Ferrotype Release Agent

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Many years ago, before RC papers, commercially produced prints were dried on small, or large, rotating, heated, polished drums for glossy finish.

I know that many workers still use these drums, or ferrotyping plats.

After the prints were washed, and just before they were placed on the drum, they were immersed in a solution called "ferrotype release agent", or "glossing agent". This agent produced a higher gloss than would be obtained with water alone, and also helped prevent the prints from sticking to the drum.

A search of Kodak's web site, and others, has produced no agent suitable for this purpose.

I believe the primary ingredient was glycerin, but I'm not sure.

Does anyone have a source for this agent, or know how to make it?

Thank you, Barrie Smith, Missoula, Montana

-- Barrie Smith (barrie99@marsweb.com), December 29, 2000


The trade name used to be Pakosol (circa 1971). I don't know if they are still around. There was also a ferrotype polish. Cleaning the ferrotype plates removes any residual emulsion. Stuck on emulsion can cause a gummy plate. Hope this helps.

-- Joseph Wasko (jwasko@erols.com), December 29, 2000.

Bon Ami was used to polish the plates.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), December 29, 2000.

A quick dunk in a wetting agent will also work. Tetenal makes a product called Mirosol (I think) and it is specifically made to produce the best results when ferrotyping.

-- William Levitt (light-zone@operamail.com), January 02, 2001.

I think Kodak's was Print Flattening Solution. If you check out darkroom books from the 50's & 60's glycerin was indeed recommended. These books would give you an idea as to the dilution to use.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), January 02, 2001.

Hi Barrie, I think you're right, it's glycerin, and some photoflo, and mostly water. I can't get to my records right now to find the right amounts of each, but I know it isn't critical. Basically I think you are slowing and evening out the drying process. Maybe that guy in Phototechnics who answers the chemical questions could give you the right amounts. But those were the ingredents I used last year. Good luck, David

-- david clark (doclark@yorku.ca), January 06, 2001.

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