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Introduction | General Theory and Practice | Manufacturer Samples | Reference Material | Photography | Contemporary References

Photography.

A key reference in our attempts to study railroad color falls under the usage of period photography. One of the major pitfalls is that we have a reasonable visceral understanding of modern Black & White images. What the vast majority of us don’t have is and understanding of it’s predecessor, The Wet Plate process. During the 19th century, several photographic chemical processes came into being and replaced each other. Each interpreted light in different ways as they reacted to the various wavelengths of visible light.

A serious result is that we interpret period imagery without understanding the chemical process in period photography. What we see in the image may in fact, not be a dark color at all.

What follows will be a growing selection of articles that will help the student of period color understand and interpret the images.

The Mystery of Wet Plate Photographs and Color: Further Investigations
By Virginia Mescher
This article while focused on clothing provides an excellent reference to the challenges of deciphering period color through the emulsion of wet plate photography. Included are photographic comparisons of textiles in wet plate and modern photographic methods.

The Very Image of the Past: Old Photographs and the Restoration of Historic Railroad Equipment by Kyle Wyatt. 6MB
JOURNAL of the WEST Vol. XXXIII, NO. 2 April, 1994. Department of History, Kansas State University.

Introduction | General Theory and Practice | Manufacturer Samples | Reference Material | Photography | Contemporary References

A note to you, the visitor: Contact us on the Forum if you would like to contribute appropriate period documentation on specific equipment, roads, etc. We would like to include anything relevant, PacificNG is a community project and sharing is always welcome. In addition, contact us if you find dead links! We will fix them or find substitutes.

Revised: March 21, 2017.
Reference \ Paint and Color
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