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Albumen print from calotype negative
MFA# 1981.173


Salt print from calotype negative
MFA# 2001.291

An early photographic process for negative/positive images. The calotype process was patented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1841 in England. It used a silver chloride emulsion coating on paper that was exposed to form a latent negative image that was developed with Gallic acid then fixed with Sodium hyposulfite. With contact printing, multiple positive images could be produced from each negative print.

Synonyms and Related Terms


Physical and Chemical Properties

Often the back of the negative was waxed prior to contact printing

Resources and Citations

  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "calotype" [Accessed March 18, 2002]. ...invented by William Henry Fox Talbot of Great Britain in the 1830s. ......Talbot patented his process in 1841.
  • Preservation 101 -glossary of terms at

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