See also Photography.

A good method of preparing handsome London transparencies is as follows:

White paper is coated with a liquid whose chief constituent is Iceland moss strongly boiled down in water to which a slight quantity of previously dissolved gelatin is added. In applying the mass, which should always be kept in a hot condition, the paper should be covered uniformly throughout. After it has been dried well it is smoothed on the coated side and used for a proof. The transparent colors to be used must be ground in stronger varnish than the opaque ones. In order to produce a handsome red, yellow lake and red sienna are used; the tone of the latter is considerably warmer than that of the yellow lake. Where the cost is no consideration, aurosolin may also be employed. For pale red, madder lakes should be employed, but for darker shades, crimson lakes and scarlet cochineal lakes. The vivid geranium lake gives a magnificent shade, which, however, is not at all fast in sunlight. The most translucent blue will always be Berlin blue. For purple, madder purple is the most reliable color, but possesses little gloss. Luminous effects can be obtained with the assistance of aniline colors, but these are only of little permanence in transparencies. Light, transparent green is hardly available. Recourse has to be taken to mixing Berlin blue with yellow lake, or red sienna. Green chromic oxide may be used if its sober, cool tone has no disturbing influence. Almost all brown coloring bodies give transparent colors, but the most useful are madder lakes and burnt umber. Gray is produced by mixing purple tone colors with suitable brown, but a gray color hardly ever oc-curs in transparent prints. Liquid siccative must always be added to the colors, otherwise the drying will occupy too much time. After the drying, the prints are varnished on both sides. For this purpose, a well-covering, quickly drying, colorless, not too thick varnish must be used, which is elastic enough not to crack nor to break in bending.

Frequently the varnishing of the placards is done with gelatin. This imparts to the picture an especially handsome, luminous luster. After an equal quantity of alcohol has been added to a readily flowing solution of gelatin, kept for use in a zinc vessel, the gelatin solution is poured on the glass plates destined for the transparencies. After a quarter of an hour, take the placard, moisten its back uniformly, and lay it upon a gelatin film which has meanwhile formed on the glass plate, where it remains 2 to 3 days. When it is to be removed from the plate, the edge of the gelatin film protruding over the edge of the placard is lifted up with a dull knife, and it is thus drawn off. A fine, transparent gloss remains on the placard proper. In order to render the covering waterproof and pliable, it is given a coating of collodion, which does not detract from the transparence. The glass plates and their frames must be cleaned of adhering gelatin particles before renewed use.