February 5, 1997
Hello fellow daguerreotypists,
One of the many bennies at the Daguerreian Society (assuming your dues are paid up) is the occasional freebie. Not a couple frequent flier miles or a golf ball with the society's logo, what we have is a door of genuine opportunity with "$" inscribed on it. Mark Johnson, our president, has sent this behest: Send him copies of your contemporary daguerreotypes that are FOR SALE. State your tender and terms and all will be prominently displayed in the society newsletter. Let's face it, we have a rare commodity. This is a golden opportunity to show your wares to the audience that at least knows what a daguerreotype is. Besides, if there is to be a mania or a feeding frenzy--however small--it has to start somewhere.
Along those lines, Hallmark Cards has been snapping up anything shiny. Keith Davis, their accumulator de rigueur, sent out a query letter some months ago concerning their desire to acquire rare dags. My reply made it clear that any collector with an ounce of savvy would include contemporary work, the rarest of daguerreotypes, in their collection. We'll see...
The last society newsletter got the scoop on the reprint of articles from past annuals by daguerreotypists Robert Shlaer, Gerry Megan, Irving Fobboravsky, and Ken Nelson. Other tips and tidbits are also included. My '90, '91, '94, and '96 annuals have become dag-eared in those particular sections. If yours has too or you are missing some, the reprint is available from my address and is $6 for members in good standing and $7 for others. Since this offer has been on the WWW, copies have been sent all over the place including foreign countries Australia, Spain, France, England, Finland, Belgium, Argentina, Israel, and Montana.
As promised, I tried the "System 3 White Buffs" from Rio Grande. Regrettably, their softness to the touch turned comparatively rough on the plate. I further softened the buff by removing all but the last row of stitching and they still did not outperform my "Magnificent Sevens." However, they are still worth comparing to your own buff--only $3.98 for one.
Code named "Dageneration-X-Files," some sophisticated research is under way by several of our group in an attempt to quantify the relationships between 1st iodine, bromine, and 2nd iodine. Some preliminary results indicate improvements in fuming 1st iodine into the 2nd and 3rd cycles or increasing the 2nd iodine by a factor of, say, 20. The exposure latitude widens, speed increases by 1 to 2 stops, whites hold longer before solarizing, and the overall tone changes significantly. There are also some surprising similarities between Becquerel and mercury. The trick is getting the results on a single plate to rule out variations from plate to plate. Participants are needed to confirm findings. Not to worry, no blood plating. More on this later.