll's Wet-Collodion Photographic Outfit, c. 1860

Inside the lid is a printed instruction sheet for the wet-collodion process, headed 'Hockin & Co., Operative Chemists, &c., 38, Duke Street, Manchester Square, London, W. Manufacturers of Pure Chemicals, and all Apparatus employed in Photographic and Experimental Chemistry'.

This photographic outfit belonged to the Reverend C. L. Dodgson, alias 'Lewis Carroll'. The box is painted black, with the owner's initials on the top. The interior is divided into compartments containing various glass containers and a mahogany dark slide for plates 190 x 165 mm.

Dodgson took up photography in 1856, using the wet collodion glass negative invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer. The glass plate had to be sensitized in a special tank (Item 7) immediately before use, and developed straight away, and so a portable outfit of chemicals and utensils had to be carried when working outside the studio. Positive prints were then made at leisure, by the albumen process.

Length 340 mm, width 320 mm, height 250 mm
Inventory no. 61,498

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