Reed Spring Mill by Tim Layton
Reed Spring Mill is located directly off Highway 21 in Centerville. Just turn left opposite the county courthouse onto Pine Street/Cr 350/gravel street for 0.4 miles to the mill on right.
The one-story, non-operating, log mill was built in 1973 as a reproduction to replace the original mill
The original mill was relocated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
he pooled spring water/dam above the mill. The mill is in a very picturesque setting with its overshot wheel and a plentiful supply of water.
The water from the sluice box/flume is set on the bypass, so the water dumps out before getting to the wheel. The owner, in 1995, lived in England and a caretaker, who welcomes visitors, lived in the house above the mill.
1880's STYLE SILVER GELATIN GLASS PLATE NEGATIVES
Based on the history of the mill, I decided to photograph this historic 1895 mill using handmade silver gelatin dry plate glass negatives loaded in my 1889 Eastman Dry Plate 5x7 large format camera.
The photographs I created with these dry plates represent what they would have looked like back when the mill was built in the 1890's.
The handmade silver gelatin dry plates are developed in the darkroom under red safelight and then contact printed in the darkroom on some handmade AZO silver chloride paper.
I make the silver gelatin emulsions in the lab for the glass plate negatives and for the photographic paper and then hand coat them just like it was done in the 1880's and 1890's.
The handmade silver gelatin dry plates are remnants of an era gone by, just like the grist mills and I think this is why this medium is the perfect choice to tell the story of this amazing mill.
The look and feel of a silver gelatin dry plate and a handmade AZO silver chloride contact print cannot be duplicated with modern day digital cameras because the silver gelatin emulsion is a chemical-based process that responds to light much differently than modern digital cameras. All of the imperfections of the handmade process are part of the history and story of an era gone by.
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