Wet plate photography of the Gracey family

Left: Wet plate photography, whether done by William R. Gray or contemporary talents, such as Bo Rader of Wichita, requires that the coated plate — here containing a portrait of the Rev. Emanuel Gracey and his sister Jennifer Vierthaler of Haven — be quickly processed after it’s exposed. For Gray, that could mean sticking close to his studio. Rader hauls a mobile darkroom with him. Right: To make the visual linkage between the Rev. Emanuel Gracey of Benton and grandparents Samuel and Julia Gracey, the 19th century Stafford County settlers shown in the pictures he’s holding, requires artistry, craftsmanship and a respect for those who long ago mastered the craft of wet plate collodion photography.
Wet plate photo by Bo Rader