Name Amon First

Platinotype

A platinum print is a monochrome process based on the light sensitivity of iron and platinum salts. The process was patented in 1873 by British inventor William Willis. In 1879, he founded the Platinotype Company, the first firm to market pre-coated papers, which achieved a great deal of commercial success, mainly in England and the United States. However, their popularity was cut short in the 1910s, when platinum prices soared in the lead-up to World War I.

In the platinotype process, a sheet of paper is coated with a mixture of ferric oxalate and potassium chloroplatinate, then dried. The paper is exposed through a negative under bright light. When the image is developed in a bath of potassium oxalate, it dissolves the ferric oxalate and reveals the image by reducing the platinum to a metallic state. Finally, it is cleared with a solution of hydrochloric acid and then washed with water.

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