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Piotr Lebiedzinski

Polish Photochemical Industry Pioneer

by Krzysztof Slowiński

Piotr Lebiedzinski was born in Sokolka (Ziemia Grodzienska) in 1860. He studied chemistry in Petersburg (Russia) and during his education he became interested in photography and soon began to send his photographs to exhibitions. After having settled in Warsaw, Lebiedzinski founded a small workshop in 1887, manufacturing photographic collodion papers. His operation was one of the world's first such companies. The produced paper was called "Universal collodion paper". It was offered of several color paper base, incuding white, pink, violet and green. The papers had glossy surface. Lebiedzinski was the first to open photographic shop in Polish lands - the first such warehouse was open at main Warsaw street Krakowskie Przedmiescie 65.

The company expanded rapidly and frequently introduced new and modernized products. Since 1890 the paper was improved and sold as "New paper collodion-emulsion". Two years later he marketed a wider variety of papers, among them celluloid matte paper and Aristo-type papers [1892]. Other products were introduced frequently - matte paper Photo-Crayon [1892], collodion papers "K" [1895]. A very successful product, bromogravure [Bromograwiura] paper produced deep velvet blacks and was characterized by very small content of gelatin in emulsion. It was manufactured in the years 1906 - 1933. The other products were, for example, silver chloro-bromide Foto-paste [1908], bromide Bromo-pastel [1910], bromide Bromo-satyna [1911], chloro-bromide Bromo-sepia [1913].

Another first Lebiedzinski introduced, was a machine-produced baryta paper which was used as a base for photographic papers. This type of process is practically still used today.

Among Lebiedzinski's offers were also ready-made collodion emulsions to be independently used in making their own plates by photographers, and all photographic chemicals necessary for the photographic process. His products were exported to many European countries, including those having well-developed photochemical industry like France, Germany or England, where they successfully competed with the countries' national products.

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2012-12-09 06:54:17
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