"Thanksgiving Table With Turkey": The Carbro Process
November 23, 2011 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography
"Daughter Linda At Thanksgiving Table With Turkey, Saturday Eve". Dick shot this image of his daughter Linda as a one-shot Carbro print that was built into the final cover for the Post. Dick did this by making multiple shots and carbros of various items such as the turkey, cranberry sauce and tableware, cutting and pasting the images together and re-shooting and reprinting the final carbro. Because that image became the first photograph to displace Norman Rockwell on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, when Dick told Paul Hesse, who had tried unsuccessfully for years to sell the Post a cover, Paul said that Dick was lying, since he believed that it was impossible to sell the Post a photograph. But Dick wasn't lying and it became a cover in 1941, launching Dick's commercial carreer.
The Carbro Process by Paul Martineau
Over a decade before the 1935 introduction of Kodachrome colour film by Eastman Kodak, a subtractive colour process was developed that made it possible to create vivid prints from black & white negatives. The tricolour carbro transfer printing process - or carbro - demanded strict technical control but produced highly-saturated and permanent colour prints.
BECAUSE OF its complexity and high expense (some practitioners reported a finished print took about 10 hours to produce at a cost of $125), the carbro process was rarely the province of the amateur. By 1937, full colour illustrations made from direct colour prints were being used regularly in the big subscription magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and House Beautiful. Colour photography in the form of carbro prints was also being shown in museums and in popular touring exhibitions. In the United States, photographers Anton Bruehl, Nickolas Muray, Paul Outerbridge, Edward Steichen, and H.I. Williams, among others, became identified with the quality and artistry of their carbro prints through a participation in these publications and exhibitions. The demand for colour advertising photography was such that a few of the top photographers regularly commanded prices ranging from $300 to $1000 per print. Continue reading here.
Richard C. Miller