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Carleton E. Watkins 
#925 Spring Valley Water Works 
Stereoview, half, detail 
Private collection of Leonard A. Walle 
We think there may have been a safelight in the top. On the few images of his darkroom that exist, one has to wonder where his light source was. It may be in the back on the tents side. This cap porthole could have been just the yellow liner covering an opening on top. If I was the photographer, I would use a heavy piece of yellow glass that was removable as a sky light/light filter.
The rope is to keep the wind and dust from entering this tent and inflating this canvas and in general, grief for the photographer.
Comments by Will Dunniway and Robert Szabo
Contemporary wet-plate collodion photographers
[January 2011] 

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