The collodion process is said to have been invented in 1851, almost simultaneously, by Frederick Scott Archer (pictured) and Gustave Le Gray. During the subsequent decades, many photographers and experimenters refined or varied the process. By the end of the 1860s it had almost entirely replaced the first announced photographic process, the daguerreotype.
During the 1880s, the collodion process was largely replaced by gelatin dry plates—glass plates with a photographic emulsionof silver halides suspended in gelatin. The dry gelatin emulsion was not only more convenient, but it could also be made much more sensitive, greatly reducing exposure times.
One collodion process, the tintype, was in limited use for casual portraiture by some itinerant and amusement park photographers as late as the 1930s, and the wet plate collodion process was still in use in the printing industry in the 1960s for line and tone work (mostly printed material involving black type against a white background) since it was much cheaper than gelatin film in large volumes.