One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Consisting of very small particles. Also (of wood, leather, etc.): having a smooth, regular texture.
2Photography. Designating a photographic emulsion composed of comparatively small grains, so that considerable enlargement of the photograph is possible without any graininess becoming apparent; made with such an emulsion. Also (of a developer): suitable for producing such photographs.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in William Felton (fl. c1794). From fine + grain.
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