This section is from the American Hand Book of the Daguerreotype, by Samuel D. Humphrey. Published S. D. Humphrey, 37 Lispenard Street 1858.
Regarding specks from bad water, I would remark that gilding should be made only with distilled water. Thus made, it produces very little deposit, even by long keeping. It therefore preserves its original strength, and works with great uniformity.
Every grain of deposit contains at least 7-10 its weight of gold, easily discoverable by the blowpipe. Such gilding is continually deteriorating, which with good chloride and distilled water may be prevented. Distilled water should also be used for the hyposulphite. and for cleaning plates. Any good, clear water may be afterwards used for washing off, with equally good results. I am very rarely troubled with specs, and deem this as the main reason.
With a portable still attached to a cooking stove, I obtain half a gallon of water per hour, and with very little trouble. A small tin retort or still connected with a Leibig's condenser, would not add much to the "traps" of the travelling operator, and save him many a disreputable specimen.--T. J. BAILEY.-- Humphrey's Journal.