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Glossary

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C

  • cabinet card

    Card photographs, generally portraits, that were introduced by F. R. Window in 1867 as larger alternatives to the cartes-de-visite, which measured 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches. The larger size combination of card mount and photograph, measuring around 4 1/4 by 6 1/2 inches, was considered more appropriate for display, allowed for group portraits, and permitted the image to be retouched. The size remained popular until World War I.

  • cabinet chair

    A piece of furniture that conceals a chamber pot. Used as a toilet.

  • cable - object genre

    Strong, thick rope made with strands of iron wire (historically) or fibre optic (for telecommunications). Distinguished from 'rope', which is usually made from synthetic or organic fibres

  • cadaver

    A dead body, usually one being used in medical research.

  • caduceus

    A representation of a staff with two entwined snakes and two wings on the top. The caduceus is sometimes used as a symbol for medicine, especially in North America.

  • caesarean section

    A surgical procedure where a baby is delivered by cutting through the abdominal wall. They are increasingly performed if the baby is at risk or displaying signs of stress.

  • Caesarian section

    A caesarean section is a common surgical procedure. Incisions are made through a pregnant woman's abdomen and uterus to deliver her baby.

  • caffeine

    A mild stimulant that is found in tea and coffee. It is often included, in small doses, in pain relief preparations, and is claimed to increase its effects.

  • calculator

    Small electronic or mechanical device that performs calculations, requiring manual action for each individual operation.

  • calendar

    A physical device used to organise days.

  • calf barrow

    A two-wheeled handcart designed specifically for transporting calves.

  • calipers

    Instruments consisting usually of a pair of adjustable pivoted legs and used for measuring, for example, thickness or diameters.

  • calliper

    Instruments consisting usually of a pair of adjustable pivoted legs and used for measuring, for example, thickness or diameters.

  • calomel

    A white powder that is an example of a mercury compound. It was formerly swallowed and used as a laxative.

  • calorimeter

    Instrument for measuring heat quantities, such as the heat of combustion, specific heat, or vital heat in such processes as chemical reactions or changes of state.

  • calotype process

    Negatives on paper made by Talbot's patented calotype process, a developing-out process. Distinguished from Talbot's "photogenic drawings," in which the image was printed out. For most prints made from these negatives, use "salted paper prints." In the mid-20th century, sometimes used incorrectly for any other paper negatives or salted paper prints.

  • camera

    An apparatus for taking photographs, generally consisting of a lightproof enclosure having an aperture with a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate. Use more specific term where possible.

  • camera body

    Component part of camera usually including the film plane, film holder and shutter mechanism although the last two and the lens can be separate. Term most often applies to the Single Lens Reflect cameras but is relevant to other types encounted

  • camera obscura - optical drawing aid

    Optical device used as an artist drawing aid that projects an image of a scene into a darkened room or on to a glass screen on the top of a box. Its simplest form, the pin-hole camera does not have a lens.

  • camphor

    An aromatic substance obtained from the wood of a southeast Asian tree (Cinnamomum camphora) or produced artificially. When applied to the skin it produces a cooling effect. Camphor can be used to relieve the pain of sprains, backache, rheumatism, and headaches.

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