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Photography Question 
Sherry Throgmorton

old glass slides/photos

I have 4 of what appears to be slides on glass, I looked up ambrotypes but those are backed with black to make a photo. I backed these with black and nothing showed. I backed them with white and the image was viewable.
could anyone tell me what these are and when they could have been made?
If I haven't attached one to this question, I would be happy to send an image to anyone.

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11/28/2007 11:52:30 AM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Sherry,

Your description is too vague for me to make a determination.
Measure the size of the “slide” and report size and:
Are the images positive?
Positive black & white slides were in common use early on in the history of photography. This was followed by color film slides starting about 1935. The early black and white’s were called Lantern Slides because they were projected using a slide projector that used lantern fuel to create light. Common was the “English Pattern” slide that measured 3 ½ by 3 ½ inches. The “French” or European standard was 3 ¼ by 3 ¼ inches. As time passed the slide standard became 2 ¼ by 2 ¼ inches. At first they were photographic images on a glass substrate. Latter they were made using film. The glass ones were given a clear glass protector sheet making a sandwich. When film replaced the glass plate, the film was sandwiched between two sheets of glass. In both cases the edges were taped closed using a cloth tape not unlike modern duct tape. The tapes were often color coded. In my early teaching career I used 2 ½ by 2 ½ color film slides bound in glass.

You could have glass negatives. Glass was used as the substrate until film was invented. The early film was cellulose nitrate and was quite flammable even to the point of being explosive. Safety film cellulose acetate came out mid century.

Alan Marcus

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11/28/2007 5:51:36 PM

Sherry Throgmorton   the image is positive and 3 and 1/4 " by 4" . they are taped with black cloth like material.
I have another glass slide/photo that has a white backgroud, I can't tell it that one is a photo between glass or if it's just a piece of paper.
they are or were labeled and numbered.
appreciate the help

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11/29/2007 2:24:58 AM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  This is probably a lantern slide. These were used with an early projector to give slide shows. They were pretty popular, judging by the number of lantern or magic lantern slides you see at antique fairs. I have an old one, of the full moon, that is quite stunning, about he same size as yours. You could probably find some resources with a search on lantern slides or magic lantern. Thanks, John Siskin

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11/29/2007 7:17:26 PM

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