Unblinking Eye
Antique Photographic Papers


Return to the Past - Collecting and Developing
Antique Photographic Paper

by Harvey W. Yurow Ph. D.


The demolition of Building 9, the paper plant at Kodak Park in Rochester, on 30 June 2007, sent shock waves throughout much of the photographic world. This event dramatically marked a sharp turn toward digital photography. However, all is not lost. With the advent of e-bay on the Internet, a large number of vintage photographic items, including packages of printing paper with batch production dates going back to the early 1900's are for sale. While it may be of interest to some individuals to keep these latter items on a shelf for exhibition, it is much more of a challenge to try to make prints from these papers.

A psychological consideration of this situation is of interest. Hirsch has coined the phrase “haptic photographer” to indicate a certain type of individual, “haptic” being from the Greek “laying hold of.” This term applies to those who often stylize and distort the subject by image manipulation, and even of more importance here, regard the unfamiliar as important, e.g., for printing media no longer produced.


Over the years, first through "Shutterbug" ads and camera shows, and now mainly through e-bay, the author has purchased and experimented with a considerable number of these printing papers. In only a few instances was it found impossible to produce a satisfactory image. There are several valid reasons for pursuing this endeavor. A number of older photographic papers have unique surfaces that are no longer produced. In this connection, certain  photographic periodicals contain actual prints rather than graphic reproductions. In addition, several papers developed to unusual tones, such as Kodak "Velvet Green". Also, it is a challenge to prepare a print from the oldest available existing paper. An example included with this article is from a package of Kodak "Velox Glossy" dated December 1906.

For a greater chance of success in obtaining a satisfactory print from a vintage printing paper, the following generalizations should be kept in mind. First, sealed, unopened packages are free of any fogging resulting from accidental light exposure, or of  introduction of moisture, spores, etc. "Provenance" is usually non-existent, so that storage can vary from freezer (best), to closet (good), to basement (fair), to attic (worst). In addition, slower speed papers are less subject to age fog than are more rapid papers, ie., contact as compared to enlarging papers. Similar reasoning applies to lantern slide plates, sometimes offered for sale, or to other transparency materials. This argument often holds true for older dated packages as compared  to newer ones.

The "golden age" of B&W photographic  paper was approximately from 1910-1980, the decline following the increasing popularity of color (Dune). For this survey, the best sources are undoubtedly sample print books, company catalogs, Photo Lab Index, Popular Photography Directory issues, The Complete Photographer, as well as books on printing, e.g., by Lowe and Dutton. Additionally, the larger city libraries often carry back issues of photographic periodicals such as American Annual of Photography, American Photography, British Journal of Photography, British Journal of Photography Almanac, The Camera, Camera Craft, Photo Era, Photo Miniature, Popular Photography, etc. More obscure sources include Photograms of the Year (Great Britain) and Photofreund Jahrbuch and Das Deutsche Lichtbild (Germany). Unfortunately, yearly volumes of photographic journals are sometimes bound without the advertisements, which is not the case with unbound issues.

As a bonus feature, American Annual of Photography in its earlier years had a number of actual prints inserted, including Kodak Velox, Artura Iris, and Ansco Cyko. Further, there are a number of photographic museums that have extensive serial collections, with catalogs listed on the Internet. The author can personally recommend the incomparable George Eastman House, The Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego, and the photographic collection at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The Library of Congress is also an excellent source. Noteworthy is a comprehensive enumeration on the Internet of Kodak papers, by Dune et al. Similarly, Knoppow and Reed have provided internet listings of various vintage papers. Such photographic web sites are also a good source of anecdotal information, especially for "legendary" papers (Table 6).

In the Tables given below are listed approximately 320 silver-gelatin developing photographic papers and positive emulsions on translucent or opaque film bases, of yesteryear (1910-1980). Most of these papers are from the U.S., England, or Germany. Obviously, it is hoped that omissions, which usually result when only the brand name occurs, without any description to allow any sort of Table placement, are not too numerous or too serious.

Categorization of printing papers, which is based upon nature of the silver halide salts in the emulsion in conjunction with the printing speed, is subject to some discussion (Jones). Lowe has divided papers into four categories, bromide (fast enlarging), fast chlorobromide (enlarging), slow chlorobromide and fast chloride (enlarging and contact), and chloride (contact). Morgan has proposed bromide, bromochloride, chlorobromide, and chloride. The author has followed Lowe's system. In this connection, Cykora with 40% silver bromide and approximately 60% silver chloride (Current) is given as a fast chlorobromide by Lowe and as a bromochloride by Morgan. Indiatone, a slow chlorobromide has 26% silver bromide, while Brovira is essentially a "pure" bromide (Glafkides).

Table 1: Bromide Papers (83)

         Paper                                     Mfg.                     Tone                  Comments

      Actina Bromide                        Actina                      -                 several surfaces & contrasts
      Agfa Bromide                           Agfa                        -                 two contrasts
      Ansco Bromide                        Ansco                       -                            -
      Barnet Bromide                        Barnet                      -                 various surfaces
      BP Pigment Bromide                Criterion                   -                 uncoated surface
      Bromega                                  Kosmos              warm black      various surfaces
      Bromex                                    Argus                       -                 several surfaces & contrasts
      Bromoil                                    Barnet                      -                 uncoated surface
      Bromoil                                    Kentmere                 -                 uncoated surface
      Bromoil                                    Wellington                -                 several surfaces & contrasts
      Bromosa                                   Mimosa                   -                             -
      Bromosa Special                       Mimosa                    -                             -
      Brovira                                     Agfa-Ansco        cold black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Brovira Speed                          Agfa                    cold black        various surfaces & contrasts 
      Chamois                                  Wellington                 -                 several contrasts, uncoated
      Charcoal Black                        Dassonville          cold                  artistic uncoated surfaces
      Coloma Kruxo                         Kilborn                     -                 various surfaces & contrasts
      Commercial                              Ilford                                          various surfaces & contrasts
      Crayon                                    Wellington                 -                 several surfaces
      De Luxe                                   Ilford                   cold                 carbro
      De Luxe Bromide                     Bouchet                    -                 two contrasts
      De Luxe Bromide                     Criterion                   -                 various surfaces & contrasts
      De Luxe Bromide                     Granville                   -                 several surfaces & contrasts
      De Luxe Bromide                     Illingsworth          cold                 carbro
      Eastman Kodaline Bromide      Kodak                      -                 one surface & high contrast
      Eastman News Bromide           Kodak                      -                 one surface & several contrasts
      Eastman Portrait Bromide         Kodak                warm black       two surfaces
      Ebony                                      Anken                 cold                  various contrasts
      Elephant Bromide                     G. Murphy                -                 various surfaces
      Fujibromide                              Fuji                          -                  two surfaces & various contrasts
      Gevabrome                              Gevaert               neutral black     various surfaces
      Gevaluxe Velours                     Gevaert               neutral black     velvet surface, deep blacks
      Grandamo                                Hauff-Leonar            -                 artistic surfaces & various contrasts
      Griffin Bromide                         Griffin                       -                 various surfaces
      Halobrome                               Haloid                       -                            -
      Haloid Press Bromide               Haloid                      -                 several surfaces & contrasts
      Haloid Record                          Haloid                      -                 various surfaces
      Haynes Salon Special               Haynes                     -                 several contrasts
      Ilford Bromide (Ilfobrom)         Ilford                  neutral black     various surfaces & contrasts
      Illingworth Bromide                  Illingworth                 -                            -
      Illingworth Bromide De Luxe    Illingworth                 -                            -
      India-Bromide                          Bharat                 warm black      various surfaces & contrasts
      Insurance Bromide                   Kodak                      -                 one surface & high contrast
      Jet                                            GAF (Ansco)      cold black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Kentmere Bromide                   Kentmere                 -                  various surfaces & contrasts
      Kodak Bromide                       Kodak Ltd.               -                 various surfaces & contrasts
      Kosmos Bromide                     Kosmos                    -                 various surfaces & contrasts
      Line Solar Bromide                  Kodak                      -                             -
      Luminos Bromide                     Luminos               neutral black    various surfaces & contrasts
      Luminos Pastel                         Luminos               neutral black    tinted paper base
      Lustre Bromide                        Ilford                         -                various surfaces & contrasts
      Marfax Duplex                         Marks & Fuller          -                high contrast
      Monox                                     Defender                   -                            -
      Nikko                                      Kodak Ltd.               -                 one surface & contrast
      Novabrom                               Gevaert                black               various surfaces & contrasts
      Old Master                              Kodak                      -                 rough surface texture
      Opaline Parchment                   Dassonville                                  translucent base
      Orthobrom                               Gevaert               neutral black    various surfaces & contrasts
      Outline Bromide                       Haloid                       -                one surface & contrast
      Pal Brom                                  Pal                      cold black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Photographic Linen                   Luminos              neutral black     linen support
      P.M.C. Bromide # 1-12           Kodak                      -                 various surfaces  
      Portrait Proofing                       Kodak                black                various surfaces &  contrasts
      Press Bromide                          Haloid                cold                  various surfaces & contrasts
      Projection                                 Bharat                warm black       various surfaces & contrasts
      Projection Proof                       Agfa-Ansco        neutral black     single surface & contrast
      Rapidobrom                             Schering                    -                            -
      Record Kruxo                          Kilborn                     -                 single surface & contrast
      Royal Bromide                         Kodak                neutral black     various contrasts
      Seagull                                     Oriental               cold black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Sensitex                                   Medo                        -                 linen cloth
      Special Platine                          Bouchet                    -                             -
      Studio                                      Bharat                  slightly warm   one surface & contrast
      Stripping Kruxo                        Kilborn                                       transparent tissue
      Super Speed Direct Positive     Kodak                neutral black     reversal process
      Transfer                                   Bharat                       -                 image transferable to glass
      Transferotype                           Kodak                      -                 image transferable to glass
      Translux Kruxo                        Kilborn                     -                  transparency
      Transparex                               Gevaert                    -                  translucent
      Vega                                        Ferrania                   -                  various surfaces
      Wards Enlarging                       Wards                 neutral black    several surfaces & contrasts
      Weimet Bromide                      Weimet                     -                 one surface & contrast 
      Wellington Bromide                  Wellington           cool black        various surfaces

In general, bromide papers have  larger silver halide grains and consequently more rapid printing speeds than chlorobromides, are less contrasty and have cooler tones. Readers are advised to peruse the comprehensive chapter on slow emulsions (transparencies and papers) in Glafkides. Warmer tones may be produced on these papers using a toning procedure, with the bleach (potassium ferricyanide and potassium bromide) and redevelopment (sodium sulfide) method being the most popular ( Kodak 1984).

Paper contrast grades vary from extra soft to extra hard, e.g., 0 - 5 for Kodak and 1 - 6 for Agfa, while surfaces are even more numerous. Surfaces vary in three major aspects. Texture or roughness includes smooth, fine-grained, or rough. Gloss can be glossy, high lustre, lustre, or matte, while tint varies from white to cream to old ivory, i.e., buff (Kodak 1958). Variable contrast papers make use of two emulsions, one high contrast and sensitive to blue light, and the other low contrast and sensitive to green, in conjunction with a set of printing filters (Defender).

Table 2: Fast Chlorobromide Papers (74)

         Paper                               Mfg.                     Tone                             Comments

      Adlux                                 Du Pont                 warm                         translucent film base
      Allura                                 Ansco                    brown                       various surfaces
      Ardura                               Ansco                    warm                         various surfaces
      Artex Projection                 Gevaert                  olive-black                various surfaces & contrasts
      Artona Rapid                      Gevaert                 brown-black              velvet surface
      Barvura Canvas                  Barnum                       -                           heavy weight canvas
      Barvura Parchmyn              Barnum                       -                           translucent
      Barvura Tissue                    Barnum                       -                          translucent   
      Bellona                               Fuji                             -                                  -
      Brom-Art                           Art-Cam                warm                         single surface & contrast
      Bromesko                          Kodak Ltd.            warm black                English version of Kodabromide
      Brovira Braun                     Agfa                       warm                        various surfaces & contrasts
      Carbro Paper                     Kodak                        -                           carbro, single surface & contrast
      Center                               Oriental                  warm black                several surfaces & contrasts
      Charcoal Ember                 Dassonville             warm                         various artistic surfaces
      Chronapaque                     Du Pont                  warm                         semi-opaque film base
      Cykora                              Agfa-Ansco            warm black                various surfaces & contrasts
      Defender Canvas               Du Pont                  warm                         canvas support
      Diafilm Opaline                   Gevaert                  warm                        translucent film base
      Diaversal                            Gevaert                       -                           reversal processing
      Direx                                  Grant                          -                           reversal processing
      Duolux                               Du Pont                 warm                         translucent film base
      Ektalure                             Kodak                    brown-black             various surfaces
      Emprex                              Du Pont                 brown- black             several surfaces
      GAF Pan. 3000                  GAF (Ansco)        neutral black              two surfaces
      GAF Pan. 3500                  GAF (Ansco)        warm black                two surfaces
      GAF School Photo             GAF (Ansco)         warm black               two surfaces
      GAF VeeCee Rapid           GAF (Ansco)         cold                          two surfaces & variable contrast
      Gevarto                              Gevaert                  warm black               various surfaces & contrasts
      Gevatone                            Gevaert                  brown-black             several surfaces & contrasts
      Gravure                              Mimosa                       -                                     -      
      Halobrome                         Haloid                    neutral                       various surfaces & contrasts
      Illustro                                Defender                warm                        several contrasts
      Ivora                                  Du Pont                 warm                         translucent film base
      Kodabromide                     Kodak                   neutral black             various surfaces & contrasts
      Kodabrom RC                   Kodak                   neutral                       various surfaces & contrasts
      Kovita                                Kodak Ltd.                 -                          several surfaces & contrasts
      Luminos Mural                   Luminos                 warm                         two surfaces
      Luminos Portrait                 Luminos                 warm black               artistic surfaces  
      Medalist                             Kodak                   warm black               various surfaces & contrasts
      Mezzotone                         Criterion                 warm black               various surfaces
      Miradex                             GAF (Ansco)         neutral black              single surface & contrast
      Multigam                            GAF (Ansco)               -                          variable contrast
      Mural                                 Du Pont                 warm black                two contrasts
      Mural                                 Kodak                   warm black                two contrasts
      Novatone Rapid                 Gevaert                  brown-black              various surfaces & contrasts
      Onyx                                  Haloid                    neutral black                        -
      Orthotype                           Mimosa                       -                                     -
      Pal Print                             Pal                         warm black                various surfaces & contrasts
      Panalure                             Kodak                   warm black                two surfaces, for color neg.
      Panalure Portrait                 Kodak                   brown                        for color negatives
      Pastella Bromide                Barnet                    warm                                      -
      Plastika                              Ilford                      warm black               several surfaces & contrasts
      Platino                                Kodak                   warm                         several surfaces & contrasts
      Polycontrast Rapid             Kodak                   warm black                two surfaces & variable contrast
      Polylure                              Kodak                   warm                         several surfaces & variable contrast
      Portraya                             Haloid                    warm                         two surfaces
      Portrait Proof                     Kodak                   brown-black              one surface & contrast
      Portriga                              Agfa                       very warm                 various surfaces & contrasts
      Portriga Rapid (Speed)       Agfa                      warm black                various surfaces & contrasts
      Projection Proof                 Ansco                          -                          various surfaces & contrasts
      Projection Proof                 Gevaert                  warm                        one surface & contrast
      Projecto                             Haloid                          -                         various surfaces & contrasts
      Record Rapid                     Agfa                      warm brown              one surface & several contrasts
      Resisto Rapid                     Kodak                   neutral black              rapid processing
      Royal Bromesko                Kodak Ltd.            warm                         various surfaces
      Rrembrandt                        Remington-Rand    warm                         various surfaces
      Translite Film                      Kodak                   warm                        translucent film base
      Translite Enlarging               Kodak                   brown-black             translucent paper base
      Varigam (reg., hi speed)      Defender,Du Pont       -                          various surfaces & variable contrast
      Velour Black                      Defender,Du Pont   neutral, warm black   various surfaces & contrasts
      Vitava Projection                Kodak                   warm                         various surfaces & contrasts
      Warmtone                          Du Pont                 warm                         various surfaces
      Zito                                    Hauff-Leonar               -                                      -

Chlorobromide papers are usually warm tone and slower than bromide papers. They are amenable to tone changes with variations in development, i.e., developer composition, dilution, and time. Glycine hydroquinone, and chlorohydroquinone give the warmest tones. Current found that replacement of part of the silver chloride in chlorobromide paper by silver bromide ( potassium bromide at 50g/l, in an M-Q developer) gave increasingly colder tones. Cykora, a rapid chlorobromide with 40% silver bromide was 6x as rapid at Indiatone, a slow chlorobromide with 26% silver bromide. Even warmer tones can result from use of various sulfide toners including bleach and redevelopment, polysulfide, colloidal sulfur, combination sulfide, and oxidizer-sulfide (Horwitz).

Table 3: Slow Chlorobromide and Fast Chloride Papers (78)

           Paper                             Mfg                          Tone                                    Comments

      Argo Enlarging                   Defender                      -                             various surfaces & contrasts
      Argotone                           Defender                      -                                           -
      Artatone                            Artatone                       -                             Japanese tissue base
      Artura Carbon Black          Kodak                         -                             two surfaces
      Autopositive Paper             Kodak                         -                             positive, translucent base
      Athena (Vitava Athena)      Kodak                      olive                          various surfaces & contrasts 
      Barvura Art                        Barnum                     warm                         artist surfaces
      Barvura Silversheen            Barnum                        -                             silk cloth
      Barvura Vellumn                 Barnum                        -                            cloth fabric
      Black & White Proof          Defender, Du Pont    cold                          single surface & contrast
      Carbon Black (Ardura)       Kodak                      neutral                       various surfaces
      Carbon Natura                   Natura                         -                                          -
      Chloralla                            Gennert                      neutral                                    -
      Clorona                              Ilford                        warm                         various surfaces
      Contest Paper                    Ansco                       cold                           one surface
      Copy House Enlarging        Kilborn                        -                             several surfaces & contrasts
      Crystalla                             Gennert                     warm                                       -
      Cyko (Enlarging)                Ansco                        cold                          various surfaces & contrasts
      Cykon                                Agfa-Ansco              warm                         various surfaces & contrasts
      Cylko                                 Ansco                         -                             silk surface, several contrasts
      Ektacolor BW                    Kodak                        -                              print from color negative
      Ergo                                   Ergo-Braun               warm                                       -
      Ergo Platin                          Ergo                         neutral black              two contrasts
      Etching Brown                    Kodak Ltd.               brown-black             several surfaces
      Ilfomar                               Ilford                              -                                    -
      Illustrator's Special             Kodak                       brown-black             two surfaces
      Imago                                 Hauff-Leonar              -                                       -
      Indiatone                            Agfa-Ansco              warm                         various surfaces
      Kodalure                            Kodak                      very warm                 various surfaces
      Kodesko                            Kodak Ltd.               warm, neutral black   translucent parchment base
      Kodopal                             Kodak Ltd.              warm black                various surfaces
      Kodura                              Kodak Ltd.               warm black               various surfaces         
      Kotava Positive Film          Kodak                       warm                        ivory tinted film base
      Kothena                             Kodak Ltd.               warm black               various surfaces
      Larjex                                Gevaert                     cold black                 various contrasts
      Lustrex                               Ansco                       warm                        various surfaces & contrasts
      Marvel Brome                    Sears                         warm                        several surfaces & contrasts
      Mimosa                              Mimosa                        -                                         -
      Multigrade                          Ilford                         cold black                 two surfaces, variable contrast
      Novaflex                            Gevaert                         -                            various surfaces
      Opal (Vitava Opal)             Kodak                      brown black              numerous surfaces  
      Opalure Print Film              Kodak                      warm                         white film base
      Plastella                              Barnet                      warm                                      -
      Polycontrast                       Kodak                      warm black                several surfaces, var. contrast
      Portrait Enlarging                Agfa-Ansco              warm black                various surfaces
      Portrait Enlarging Kruxo     Kilborn                      warm                         various surfaces & contrasts
      Portrait Proof                     Kodak                         -                             one surface & contrast
      Portralure                           Kodak                      brown-black              various surfaces & contrasts
      Portraya Proj. Proof           Haloid                       warm                         one surface & contrast
      Prestona                             Gevaert                    warm                                    -
      Projection Proof                 Ansco                       neutral black              one surface & contrast
      Projection Proof                 Gevaert                     warm                         one surface & contrast
      Proof Kruxo                       Kilborn                        -                             two contrasts
      Rano                                  Hauff-Leonar               -                                           -
      Record                               Agfa                            -                                           -
      Ridax                                 Gevaert                     cold or warm black    various surfaces & contrasts 
      Rremlight                            Remington-Rand          -                             translucent
      Sabletone                           Anken                       warm                        one surface
      Tonex                                Gevaert                     warm                         several surfaces & contrasts
      Tuma Gas                          Tuma                         warm                        various surfaces
      Varaloid                             Xerox                       neutral black              various surfaces, variable contrast
      Varilour                              Du Pont                    warm black                various surfaces,variable contrast
      Velotype                            Mimosa                       -                                             -
      Veltura                               Defender, Du Pont    warm brown              several surfaces
      Verditone                           Kilborn                     warm                         several surfaces & one contrast
      Verona                               Barnet                      warm                         various surfaces
      Verona De Luxe                 Barnet                       brown-black             various surfaces
      Verotype                            Mimosa                       -                                           -
      Verotype Carbon               Mimosa                        -                                           -
      Vitegas                               Kosmos                       -                                           -
      Vitegas De Luxe                 Kosmos                    warm                        various surfaces
      Vittex                                 Gevaert                     warm                        several surfaces & contrasts
      Vitava Etching Brown         Kodak                         -                             several surfaces
      Vitava Projection                Kodak                         -                            various surfaces & two contrasts
      Warmtone Proof                 Defender                  warm                         one surface & contrast
      Wellington B.B.                  Wellington                 brown-black             various surfaces
      Wellington Mezzotint          Wellington                 warm                         various surfaces
      Zitano                                 Hauff-Leonar              -                              two contrasts

Table 4: Chloride Papers (78)

              Paper                        Mfg.                                Tone                               Comments

      Acme Kruxo                      Kilborn                               -                            various surfaces & contrasts
      Actina                                Actina                                -                             several surfaces & contrasts
      Ad-Type                            Kodak                         neutral black                 various contrasts
      Apex                                  Defender, Du Pont       warm                            several surfaces & contrasts
      Argo                                  Defender                            -                                        -
      Aristo                                Kodak                         warm black                   various surfaces & contrasts
      Artona Contact                  Gevaert                       warm                             velour surface
      Artos                                 Gevaert                              -                                        -
      Artura Chloride                  Kodak                               -                             two surfaces
      Artura Iris                          Kodak, Defender        warm                             various surfaces
      Athena                               Kodak                        brown-black                  various surfaces & contrasts
      Azo                                    Kodak                       neutral black                   various surfaces & contrasts
      Bar-Gas                             Barnet                               -                                         -
      Barnet Gaslight                   Barnet                               -                             several surfaces & contrasts
      Barvura Parchmyn              Barnum                             -                              translucent
      Barvura Tissue                   Barnum                             -                              translucent
      Carbon Brown                   Mimosa                            -                                          -
      Contactone                        Agfa, Gevaert             neutral black                   various surfaces & contrasts
      Convira                              Ansco                        cold black                      various surfaces & contrasts
      Crystal Stipple                    Agfa-Ansco                      -                              one surface
      Commercial Kruxo             Kilborn                             -                              various surfaces & contrasts
      Criterion Gaslight                Criterion                           -                              several surfaces & contrasts
      Cyko                                  Ansco                        cold or warm black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Cyko (Commercial)            Ansco                        cold or warm black        various surfaces & contrasts
      Cyko (Professional)            Ansco                        cold black                      various surfaces
      Devodark                           Devolite                     cold or warm                  various contrasts
      Devolite                              Devolite                     cold                               several contrasts
      Flash Solar                         Haloid                               -                             for hand coloring
      Ginrei                                 Fuji                                   -                             various surfaces & contrasts
      Granville Gaslight                Granville                            -                                        -
      Halo                                   Haloid                        blue-black                      various contrasts
      Ilford Contact                     Ilford                                 -                             two surfaces   
      Illustrator's Azo                  Kodak                       warm black                     various surfaces & contrasts
      Illustro                               Defender                            -                              one surface, several contrasts
      Imago                                Hauff-Leonar                     -                                         -
      Industro                             Haloid                        warm                              various surfaces & contrasts
      Industro Outline                 Haloid                               -                              one surface & two contrasts
      Kentmere Gaslight              Kentmere                         -                              various surfaces & contrasts
      Kothena                             Kodak Ltd.               warm black                     various surfaces
      Letter Copy Kruxo             Kilborn                             -                                         -
      Line Solar Bromide             Kodak                              -                             one surface & two contrasts
      Lugla                                  Lumiere                             -                                        -
      Lumarto                              Hauff-Leonar                    -                             various surfaces & contrasts
      Lupex                                 Agfa, Ansco              warm                              various surfaces & contrasts
      Lustrex                               GAF (Ansco)            warm                              several surfaces & contrasts
      Marvel Contact                  Sears                                 -                             two contrasts
      Noko                                 Ansco                      cold or warm black           various contrasts
      Nokoline (Noko)                Agfa-Ansco              cold black                       can be folded
      Noktona                            Griffin                                -                              several surfaces
      Nomis                                Haloid                               -                             various contrasts
      Novaflex                            Gevaert                             -                              several contrasts, flexible 
      Novagas                            Gevaert                    cold or warm black           various surfaces & contrasts
      Novex                                Kosmos                            -                                         -
      Outline Special                   Haloid                               -                              several surfaces & contrasts
      Portrait Kruxo                    Kilborn                              -                             various surfaces
      Resisto                               Kodak                     neutral black                     rapid processing
      Rito                                    Haloid                               -                             several surfaces & contrasts
      Selo                                   Ilford                       blue-black                         various surfaces & contrasts
      Ridax                                 Gevaert                            -                               various surfaces & contrasts
      Royal Velox                       Kodak                              -                                         -
      Simplex                              Bharat                      blue-black                        one surface, various contrasts
      Speedex                             Ansco                      cold black                        various contrasts
      Solar Bromide                    Kodak                              -                              one surface & contrast
      Solo Gaslight                      Ilford                        blue-black                                   -
      Stenox                                Actina                               -                             several surfaces & contrasts
      Sunotype                            Mimosa                             -                                        -
      To-ne                                 Fuji                                   -                             various surfaces & contrasts
      Translite                             Kodak                               -                             translucent paper base
      Tuma Gas                          Tuma                        brown-black                    various surfaces
      Unicontrast VR                  Kodak                      blue-black                        long scale
      Velox                                 Kodak                      blue-black                       various contrasts
      Velox Rapid                       Kodak                      blue-black                       various contrasts
      Velite                                 Kodak                      cold                                 handled in room light
      Vitava Alba                        Kodak                              -                              two surfaces
      Wards Contact                  Wards                       blue-black                       several contrasts
      Weimet Chloride                Weimet                             -                              one surface, several contrasts
      Wellington S.C.P.              Wellington                cool black                         various surfaces & contrasts
      YTO                                  Kentmere                          -                                         -

Chloride papers have the slowest printing speed and require contact printing. They can give either warm black or bluish-black tones, depending upon the anti-foggant used in emulsion preparation. The former are given by certain mercaptan compounds, while the latter occur with benzotriazole, or 6-nitrobenzimidazole (Glafkides). These papers are also amenable to toning.

Table 5: Iodide Papers (5)

             Paper                           Mfg.                     Tone                             Comments

      Carbon Green                    Artura                   green                         contact paper, several surfaces
      Tuma Gas                          Tuma                     green                         assumed iodide, contact paper
      Velvet Green                      Kodak                  green                         contact paper
      Verda                                 Mimosa                green                         enlarging paper
      Vertona                              Gevaert                green                          contact paper

Iodide papers are usually the slowest of all, and have even been contact printed by daylight (Kodakery).  For a description of these papers, refer to a recent Internet article (Yurow) on Unblinking Eye.

At this point mention should be made of the F.I.A.T. Reports regarding paper emulsions (Glafkides). These papers resulted from Allied investigations just after the end of World War 2 of the German photographic industry, and revealed to the public various secret formulations of Agfa. Included were formulas for ""Brovira", "Portriga", and "Lupex". Of special interest were the very high contrasts obtained by additions of small amounts of rhodium salts to the emulsions. After the War, "Brovira" continued to hold the record for the highest contrast (#6) of any enlarging paper, and was found to be invaluable for producing the Sabatier effect (Jolly).

Although not included in this survey, there were available numerous brands of vintage lantern slide plates, transparency plates (or films), designed as a source of positive images. These diapositive materials were produced by the major companies, including Agfa, Barnet, Gevaert, Kodak, Ilford, and Wellington. They were provided in up to three contrast grades, and similar surface texture and gloss, with chloride emulsions being inherently the most contrasty, and chlorobromide and bromide being less so (Milner). Because images on these materials can be viewed by transmitted light, this results in a significantly longer scale that can be obtained with prints seen by reflected light (Trade Winds). As described almost poetically by Carrell, because of the wide variety of tones obtainable, the Alpha plates of Ilford fall into the "legendary" category and are an item worth looking for.

It is also appropriate to give a listing of the more interesting paper surfaces. Collectors should keep a sharp lookout for offers of the following papers.

Table 6: Some Interesting Paper Surfaces

               Surface                                                         Examples

         Artists Drawing Paper                  Barvura Art, Charcoal Black, Charcoal Ember, Grandamo
         Canvas                                        Athena Old Master, Barvura Canvas, Kodak Bromide Old Master,
                                                                 Velour Black, Wellington Art Canvas
         Linen                                           Athena, Azo R, Azo S, Brovira, Cyko,  Indiatone 425, 426, Luminos,
         Japanese Tissue                           Artatone
         Nippon Crepe                             Cyko
         Parchment                                   Athena, Barvura, Charcoal Black, Opaline Parchment
         Rayon                                         Clorona 
         Rough Matte (Fabric Rough)       Barnet Bromide "Tiger Tongue", Indiatone 407, 408,
                                                                Kodabromide D, E, Kodalure D, E, Opal D, E, Warmtone Artweave
         Silk                                             Azo X, Azo Y, Barvura Silversheen, Brovira 7111, 
                                                                Ektalure X, Indiatone 411, Kodabromide Y, Kodalure Y, Opal Y
         Suede                                          Kodabromide V, W, Kodalure V, W, Opal V, W
         Tapestry                                      Ektalure X, Kodabromide X, Z, Kodalure X, Z, Luminos, Opal X, Z
         Tweed                                         Ektalure R, Kodabromide R, Kodalure R, Opal R
         Velour                                         Artona Rapid, Artona Contact, Barvura Vellum, Gevaluxe

In connection with paper surfaces, it should also be mentioned that texture screens, which give a pattern on prints, occasionally become available on e-bay. These are usually Ansco (Homespun, Oxford, Ripple, and Satin) or Defender/Du Pont (Dry Point Etching, Steeline, Tapestry, Bromoil, Paper Negative, and Salon Tapestry) (Agfa 1942, Du Pont).

At this point, a brief history of photographic paper manufacturers is in order. Early in the 20th century, Kodak incorporated a number of independent companies including Artura and Vitava, and kept their brand name for some time for its products. In 1928 , Agfa combined with Ansco to give Agfa-Ansco (Marder). During World War 2, the US Government took over Agfa-Ansco in America in 1942 under the Alien Property Act, and the name was first changed back to Ansco, and in 1967 the name was again changed to GAF (General Aniline and Film). Defender's product line was incorporated into Du Pont in the 1940's, while Anken took over Dassonville. Agfa and Gevaert combined to give Agfa-Gevaert in the mid 1960's.

In the early 1900's only two types of photographic paper were available, chloride for contact prints and bromide for enlarging. Subsequent combinations of the two silver halides in various proportions resulted in a large variety of chlorobromide papers as witnessed by the lengths of Tables 2 and 3. These papers exhibited a large number of surfaces, and sometimes more than one contrast grade, so that the choices for a photographer expanded considerably.

In recent years a number of smaller photographic paper manufacturers have come to the fore, including Bergger, Cachet, Forte, and Kentmere. To some extent, these companies can fill in the gap caused by discontinuations by the larger firms.


Meade Monument, Washington, D.C., by Harvey W. Yurow, Ph.D.
Contact printed on Kodak “Velox Glossy” paper dated December 1906, developed with amidol + benzotriazole.  From an enlarged Kodak Infrared negative.

"Normal" M-Q print developers, such as Kodak D-52 or D-72, usually give excess fog with vintage materials. As discussed  below, special developers are required. A photographic developer ordinarily consists of a developing agent, a preservative, an alkali, a restrainer, and sometimes an anti-foggant. Each component can be considered in turn with regard to maximizing the difference between image density and developer fog density, which is more important with positive images than with negative ones.

The developing agent is usually an organic compound, which ionizes in alkaline solution to give a powerful reducing agent that preferentially converts silver halide exposed to light to a silver image. There is a balancing act needed here, so as to give good image density with  negligible density background fog. Developing agents giving normal to high contrast images and low fog are amidol, chlorohydroquinone and glycin (Focal).

The preservative, which inhibits air oxidation of the developing agent,  is usually sodium sulfite. Because sulfite is a silver halide solvent that raises silver ion concentration in developer, i.e., lowers pAg,  it can give rise to solvent induced fog (Shephard and Shuman) as a result of solution physical development. Therefore, an optimum concentration of sodium sulfite must be determined for a given developer, which is usually in the range 10-15g/l. Even lower concentrations of sodium sulfite are possible, e.g., 3g/l with a lithographic developer.

The alkali, or base, usually sodium borate, sodium metaborate, or sodium carbonate, is required to raise the pH of developer sufficiently to promote ionization of developing agent, and to neutralize acid formed during reduction of silver halide  As indicated below, amidol develops even in weakly acidic solution , and requires only sodium sulfite, both as preservative and as base. Higher developer pH and increased fog level tend to go together, so that more restrainer and anti-foggant are thus needed.

The restrainer in most developer formulae is bromide ion, which inhibits reduction of unexposed silver halide in the emulsion via the Law of Mass Action. In addition, bromide ion is adsorbed by  silver halide grains, increases potential charge barrier and initially retards approach of negative developer anion (John and Field).

Anti-foggants, which appear to operate by a different mechanism than does bromide ion, include benzotriazole, 6-nitrobenzimi- dazole, and potassium iodide. Organic anti-foggants tend to produce cold tones, while excess bromide ion results in warmer tones (Mason). They function by forming less soluble compounds with silver ion than do chloride or bromide, and are effective at concentrations as low as 0.1g/l. In this connection, at around 0.25g/l, potassium iodide prevents abrasion marks on paper, but increased concentrations can cause decreased contrast (Snodgrass). Addition of small amounts of potassium iodide (0.5-1.0g/l) allows development of old fogged photographic paper without noticeable fog (Kirillov). It should further be added that with very old paper, one sometimes observes decrease of shadow density around the edges when making borderless prints. Presumably this is somehow related to the contamination of these regions by the surrounding black paper envelope, or by slow air diffusion.

The most comprehensive article on the effect of developer formulation on paper tone is that of  Morse. In the table below, tones on various types of Ansco paper with various Ansco paper developers are given.

Table 7. Tones on Ansco Papers

                                                                 Ansco Developer

      Paper                  Type                                      #113     #103     #120     #130    #135    #115    #110

      Convira      chloride, contact, cold black              0            1           2           2          3          4          4
      Brovira       bromide, enlarging, cold black           3            3           3           3          4          5          6
      Cykora       fast Cl-Br, enlarging, warm black      3            4           4           4          5          6          8
      Cykon        slow Cl-Br, enlarging, warm black     5            5           6           6          7          8          9 
      Indiatone    slow Cl-Br, enlarging, warm black     5            5           6           6          7          8          9

      0 (very cold blue-black), 1 (cold blue-black), 2 (blue-black), 3 (neutral black), 4 (rich black), 5 (warm black),
      6 (olive-black), 7 (warm olive-black), 8 (warm brown-black), 9 (very warm brown-black)

Ansco developer #113 is amidol, #103 is M-Q with low KBr, #120 is metol, #130 is M-Q with glycin,  #135 is M-Q with higher KBr, #115 is glycin and hydroquinone, and #110 is M-Q with higher KBr and lower sodium carbonate (Photo Lab Index).

While the above developers are probably suitable for well stored vintage photographic papers, the following developers are recommended for papers prone to fogging.


These developers contain an aldehyde, usually formaldehyde, or a ketone, e.g., acetone, which loosely bonds with sulfite or bisulfite, somewhat in the manner of a pH buffer (Mason, Kirillov). At such low sulfite concentrations, e.g. 3g/l, semiquinone formed from oxidation of hydroquinone, builds up in concentration and causes infectious development. The result is high contrast, sharp dot patterns in lithographic film. The author has found that lithographic developers, such as Kodalith, Kodalith Fineline, or D -85, to which has been added 0.1g/l of benzotriazole, 6-nitrobenzimidazole, or potassium iodide, give negligible fog and good contrast with old photographic paper, but significant speed loss in printing of around two stops. Formulae are given by Attridge and Kirillov. These developers should be allowed to stand about 0.5 hours after mixing to establish equilibrium, and used within several hours because of rapid air oxidation.

 Kodak D-85

Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous

30 g


7.5 g

Potassium metabisulfite

2.6 g

Boric acid

7.5 g


22.5 g

Potassium bromide

1.6 g

Water to make

1 liter



     Part A


30 g

Sodium formaldehyde bisulfite

100 g

Water to make

1 liter

     Part B

Sodium Carbonate, monohydrate

139 g

Sodium bicarbonate

45 g

Potassium bromide

1.5 g

Sodium sulfite

2.5 g

Water to make

1 liter

Mix one part A and one part B


This developing agent, which produces cold tones, can give normal contrast with low fog (Focal). A formula devised by the author gives excellent results on vintage papers, with less speed loss than with the lithographic developer. Benzotriazole can be replaced by 6-nitrobenzimidazole. Similarly, concentration of potassium iodide can be increased. The reduction potential of this developer at a pH of 6.6 is -0.300 as compared to a value of -0.407 for Kodak D-72, indicating a significantly less powerful developer (Mees), which would be expected to better differentiate between exposed and unexposed silver halide grains. Decrease of sulfite lowers pH, and decreases reduction potential of the developer. Amidol has a threshhold of development at a pH of 4.0 (Dickerson), which corresponds to a EMF of -0.150.

Acid Amidol pH 6.65

Sodium sulfite

10 g


5 g

Potassium bromide

1.0 g

Potassium iodide

0.01 g


0.5 g

Water to make

1 liter


Agfa Photographic Materials for Professional Use, Binghamton April 1, 1940.
Agfa Photographic Papers, Binghamton 1941.
Andresen, M., Agfa Photo-Handbook, Germany ca 1920.
Ansco, Cyko Prints at Night, Binghamton 1912.
Ansco Professional Pointer, Binghamton 1926.
Ansco Photographic Papers, Binghamton 1954.
Ansco Photographic Papers: Sample Print Book, Binghamton, ca 1965.
American Annual of Photography, American Photographic, Boston, various years.
Attridge, G., Photographic Developing in Practice, pp 129-131, David and Charles, London 1985.
British Journal of Photography Almanac, Greenwood, London, various years.
Carrell, G.N., "Thiocarbamide-Physical Development for Warm-Tone Lantern Plates",
   The Photographic Journal, 87A, 157-163 (1947)
Current, I., "Some Factors Affecting Sepia Tone", PSA Journal Annual, pp 684-687 (1950).
Defender Book - Photographic Papers and Films, Rochester, no date.
Defender Specimen Prints, Rochester, ca 1940.
Dickerson, M., "Notes on the Design of Developers for Rapid Photo Processing", Photo Engineering, 5, 109 (1954).
Du Pont Photographic Papers, Wilmington, DE 1953.
Dune, C., Grinde, L., and Wiegandt, R., "Characterization of Black-And-White Silver Gelatin Fiber-
   Based Photographic Prints".
Dutton, L.E., Perfect Print Control, pp 149-151, Galleon, New York 1937.
Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, Desk Edition, pp 330-331, MacMillan, New York 1960.
Gevaert Sensitized Photographic Products, New York 1926.
Gevaert, Films, Plates, Papers, New York 1939.
Gevaert Manual of Photography, 4th edition, pp 241-254, Antwerp 1958.
Glafkides, P., Photographic Chemistry, pp 340-343, 347-349, 351-353, Fountain, London 1958.
Hirsch, R., Exploring Color Photography, 3rd edition, p 30, Brown & Benchmark 1997.
Horwitz, S., "A Study in Brown Toning", American Annual of Photography, pp 191-194 (1950).
Ilford Manual of Photography, London 1946.
John, D.H.O. and Field, G.T.J., Textbook of Photographic Chemistry, pp 82-83, Chapman and Hall, London 1963.
Jolly, W.L., "Solarization Demystified", Chapter 6, 1997.
Jones, L.A. and Morrison, C.A., "Sensitometry of Photographic Papers",  Journal of the Franklin Institute,
    228, 605-622 (1939).
Kirillov, N.I., Problems in Photographic Research and Technology, pp 75, 99-102, Focal Press, London 1967.
Knoppow, R., "More Paper Names",
Kodak, Artura Results, 9th edition, Rochester. no date.
Kodak, Eastman Photographic Papers, Rochester 1935.
Kodak, "Notes on Velvet Green", Kodakery, pp 26-27, Rochester May 1925.
Kodak, The Velox Book, Rochester 1938.
Kodak Photographic Papers for Professional Use, Rochester Feb. 1941.
Kodak, Print Quality Kodaguide for Kodabromide, with sample prints, Rochester, 1942.
Kodak Papers, 3rd edition, Rochester 1946.
Kodak Papers, 6th edition, Rochester 1958.
Kodak Photographic Papers Sample Print Book, Rochester, Sept. 1955.
Kodak Photographic Papers for the Professional, sample prints, Rochester, ca 1960.
Kodak Photographic Papers, sample prints, Kodak Ltd., London, no date.
Kodak, L-9. Kodak Photographic Products, Rochester 1979-1980.
Kodak, G-23, The ABC's of Toning, Rochester 1984.
Lowe, E.W., Modern Developing Methods, 3rd edition, p 69, Edwal, Chicago 1946.
Marder, W. and Marder, E., Anthony: The Man, The Company, The Cameras, pp 357-358, Pine Ridge Pub., 1982.
Mason, L.F.A., Photographic Processing Chemistry, pp 39-41, 163-165, Focal, London 1966.
Mees, C.E.K., The Theory of the Photographic Process, 1st edition, pp 499-500, MacMillan, New York 1945.
Milner, C.D., Making Lantern Slides and Filmstrips, 3rd edition, Focal, London 1957.
Morgan, W.D., “Photographic Printing Papers”, pp 2806-2820, W.D. Morgan editor, The Complete Photographer,
    National Educational Alliance, New York 1943.
Morse, H.G., "Tones on Ansco Papers", Ansconian, pp 10-14, Binghamton Nov. 1949.
Photo Lab Index, H.M. Lester editor, 9th edition, Morgan & Morgan, NY 1947.
Photo-Lab-Index, E.M. Pittaro, editor, Morgan & Morgan, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 1977.
Photographic Lab Handbook, J.S. Carroll editor, 4th edition, p 143, Amphoto, Garden City, NY 1977.
Popular Photography, Directory Issue, "Printing Papers", Ziff Davis, Chicago, various years starting 1939.
Reed, M. "Yesterdays Papers",
Shephard, A.N.R., King, R. and Shuman, D.C., "Contributions to Fog Formation by Silver Halide Solvents",
    Journal of Imaging Science, 33, 230-239 (1989).
Silverprint News, "Gevaluxe", June 2007,
Snodgrass, L. I., The Science and Practice of Photographic Printing, 3rd edition, pp 140, 188, 313, Falk, NY 1923.
Trade Winds, "Duolux", Photo Technique, 1 (Nov.) pp 50-51 (1939).
Wellington Photographic Handbook, 17th edition, Elstree, UK, ca 1930.
Yurow, H.W., "A Study in Green",

Copyright 2007 by Harvey W. Yurow.  All rights reserved.

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