Orsay(Seine-et-Oise) [1890] Sm. 8v0. Manuuscript is bound in blue paper wrappers with title and signature of P. Denis on front cover. Collation: 51 pp. sewn and 11 rectangular sheets of grid notepaper numbered 1-10 and 6bis which are bound with paper clip. These sheets cover the basic and essential information on the physics of optics with lenses one uses with photography. There is also a separate irregular sheet of tan tracing paper loose at rear. This sheet has 14 numbered pencil sketches (Figures for text) in a fine very good detail. The first eight (8) of these sketches have been finalized in the manuscript as complete numbered figures. All 14 sketches are noted in the manuscript text except for no. 14, which had not been written in near end of text. The sketches cover the full range of subjects covered in this remarkable 19th century manuscript. This starts with the camera and its parts that a beginner needed to know if he/she would take any photographs and what the image would look like on the screen before exposing the negative plate. The essential organization of materials for making glass negatives and procedure for doing so are illustrated. The sketches were made by Denis, as the final figures in text match the outline sketch. Paul Denis' business card has been inserted loose at front of manuscript giving his address d'Orsay (Seine-et-Oise). There is also a loose sheet with written note about what should be included in organizing a darkroom (chambre noir)The text is most detailed in covering all information necessary for any person with a camera and darkroom to engage in doing photography. Detailed Recipes for preparing essential solutions need for preparing collodion and albumen negative plates and their development , fixing and printing on albumen coated paper are clearly presented. Any person reading this manuscript would know exactly which chemicals, their quantities and other supplies he/she would need. There is even a discussion at the end of the manuscript on comparing collodion and albumin photographic plates. No published record could be found to indicate that this manuscript was published. This is further supported by the fact that the manuscript has text with 6 missing figures (present only as sketches) and section on optics only as loose pages. Clearly, Paul Denis wrote out the text and made sketches for all figures but never completed the manuscript with all figures illustrated, only noted in text. Very Good Blue paper wrappers (Item ID: 0000650)


Paul Denis (1852-1921) was a photographer originally from Vernon (Haute-Normandie ), where he practiced not only photography, but also made many photographic postcards. In 2007, the city of Vernon honored him devoted with an exhibition of his photographs and postcards so that this fine artist would not fall into oblivion. They had discovered more than 250 unpublished photographs as prints, glass negatives and albums that Denis made. Included in the collection are photographs of historical buildings, sites, people, scenes of Vernon and his house and garden in suburb of Vernon. There are also positive stereo plates for use in a stereoscope, a wonderful system for viewing scenes in three dimensions. This method had great success from development in 1855 to 1930. Paul Denis was a most enterprising photographer who, in writing this rare manuscript, records all the essential details for photography in the 19th century.

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