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Glass negative

Glass negatives are images on a transparent glass plate where the dark areas appear light and vice versa. They are used create a positive image – the photographic print. Glass plates were popular from 1841 until the late 20th century, when film replaced glass carriers because it is more user-friendly. You can still often find glass negatives at flea markets.

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The dimensions can range from 4.5 x 6 cm to 30 x 40 cm, with a whole series of (sometimes unusual) formats in between.


Glass negatives must never be stored at temperatures below freezing as this can cause them to break. Environments that are too dry or humid can also cause damage.


Did you know …

… the area around Charleroi in Belgium was once world-renowned for its high-quality glass plate production?

Met de steun van Vaal nderen en EFRO europees fonds voor regionale ontwikkeling