Darkroom Lamps - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Darkroom Lamps

Image of Darkroom Lamps

Early darkroom lighting was usually yellow or orange, as plates became faster in the dry-plate era and sensitive to a wider spectrum red lighting was used when developing negatives. Later, yellow light was used with printing papers and dark green for panchromatic plates. The filter could be made of glass, fabric, acetate, paper mounted between glass or liquid (potassium bichromate). Folding lamps were advertised for use when travelling.

Further Information:
Cyclopedia of Photography, pp. 61, 163.

Redding's Improved Pocket Ruby Lamp

1884

Candle. Red fabric over metal frame. Folds flat. Produced in three sizes. (Left of illustration).

With:
Leaflet. Box.

References & Notes:
BP 6898/1884. BJP 1/8/1884, p. 493. Beginner's Guide to Photography (1889), p. 121.

Neptune

1900

George Houghton & Son

London

England

Candle. Red fabric over metal frame. Folds flat for travelling. Two examples. (Right of illustration).

With:
Box.

References & Notes:
BP 5564/1900. Clemitson Cat. 1909, p. 74. Ensign Cat. c. 1914, p. 84.

Wonder

H. Bishop & Sons

England

Image of Wonder

Oil. Red glass on four sides, glass chimney, removable tank. (Left of illustration).

Rubralux

1889

J. Lancaster & Son

Birmingham

England

Oil. Glass chimney. Amber and red safety glasses. A very popular lamp produced for many years. Copies or variants by other makers were advertised. (Centre of illustration).

References & Notes:
BP 1365/1889. BJA 1890, p. 286. Ganzini Cat. 1926-27, p. 109. PA 1891, pp. 525, xciv.

All British No. 4

Oil. Red glass 6" x 4". (Right of centre in illustration).

With:
Box.

'Hock bottle'

Candle. Red/brown glass. This style of lamp was still being advertised in the 1920s. (Right of illustration).

References & Notes:
Marion's Guide to Photography, p. 258.

Luxol

c. 1923

Luxol Safety Light Co. Ltd

London

England

Image of Luxol

Oil. Cylindrical ruby glass. (Right of illustration).

Notes:
Sold by: J Lizars. Bold St. Liverpool.

With:
Tin case.

References & Notes:
AP 8/8/1923, p. 129. NP 14/4/1923, p. xviii. NP 28/7/1923, p. 332.

Oil Lamp

Red glass filter. Removable tank. Hood to direct light downwards. (Left of illustration).

Ensign Model A

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Candle. Small lamp with ruby glass. (Back of illustration).

Light Bulb Covers

Early 1930s

Kindermann & Co.

Berlin

Germany

Dark red glass globes to fit over an ordinary electric bulb. Made of 'Inactin' glass. Kindermann produced similar light bulb covers for some years, the 'Inactin' range replaced the earlier models. Two sizes were produced - 3" and 4" in ruby, orange or green. Two examples.

References & Notes:
BJA 1935, p. 603. Westminster Cat. 1939, p. 68.

Plate Changing Lamp

1926

Zeiss-Ikon A. G.

Dresden

Germany

Battery powered. Yellow, light red, dark red and clear filters. First made by Ica and then Zeiss-Ikon, it was intended for the travelling photographer. (Left foreground of illustration).

References & Notes:
BJA 1927, p. 156. ZI Cat. 1937, p. 105.

Wratten Safelight

1910

Kodak Ltd

London

England

Oil. 10" x 8". Orange safelight. Paper between glass covers.

The Wratten Safelight incorporates a cooling system where air is brought into the lamp and passes between the filter and a sheet of clear glass before reaching the lamp and chimney. It was produced for oil, gas or electric and in three sizes: 7" x 5", 10" x 8" and 10" x 12". The oil version has a horizontal appearance with the safelight next to the lamp area, the gas and electric versions are vertical with the safelight below the illuminant. The safelight is lit by reflected light. First produced by Wratten & Wainwright and later by Kodak. Late Kodak models have a different foot arrangement.

The range of Wratten filters dating from the late 1930s is shown below:

SeriesColourUse
00YellowSlow lantern and gaslight papers.
0OrangeFast lantern and slow bromide papers.
1Light RedMedium speed non-colour sensitive films or plates and fast bromide paper.
2Dark RedUltra-Rapid and orthochromatic films or plates.
2ARedCeiling reflector lamps and for lamps with oil burners.
3GreenPanchromatic and other red sensitive films or plates.
3AGreenAs 3 with a strip of lighter green at one end.
3BGreenRed-sensitive films or plates when a feeble illuminant is employed.
4Light GreenOrdinary films or plates for those who prefer green to red light.
6Greenish-yellowX ray film and plates.

With:
Instructions. Sheet on Wratten safelight filters.

References & Notes:
BP 3633/1910. BJA 1911, pp. 392, 669. Westminster Cat. c. 1930, p. 41

Safelight Filter 906

Ilford Ltd

Ilford

England

7" x 5". Red for ortho plates. Ilford started numbering screens in the 1930s.

With:
Instructions, box.

References & Notes:
Westminster Cat. 1939, p. 67.

Wratten Safelight Filter

Kodak Ltd

London

England

10" x 8". Red safelight. Paper between glass covers. For ultra rapid ordinary and ortho plates.

With:
Wooden case.

Darkroom Equipment

Darkroom Lamps

Granitine

Developing

Developing - Plate Tanks

Developing - Roll-Film Tanks

Fixing, Washing & Measures

Watkins Calculator

Timers & Clocks

Retouching Equipment

Print Meters

Print Meters - Electric

Focus Finders & Magnifiers

Enlargers - Box Form

Enlargers

Contact Printers

Vignettes & Masks

Printing and Masking Frames

Transposing Frames, Printers

Colouring

Print Trimming

Print Mounting

Thermometers

Miscellaneous