This Adams Retouching Machine Helped Old School ‘Photoshoppers’ Touch Up Negatives by Hand
Last week we shared an example of beauty retouching that was done by hand in the early 1900s. …
The machine, which holds negatives measuring up to 8×10 inches, works by vibrating the negative while the retoucher works on it with a dye brush or retouching pencil. The tiny movements help smooth out the strokes, allowing for clean and (hopefully) undetectable modifications to the negative.
This type of work required a steady hand, a sharp eye, and a great deal of time and patience. Edits on single images could take many hours to complete (the Crawford photo required six hours without the help of this machine).