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Carleton E. Watkins 
#925 Spring Valley Water Works 
Stereoview, half, detail 
Private collection of Leonard A. Walle 
  1. As can be seen here Carleton Watkins used a vertical bath to process his mammoth plates. It has been suggested that he used a tray as his bath to sensitize his plates but this is conclusive. There is a further point about this bath tank. He is said to have NOT used a glass liner to contain his bath. Instead it was believed he asphalt painted the inside, or something along this line. In this image, it appears that there is not a glass liner. To seal this bath for traveling, usually the glass tank will extend above the wooden rim.
  2. A mammoth plate storage box.
  3. These boxes appear to be the 5x8 inch plate storage boxes for making stereo images. They are about the right size for two rows of plates, with a divider in the middle. They are on top the large mammoth plate boxes not being used at this moment of exposure, thus, these 5x8 plate boxes are sequentially in order.
  4. A glass plate cleaning vise.
  5. The lid clamp to a silver bath tank. The metal clamp with thumb screws was used for the sealing off this bath tank when traveling. The wooden lid for this huge mammoth plate silver bath tank appears to be with this clamp.

Comments by Will Dunniway and Robert Szabo
Contemporary wet-plate collodion photographers
[January 2011] 
Title • Introduction • First image • Lightbox • Checklist • Resources • PhVPrevious Previous Previous[4 of 14]
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