Portrait of a lady, hand-coloured ambrotype, c 1860.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Ambrotype by a Laloue, hand-coloured with oil paint. The ambrotype proces was patented in 1854 and became very popular in America. It was an improvement on existing proceses such as daguerreotypes and calotypes because production was quicker and cheaper and les exposure was needed. Ambrotypes were images produced on glas and like daguerreotypes were direct positives and therefore unique. The finished appearance was not glittery and reflective like the daguerreotypes and could be viewed from any angle.