Lola, I know exactly what you're talking about. In addition to my own photography, I volunteer as an photographic archivist at a local museum, which has a collection of over 10,000 negatives from the 1930s through the 1970s. Every time I open an archival drawer of negative holders, the smell of acetic acid (the basis of vinegar) comes wafting out of the envelopes, even though they negatives are 50 - 90 years old!
I do black & white photography in film as well as digital format. Here are some images...
Watering Can Nozzle
200 Year Old Door Knocker
Costa Rican Village
Much of the film work I do is with large view cameras with 4x5 negatives using short but giant lenses with large, mechanical shutters (some of which are over 100 years old). However the last picture was taken with a pinhole camera that has no lens. The only opening is literally a pinhole where a lens would be, and there is no view finder. The camera was mounted on a tripod, aimed in the direction of the truck, and loaded with a single 4x5 sheet of positive paper (as opposed to negative film) which was exposed for 15 minutes. Obviously, the pinhole doesn't let in much light, which is why it takes so long to expose the photograph. The tiny aperture also creates an interesting, subtle distortion of the visual field that enlarges the foreground.