... Take white of eggs, to which add the fifth part, by volume, of saturated solution of chloride of sodium, or what is still better, hydrochlorate of ammonia; then beat it into a froth, and decant the clear liquid after it has settled for one night. ...
Albumen derives its name from album ovi, the Latin name for white of egg. It exists most abundantly and in its purest natural state in eggs. It is one of the chief constituents of many animal solids and ......... Its chief characteristic is its coagulability by heat. ... The albumen of the hen's egg is the easiest of access. The eggs must be fresh, not more than five days old. They ought to be kept in a cool place. Those from the country are better than town-laid eggs, and I advise, where practicable, that the hens should have carbonate and phosphate of lime strewn about them to peck at. This enriches the albumen and renders it more limpid. Each egg must be broken separately into a shallow cup, and the yelk [sic] retained in the shell as well as the germ; then pour into a measure until the required quantity of limpid albumen is obtained.
The albumen print was an exceptionally convenient answer to many of early photography's problems and one of the most luxuriously beautiful photographic paper surfaces ever devised. When introduced in France in 1839, photography took the form of the daguerreotype, a relatively small albeit spectacularly detailed image on a polished, silver-coated plate of copper. The daguerreotype truly reflected—or mirrored—the world as seen through the lens of the camera obscura and recorded it on a small flat surface with a consummate finesse and precision of fact. Observers could, with the aid of a magnifying glass, examine the smallest details of architecture or landscape and were in awe of the sheer magnitude of information captured on the tiny silver plate. But the daguerreotype had its limitations. Besides being very small, the daguerreotype was exceptionally fragile; its delicate image was merely a silver-mercury amalgam film lying atop the silver plate. The image had to be constantly protected from touch and the atmosphere to prohibit abrasion and tarnishing of the silver. Furthermore, the process was fairly complicated and expensive. Most limiting, however, was the daguerreotype's inability to replicate itself. Like the modern Polaroid, the daguerreotype technique did not produce a negative that could in turn be used for printing any number of positive images. It was a unique, singular picture experience.
This paper gives much depth to the blacks, and great brilliancy to the whites. In leaving it a shorter time on the nitrate bath (about a minute), and using Whatman's paper, you may obtain a reddish purple tint very harmonious. Canson's papers, and usually all those which contain much amidine, give black tints.