History of making photographic prints with noble metals is actually longer than history of silver prints. Although Ferdinand Gehlen in Johan Wolfgang Dobereiner in 1830 discovered combination of chemicals that are base for platinotype today, it was only in 1873 when an Englishman William Willis patented stabile process. Within twenty years his Platinotype Company started to market a photographic paper based on platinum.
Platinotype was immersing success right from the start and many eminent photographers of the time devoted exclusively to Platinotype due to its aesthetics. Although it’s difficult to separate dark tones, mid tones are very rich. And highlights are very difficult to blow. Platinotype can draw details when silver paper can only see paper white. So one of the starters of artistic photography in United States Fred Holland Day and English master of architectural details Frederick H. Evans worked exclusively in Platinotype, and when process became commercially unavailable, they both quit their photographic careers. There are other historically important photographers that used Platinotype: Alvin Langdon Coburn, Heinrich Kühn, Immogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn and others.
Demand for Platinotype grew substantially up till Great War, when price of Platinum due to its use in ammunition industry skyrocketed. Consequently Platinotype Company introduced paper based on cheaper Palladium. This didn't help ant up till nineteen thirties the production of photographic papers based on noble metals was cased. In this way an era came to the end. On the other hand there were still photographers, especially in England that continue to use noble metals for photography. Because there wasn’t a commercially available paper they made emulsion on their own and applied it to rich watercolour paper by hand. In this form the procedure survived to present time, and that’s the procedure I’m using as well.