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A Marion retouching desk 
Book illustration 
Google Books 
Marion, 1887, Practical Guide to Photography, (Marion), p. 197-198
Retouching with Pencil on the Film Side of the Negative. For this retouching proper far more skill is required than for that which we have described. The necessary articles are, a retouching desk, a few pencils, and a small quantity of some “retouching medium.” The retouching desk is the only requisite which is at all elaborate. We illustrate it here. It will be seen that it consists essentially of a framework or desk at which the retoucher sits, the negative being so placed that he can see through a portion of it whilst his head is shaded from the light. The negative rests with its lower edge against a slip of wood, so that it can be raised or lowered, or canted to one side or to the other. There is a clear space about four inches square behind the negative, and behind this space, so that the retoucher looks on to it, there is a little shelf holding a piece of white paper. The angle of the shelf may be varied so as to catch the light as well as possible. A mirror may be put in the place of the piece of white paper when very dense negatives are to be retouched. A piece of bluish glass is placed between the negative and the illuminating piece of paper when it is desired to work by lamp-light. There are also adjustments for varying the angle of the frame itself to suit the operator, and to enable him to change his position when he gets tired. 

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