This camera used “wet plates,” which were introduced in 1851. The wet-plate
process allowed photography to move outside, because it was easier to control
light. The wet-plate process gave rise to photojournalism. The photographer
could make an unlimited number of prints form the negative image. However,
exposure still took 5–15 seconds, and the plates needed to be developed
immediately. Photographers often used a tent as a movable darkroom with them in
Credit: Wet-plate camera, ca. 1857, 14 ¼” high, 26” long, Photographic History
Collection, Division of Information Technology and Society, NMAH.