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.
Introduction. While Bromide enlarging is perhaps one of the most interesting and profitable branches of the photographic business, yet many have an idea that the making of Bromide enlargements requires an expensive apparatus, and a great deal of time and technical skill. Such is not the case, for you can practically provide the necessary apparatus yourself.
563. The advantages of Bromide enlargements are many. For the professional, it enables him to make many of his negatives on small plates, with quicker exposures, and with a large percentage of successful ones, at one-quarter the cost of larger size plates, and at the same time avoid the inconvenience of handling a large and unwieldy camera when quickness is important.
564. Again, many times when these enlargements are made from your small negatives of good customers you would have no difficulty in disposing of them at a good price. This is especially the case with negatives of children. In fact, many photographers make it a point to finish an enlargement from one of the negatives out of every order, especially where the customer is to call for the completed work. When delivering the order, the customer is shown a Bromide enlargement from the same negative and at once becomes interested, resulting in not alone a sale of the enlargement at a good price, but very often, a suitable frame for it as well, all of which add to the photographer's receipts, with but little effort and a slight extra expense.
565. For the amateur, Bromide enlarging is a great convenience, for by its means beautiful enlarged pictures can be made from any small negative, and made by the amateur himself, without any additional apparatus other than such as he can prepare alone. In other words, his hand camera can be made to serve as an enlarging camera, providing it is of the adjustable focus type and the back is removable or has a ground-glass for focusing.
566. Box cameras or cameras of fixed focus can also be used, provided the back can be removed. In this case, a dark cloth should be attached to, or placed around, the back of the camera, giving it extra focal capacity.
567. The principal advantage of enlargements for the amateur lies in the fact that he requires but one camera for all purposes. In place of being loaded down with a large camera, a medium size instrument will serve him for any and all purposes, and whenever he desires a larger picture than the size of the original negative, he simply makes an enlargement from the negative.
568. Then again, an enlargement is often much softer and better than a direct print, for one has the advantage of manipulating in the exposure by holding back such portions as are desired lighter, and exposing longer other portions which are preferred printed darker. There is the further advantage of printing clouds into the scenery, or taking negatives which are perfectly sharp and making diffused, softer pictures from them.