This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Plates To Use. The best plate to use for this work is a slow one. With a slow plate and a long exposure the best of results can be obtained. The Commercial Ortho-chromatic plate will also be found to give good results, but the ordinary rapid plate is not good for this class of work.
Development. All such work should be started developing in old developer and carried in this to a stage where the grain is clear and snappy. Then a normal developer with a few drops of bromide added should be used to conclude the development. The old developer gives you snap and the fresh normal developer gives you softness and mellowness, which are essential for this class of work. The Universal Developing Formula given in Volume II is recommended for this work, always starting, of course, with old developer. In case of serious over-exposure, develop farther and then, after fixing, reduce with red prussiate reducer. See Volume II.
Finishing Commercial Prints. While considerable commercial work is printed on glossy gelatin printing-out paper, and for some purposes it is the best to use, yet for the majority of the best work Aristo Platino or matte surface papers are preferred, and for cheap commercial work the gaslight papers are used quite extensively. For methods of manipulating different papers, see Volume IV.
Mounting And Finishing. Where glossy gelatin prints are desired, they should be toned to a deep-brown or purple tone, and mounted on either canvas or paper backing. Where matte papers are used, the commercial backing paper supplied by the manufacturers is used almost exclusively.
Squeegeeing The Prints. After the prints are thoroughly washed they are squeegeed on to ferrotype plates, the plates being first cleaned by washing with a soft sponge. Place the wet print onto the plate, face side down; with a flat 6-inch squeegee, swab off all surplus water; then place over the print a dry blotter and roll down with the print-roller, until all air-bells are expelled. In large establishments, where much work is to be done, a nickel-plated metal roller, 4 to 5 inches thick and about 24 inches long, may be used. A smooth metal bed the size of the squeegee plates used, which is also nickel-plated, is used to roll the prints on. One rolling over the prints with this roller is sure to expel all air-bells, thus saving considerable time and labor.
Backing The Prints. When muslin backing is used, the back of the print on the tin plate is pasted, and the muslin backing adjusted to the print and then rolled in contact by a print-roller. Where paper backing is used the backing is first soaked in clear water to make it limp, after which the water is drained off and with the print pasted on the plate the backing paper is adjusted to the print, coated side up, and rubbed in contact by the print-roller. It is a good plan to put the cut pieces of backing paper and the prints in the final wash water at the same time. This insures the same expansion of both prints and backing paper.