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This is 1 lb of Potassium Chlorate from Photographers' Formulary. It is an oxidizing agent that is commonly used to adjust contrast, in conjunction with oxalic acid, when platinum or palladium printing.
Table of Contents
Potash chlorate Chloric acid, potassium salt Berthollet Salt
White crystals or powder Odorless
Bleaching agent Oxidizing agent Used in platinum and palladium printing
In the late 1880s it was discovered that magnesium powder, if mixed with an oxidizing agent such as potassium chlorate, would ignite with very little persuasion. This led to the introduction of flash powder. It would be spread on a metal dish the flash powder would be set off by percussion - sparks from a flint wheel, electrical fuse or just by applying a taper. However the explosive flash powder could be quite dangerous if misused. This was not really superseded until the invention of the flashbulb in the late 1920s.