Silver gelatin printing was invented in the late 19th century, greatly perfected in the 20th century, and became the most widely used black and white printing method until the emergence of digital printing. The emulsified paper is very light-sensitive, allowing for easy enlarging and great control of the image using techniques such as dodging and burning and multicontrast printing. It is also a very stable process, allowing for long storage of the unexposed paper.
"Silver gelatin printing is still preferred by some black and white photographer because of its sharpness, rich contrast, and the depth of the silver image. Many modern labs still print silver prints from digital images. I first learned to print on silver gelatin and continue using it after more than 30 years. I find that the glossy version of the paper gets the brightest whites and the deepest blacks of any photographic paper. When viewed in the right light, the silver has a beautiful glow."