This section is from the book "Modern Photography In Theory And Practice", by By Henry G. Abbott. Also available from Amazon: Modern photography in theory and practice: A hand book for the amateur.
These papers are made in various qualities, as thin, thick and very thick and with various surfaces, as smooth, rough and very rough. The artistic results of the finished prints on bromide paper depend largely on the negative selected for use and the particular paper used on that negative. Negatives having a great mass of detail will look better on the smooth than the rough bromide, while open scenes, moonlights and marines look better on the matt surface papers, according to our idea. These papers are very sensitive and should always be printed in the dark room. For this reason they are favorites with amateurs who have little time to print during the daylight hours. Light your ruby lamp and handle the paper as you would a negative. The negative is placed in the frame and the coated side of the paper in contact with the negative. Put away the remaining paper carefully in the package.
Measure off about 12 or 15 inches from your lamp on the table and draw a line. The exact distance from the lamp depends largely on its size, or the size of the burner. Stand the printing frame upon the table with the glass side of frame on this line. Hang your watch up on a convenient hook or nail where you can see the dial plainly by the red light. If it is an ordinary negative it will require from 10 to 15 seconds exposure with a small burner in the dark room lantern. The best way to test this is to cut a sheet in quarters and test a small piece. When you have the time just right run over your negatives and select out those of about the same density and give them the same exposure. When you have found the right time for each negative, mark it on the negative envelope and you will always have it as a guide for future bromide printings. When the second hand on your watch has reached the required point, print by removing the ruby glass and then place the printing frame face downward on your table or bench and close the ruby lamp. If we now examine the face of the paper we will find nothing on it any more than we will on a negative after it is exposed.
The picture must be brought out by development just as we bring out the image on a negative. The solution on the paper is the same as that on a negative, though less sensitive. The print is now placed in a clean tray and the developer poured over it and the image will gradually appear as it does on a negative but in very much less time. We have not experimented with factors in bromide development but have no doubt that by a little experiment they can be worked out, for the conditions are almost identical with the negative development. Tolidol makes a good developer for bromide paper, as it is almost colorless and does not stain the papers as some of the developers will. Generally speaking a solution of Tolidol for plates may be strengthened fifty per cent for use as a bromide developer. The Nepera Chemical Company and the Eastman Company, the two largest manufacturers of bromide papers in this country both recommend the use of the following developer:
No. 1. Neutral Oxalate of Potash.....16 ozs.
Hot Water......................48 ozs.
Proto-Sulphate of Iron.........8 ozs
Hot Water.....................24 ozs.
Citric Acid....................15 grs.
Let both solutions cool and then put them in separate bottles, well corked and they will keep for months. To use, measure out four ounces of No. 1 and one ounce of No. 2. The print should first be soaked in water for a minute or two until quite limp and it is then placed in a tray, flooded with the developer and rocked as in developing a negative. A few drops of bromide, in the proportion of one ounce of bromide potassium to one quart of water may be used where it is found necessary to restrain the developer. As soon as the print has reached the desired strength and all the details have developed out, take it from the developer and without washing, place it in the following:
Acetic Acid.................................................................. 1 dram.
The print should be thoronghly rocked in the solution and turned over often so the solution can act on both sides of the paper and thus prevent the iron in the developer from precipitating on the paper. Pour off clearing solution and apply fresh and repeat. Now rinse the print in clean water and use the following: