|The following is excerpted from Crookes, William and George Wharton Simpson, Ed. "Twelve Elementary Lessons on Silver Printing: Lesson I." The Photographic News, January 26, 1883: 58-59.|
Agreeable to promise, we now commence the series of "Twelve Elementary Lessons on Silver Printing, Toning, Fixing, Washing, Mounting, Finishing, &c., &c." The intention is to describe each process separately, and in such a manner that young amateurs and beginners generally may be enabled to produce good results. Doubtless, the experienced photographer will not find anything herein written that he is not already acquainted with. Still it may be worth his while to peruse the papers at his leisure. With these few remarks by the way of preface, we will proceed with the "printing room."
The locale of the printing room will in the majority of cases be subject to the general convenience of the building and the amount of work required. In large establishments separate apartments are used for each operation, but if only a limited amount of printing is required, one room may be conveniently made to do the duty. It should be situated on or near the ground floor, with easy access to the garden. Having decided upon the room, the next thing is to fit it up in a convenient manner for working; this need not involve a great outlay, and amateurs, at least, will prefer doing it themselves rather than wait the convenience of the local carpenter. To show the requirement of a printing bench as clearly as possible, the accompanying sketch is appended, the scale of measurement being one-half inch to the foot.
The space from J K L M to the end of the apartment will be found convenient as a drying room for sensitized paper and prints. A couple of stout staples should be driven into the wall opposite K, and two screw eyes or staples driven into the shelf K. A piece of Venetian blind cord and some American clips complete the arrangement. Use one side for prints, and the other for sensitized paper; on no account mix the clips; a small gas or paraffine oil stove burning below will distribute sufficient heat to dry the paper in a short time.
If the photographer is limited to one room for his printing and finishing operations, he must himself determine the position for his toning and fixing bench, having due regard to the water supply and light also; bearing in mind that the more convenient the place, the more work accomplished in a given time.
Enamelled iron troughs and dishes are to be obtained very cheaply, which are eminently suitable for washing and fixing prints; moreover, they are easily cleaned with a little common salt, and not liable to fracture.
Having put up a bench for toning, fixing, and washing, the remaining space may be utilized for mounting, finishing, and storage.
See also the next lesson.