Salt paper process

The earliest photographic process for making positive prints, invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840. The print was made on high quality writing paper that had been immersed in a solution of common salt and then floated in a bath of silver nitrate. A finished salt print is matt in finish, reddish brown in colour, and has no surface gloss. It could be toned with a gold chloride for a richer, purplish tone and greater permanence. Salt prints were superceded by albumen prints in the 1850s.

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Jane Octavia Brookfield (née Elton), attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling, late 1840s - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Jane Octavia Brookfield (née Elton)
attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling
late 1840s
NPG P171(62)

Samuel Laurence, attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling, late 1840s - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Samuel Laurence
attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling
late 1840s
NPG P171(12)

John Barton Sterling, attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling, late 1840s - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Barton Sterling
attributed to Sir Anthony Coningham Sterling
late 1840s
NPG P171(47)

Thomas Carlyle, by Robert Scott Tait, 1851 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Carlyle
by Robert Scott Tait
1851
NPG P171(6)

Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde, by Roger Fenton, 1855 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde
by Roger Fenton
1855
NPG P20

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, by Graham Vivian, 1858 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
by Graham Vivian
1858
NPG P152

Visitors to Broadlands, 1859, possibly by Graham Vivian, 1859 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Visitors to Broadlands, 1859
possibly by Graham Vivian
1859
NPG P153

John Gibson, by Nadar (Gaspard Félix Tournachon), circa 1862 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Gibson
by Nadar (Gaspard Félix Tournachon)
circa 1862
NPG P227

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