U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Direct Carbon Potential.

Re: Direct Carbon Potential.

Hi All, I have absolutely no expertise in manufacturing anything (except children) but what sort of strikes me is this. If there is no commercial value to the manufacture of carbon paper etc..Why is everyone so secretive about the process? Regards David H
OHMAGOSH David how astute you are...this gave me a good laugh this morning.

When Pouncy introduced his Carbon process to the photographic society he got trounced because he showed prints but did not reveal the secrets of his process. He got accused of trying to profit from it, then of being secretive because of taking out a patent, and even though the records from that time SHOW that they couldn't even tell the difference between a carbon (direct) and a BW print, history to this day says there were "no halftones" etc. etc.--even in the journals only a few decades later! Apparently they did not read back far enough to remember, but Pouncy's son William set the record straight when the gum convo started up again in the 1890's.

The same today--secrecy surrounds the process and there IS monetary gain to be had. One difference is that the direct carbon today probably contains other colloids aside from just gum as did Pouncy's process. However, as I have reported already to the list, there was the use of methylated alcohol to harden the layer which made it able to do a pure gum, post sensitized paper.

Anyway, my interest in a direct carbon paper is only mild, insofar as in my gum research, gum printing was called so many different names--carbon printing, direct carbon, bi-gum, pigment printing, on and on so I had to read all of the literature in order to weed out what I needed. In the process, I realized the extreme commercial viability of the paper, and the only reason IMHO it did not continue was the move towards straight photography in the 1920's.

If it weren't commercially viable, why would Nadeau buy the "secret" as he says he did?

And, there is room for more than one direct carbon paper on the market. I've come up with about 10 names from the 1900's all competing at once.