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an early type of photograph, made by placing a glass negative against a dark background.
Historical Examples

Shoemaker shops, watch making and ambrotype galleries were built, and Brandy Station soon became a thriving town.
Campaign of the Fourteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers J. Newton Terrill

Suddenly Ellen Tiffton’s story of the ambrotype flashed into ‘Lina’s mind.
Bad Hugh Mary Jane Holmes

It was an ambrotype, set into a case lined with purple velvet.
Lavender and Old Lace Myrtle Reed

Si thrust his hand unceremoniously into Bushrod’s pocket and found the ambrotype of Annabel.
Si Klegg, Book 3 (of 6) John McElroy

There he took the ambrotype picture of her which is still extant, and then he was carried home again to die a few days later.
Venerable Philippine Duchesne G. E. M.

He was unfortunately drowned a few months later; and for some cause the ambrotype was not returned.
When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens

They were discussing an ambrotype of herself, taken when she was thirteen, when a servant announced guests in the parlor.
Lippincott’s Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873 Various

Well, you just should have seen that poor fellow’s face when they opened that ambrotype and held it before his eyes!
The Recollections of A Drummer-Boy Harry M. Kieffer

Is it more wicked to have a marble portrait than an ambrotype?
Prairie Gold Various

A modification of the ambrotype, however, still survives in what is known as the “tin-type” or “ferro-type.”
The Progress of Invention in the Nineteenth Century. Edward W. Byrn

(photog) an early type of glass negative that could be made to appear as a positive by backing it with black varnish or paper

1855, American English, apparently from Greek ambrotos “immortal, imperishable” (see ambrosia), with second element from daguerreotype. A type of photograph on glass with lights given by silver and shades by a dark background showing through.

This invention consists in an improved process of taking photographic pictures upon glass, and also of beautifying and preserving the same, which process I have styled “ambrotype.” My improved process has reference to the art of taking pictures photographically on a film of collodion upon the surface of a sheet of glass, the collodion being suitably prepared for the purpose. By the use of the said process, the beauty and permanency of such pictures are greatly increased, and I have on this account styled the process “ambrotype,” from the Greek word ambrotos, immortal. [“Specification of the Patent granted to James A. Cutting, of Boston, in the United States of America, Photographer, for an Improved Process of taking Photographic Pictures upon Glass and also of Beautifying and Preserving the same. Dated London, July 26, 1854,” printed in “Journal of the Franklin Institute,” September 1855]


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  • Ambulacral

    one of the radial areas in an echinoderm, as the sea urchin, bearing the tube feet by which the creature moves. Historical Examples The ambulacral zones are depressed, leaving prominent elevations which make a very conspicuous figure on the top. The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold ambulacral zones: The five areas containing the rows […]

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