Field Camera Lens

The wet collodion process produced glass negatives that were used to print positive images on albumen paper (coated with a light-sensitive mixture including egg whites) or were placed against a dark background to produce ambrotypes, which appeared positive. Collodion could also be poured onto iron plates, used to produce tintypes-- positive images that required no printing. Itinerant photographers who turned out quick, inexpensive portraits for soldiers and civilians favored tintypes. Other photographers who visited camps and battlefields produced glass negatives, which they sent to studios for printing.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 6 3/32 in x 4 1/8 in; 15.49999 cm x 10.49998 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Civil War
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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