A toning solution is composed of chloride of gold in water with enough carbonate of soda to make it slightly alkaline, and a pinch of common salt. The action of toning is merely the deposition upon the metallic silver in the print of a certain minute quantity of metallic gold from the solution, which deposit causes the change of color that may be seen while the toning is taking place.

The normal toning solution is varied endlessly by the addition of acetates, chlorides and nitrates of various metals and salts and of borax and chalk and such, the object being to produce unusual tones, such as sepia, blue, blue-grey, brown and black, but the richest and most agreeable tones may be produced as well by the simplest means.

The Toning Solution

Water..............................1 quart.

Into this put half as many grains of pure chloride of gold as you have sheets of paper to tone; after adding the gold make the solution alkaline by adding enough of a strong solution of a carbonate or bicarbonate of soda to turn red litmus paper just blue; then add a pinch of salt, and the toning solution is ready for use. When half your prints are toned, or the toning proceeds too slowly, add more gold, allowing not over 1 grain of gold for each sheet of paper. When all the prints are toned, put the toning solution into a bottle to keep for the next time, when it will probably work better than at first; use it until it becomes badly discolored, then put it into a large bottle to save the waste gold.

The toning must be done in a flat dish that is as large as the largest print that requires to be toned.

Your toning solution being ready, the prints are now to be prepared for toning by- being deprived of all excess of silver and free chloride not acted on by the light; in order to do this, put them one by one in a large dish full of water, in this dish keep them in motion for some little time, then prepare another dish containing the same amount of water slightly acidified with acetic acid, and remove the prints into this one by one as before, keeping them in motion; they will at once commence to turn red, and when they are so they may be taken out, the waters of these two washings must be saved for the silver contained therein.

The prints require two more waters after the acid, when they are ready for toning.

Immerse half a dozen or more of the prints, one at a time, in the toning solution and watch the change of color.

They may at first become a little redder from the action of the salt in the solution, but they will soon change to a brown and then to a bluish or grey brown. And when the faces have become as clear and white as to suit as finished pictures, remove them to fresh water and proceed with another batch until all are done.