Negative Material


In Britain early paper, used in the calotype period, was produced by R. Turner, Chafford Mill, and J. Whatman, Turkey Mill. Whatman paper was later known as Hollingworth, reflecting the earlier change of ownership. On the continent papers were produced by Canson, Lacroix and others. The size used in manufacturing these early papers differed, French papers was generally starch based which produced different results to English papers that were mostly sized using gelatine.

Early glass will usually show faint wavy patterns within it. Two types were sold, Best Flatted Crown and Patent Plate, the price was 2/6 and 6/9 for a dozen whole-plates respectively.1

From around the 1890s 'thin' or 'extra thin' plates were available for use in a changing box. The backs of plates may be given a fine ground for anti-halation purposes or when used as a diapositive. A ground front surface was sometimes used with the albumen and wet collodion processes.

Gelatine and Collodion
Neither material achieved commercial success but several suggestions were made for their use, particularly in the early 1880s prior to the introduction of cellulose nitrate material.

Cellulose nitrate
This material is best known under the trade name of celluloid.

Alexander Parkes developed a cellulose nitrate material, that included camphor, in the early 1860s which was marketed under the trade name of Parkesine. Parkes formed a company (Parkesine Co.) around 1866 with Daniel Spill to manufacture the product. Not used photographically. 2

Xylonite was a development of Parkesine by Daniel Spill. Used as the support for sheet film around 1890.3

Celluloid was the trade name for a cellulose nitrate material developed independently of Parkes and Spill by the Hyatt brothers (John Wesley and Isaiah Smith) in America and patented in 1874.4

Cellulose acetate
The serious disadvantage of cellulose nitrate material was its inflammable nature. Leading film manufacturers were working on cellulose acetate material in the 1900s, the first product was probably introduced by Eastman in 1908 for use in cinematography, it was withdrawn in 1911 due to issues with its mechanical strength and re-introduced in 1914. Cellulose acetate was not widely used until the 1930s.5

Temporary Supports (Stripping Film)
Temporary supports were used in two ways:
  • The image was taken on a light-weight flexible support, e.g. paper, then permanently transferred to glass.
  • The image was taken on glass, the collodion or other sensitive layer was then removed, being either self-supporting or attached to a temporary support for printing. This saved weight when on an expedition where the photographer might have to carry supplies for several weeks. It was also proposed for the long-term storage of records.

Paper Negatives

During the calotype period paper was available pre-iodised and pre-sensitised. An advertisement for pre-sensitised paper states that it would keep for between 14 and 20 days.6 The use of paper negatives died out during the wet-plate period.

In the 1880s paper negatives were re-introduced coated with gelatine silver bromide emulsion in sheet and roll-film formats. The revival did not last and they were mostly replaced by celluloid. Paper roll-film remained available as a cheaper alternative to celluloid, an introduction to roll-film photography and for sales promotions.7

In the calotype period negatives were treated with wax melted by a hot iron to make them translucent. Later paper negatives were oiled rather than waxed as the heat from the iron would have affected the gelatine. Paper negatives were susceptible to curling and were dried in contact with glass.8 A paper, or card, base was later used in while-you-wait cameras of the 1920s.

Morgan & Kidd
A leading manufacturer of negative paper in the early 1880s was Morgan & Kidd, they sold sheets in sizes of quarter-plate to 20" x 16". A dozen whole-plate sheets cost 5/3 (glass plates cost between 4/3 and 6/6).9

Woodbury and Vergara
A patent for gelatine coated paper to which emulsion was applied was granted to W.B. Woodbury and Vergara in 1885. The paper was first immersed in a solution of gum in benzole and then immersed in gelatine. Woodbury's death in that year probably caused Vergara to abandoned the process.10

In 1885 Eastman introduced sheet and roll-film negative paper coated with gelatine emulsion.

The Thornton Film Co. introduced a paper based product in both sheet and daylight spools.11 Rotary Photographic sold Rotograph paper in the early 1900s. Wellington & Ward advertised negative paper in the late 1890s.

Warnerke patented a film with emulsion on each side of the paper support, the theory being that the two images would counteract any irregularities in the paper.12

Sheet Film Holders
To use in a dark-slide paper negatives could be attached to a glass plate or a special holder could be used. Warnerke sold a holder comprising a wooden tablet coated with a resinous material, the tablet, when warmed, became sticky enough to hold the paper negative. To remove the negative the tablet was again warmed. Eastman sold a holder comprising a metal frame with a wooden backing.13

Gelatine and Collodion Based Film

Alexander Parkes
In 1856 Parkes proposed that a thick sheet of collodion be used in place of glass to carry the sensitive layer (the collodion could be either the final support or a temporary support with the image being transferred to glass).14

A base of gelatine between collodion layers was used by Stebbing in 1881. The price was 10/6 for a dozen whole-plate sheets.15

In 1881 Pumphrey developed a process where the film was prepared on a glass plate, it could be stripped from the glass before or after exposure. The film base consisted of collodion and gelatine layers with a gelatine emulsion. The films were held in a frame during exposure and mounted on a temporary paper support for development.16

In F.H. Froedman's process of 1886 bichromated gelatine was spread on a glass plate that was coated with collodion, once dry it was exposed to light which hardened the gelatine. The film could then be removed from the glass and coated with emulsion. The finished films were used and processed in the normal way. Froedman's films were manufactured commercially and sold by the Vergara Film Co. for use in the Vergara dark slide. Whole-plate film cost 7/6 per dozen.17

Film with a gelatine base was introduced by the Thornton Film Co. in 1900 under the name Glassoline in both sheet and roll-film.18

This film, developed by J.T. Sandell, had two layers of emulsion of different sensitivity, coated on a hardened gelatine base. The films were available as sheets or roll-film. Multiple emulsion layers had earlier been used by Sandell on a glass base to prevent halation and give a wider tonal range.19

Cellulose Nitrate Film (Celluloid)

It was an aim of photographers to find a replacement for glass plates: a material that was light-weight, transparent, flexible, and that did not have the grain of paper.20 That material turned out to be cellulose nitrate. Surprisingly its introduction in the late 1880s did not result in an immediate shift away from glass plates, it was many years (in Britain at least) before it replaced the use of glass plates by the serious amateur and professional photographer. In Britain the adoption of celluloid roll-film was also slower than might be expected; hand-cameras produced in the 1890s intended for those new to photography and the occasional amateur tended to use sheet film or plates, it was not until the 1900s that roll-film became much more popular.21

In 1888 Carbutt in America introduced sheet film having a celluloid base. Early material was thick and semi-rigid, in some cases it could be held in the dark-slide without support though usually a sheet of cardboard was used or it was mounted in a sheath. Later the base was made thinner. Early material was dearer than glass plates, a dozen whole-plate sheets cost 8/9 compared to around 6/6 for plates. A notch or series of notches was later cut in one edge to indicate the emulsion side (when held in portrait mode facing the sensitive surface the notch is at the top right-hand corner. The film type was later included).

Celluloid roll-film was introduced by Eastman in 1889. To prevent curling Eastman added (1903) a coating of gelatine to the back of the film.

Stripping Film

F. Scott Archer
In this process, patented in 1855, the film was separated from the glass plate for easier storage. The negative was produced in the ordinary way (wet collodion on glass) then coated with a solution of gutta percha in benzole and dried. The plate was then immersed in water which caused the collodion to separate from the glass.22

Alexander Parkes
This proposal from 1856 used a thick layer of collodion that could be separated from the glass support after exposure (an alternative listed in the patent was for the collodion to be the final support).23

Richard Hill Norris
In his collodion process Norris proposed stripping the film from the glass plate and mounting it on a gelatine sheet.24

A stripping process for diapositives was introduced by Ferrier around 1857. Collodion was coated on glass and coated with albumen when dry. The film was then sensitised with aceto-nitrate of silver, dried and exposed under the negative. After development and fixing, gelatine (or gutta percha or a similar substance) was poured over the image and dried. The image could then be detached from the glass.25

Leon Warnerke
When introduced in 1875 the process used chalk-coated paper as the support holding several alternate layers of collodion and a rubber solution, the emulsion was collodion silver bromide. The negative was separated from the paper and attached to a glass plate after development. By 1877 the chalk-coated paper was replaced by glazed paper. The film was produced in sheets and roll-film.26

A.C.A. Thiébaut
This was a gelatine bromide film on a paper base patented in 1883. The gelatinised paper was attached to glass to stretch it whilst drying, coated with collodion, dried, and then coated with emulsion. The film together with its paper backing was then detached from the glass ready for use. The film was stripped from the paper after development and fixing.27

The negative was produced on paper coated with a gelatine emulsion. After developing and fixing the negative could be permanently mounted either on glass or gelatine. The process, known as reversible pellicle paper, could be operated in different ways. 28

For an image on a gelatine/collodion support a glass plate was prepared that had been dusted with French chalk and coated with collodion and then gelatine. After washing, the image (with its paper base attached) was pressed against the prepared glass plate (with the paper furthest from the glass). When dry the paper could be pulled away and the pellicle coated with collodion. When the collodion had set the pellicle could be separated from the glass with a knife. The result was an image on a gelatine support with outer coats of collodion.

To permanently mount the pellicle on glass it was simply pressed against a glass plate and the paper support removed, then varnished or coated with collodion.

This stripping film, developed in 1885, had a paper base coated with a layer of soluble gelatine, followed by a collodion layer and then the gelatine emulsion. The paper was removed after processing, the film was mounted on glass as a temporary support and then onto a gelatine sheet (the double transfer left the image on top). Sold as American Stripping Film in sheets and roll-film.29

Secco Film
This film created a good deal of interest in the trade press when announced in 1899 but despite a factory being equipped nothing much materialised. The firm was wound up in early 1901. The film had a paper backing, to this a layer of a rubber solution was applied followed by a layer of collodion and then the gelatine emulsion. After processing a similar film, except that the gelatine layer was not sensitised, was applied to the front of the negative and the two pressed together. The two sheets of paper could then be removed. It was claimed that indentations in the paper were reproduced in the second rubber layer and that these diffused the light when printing, giving a softer image that required little retouching. The indentations also provided a ground where any retouching was needed.30

Roll-Film Types

Negative Paper
Roll-holders were produced as early as the 1850s for use with the calotype process, however, paper negatives did not come into general use until their re-introduction in the early 1880s. Paper based roll-film was produced by Morgan & Kidd (1882) and Eastman (1885). Paper based material was sold on wooden cores for loading in the darkroom and, later, as daylight spools, it was little used after the introduction of celluloid roll-film.31

Stripping Film
The earliest significant use was in the Warnerke roll-holder of 1875 which used commercially available collodion silver bromide film on a paper base.32 Eastman produced stripping film from 1885.33

Darkroom Loaded Cellulose
The introduction by Eastman in 1889 of a practical celluloid roll-film, together with the existing camera and roll-film holder in which to use it, signalled the end of negative paper and stripping film. The film was sold attached to a wooden core and had to be loaded into the camera in the dark.34

Early Cartridge Film
Several suggestions for enclosing roll-film in cassettes or cartridges for day-light loading were made e.g. Silvy 1867, Anthony 1885, B.J. Edwards 1889 and 1892.35 The first system to come into general use was the Eastman daylight film of 1891. Attached to each end of the film was a black cloth or paper leader/trailer which was fixed at each end to a wooden core and enclosed in cardboard cartons having slots fitted with a light-trap.36

Daylight Spools
These consist of either:
  • Sensitive film with a length paper or cloth attached to each end.
  • A strip of paper running the complete length of the film and extending beyond each end.
The first type had the advantage of taking up less space in the camera. The second type was more commonly used, the continuous backing paper carried printed frame numbers that could be seen through a window in the back of the camera. This type of film was first used commercially in the Bulls-eye of 1892 (Boston Camera Mfg. Co.). From 1896 it was used by Eastman.37 To avoid set-off, where the printed frame numbers caused a faint image on the sensitive emulsion, Blair introduced a spool consisting of sensitive film, black paper backing and a layer of white paper perforated to show the frame numbers.38

Daylight spools were mostly for un-perforated film, some though used 35 mm film e.g. Homéos (1914) and the Contax (1932), both of these used film with paper leaders and trailers.

Perforated Films
For still photography, 35 mm cine film was available in either cassettes, daylight spools, re-fills cut and trimmed to the correct size to reload cassettes and in longer lengths to be cut to size by the user for re-loading cassettes.39 The cassettes introduced by Agfa in 1932 and Kodak in 1934 for the Retina became the standard pattern for disposable 35 mm cassettes.40

Special Film Types

Autographic Film

Autographic film was introduced in 1914 by Eastman. It consisted of a spool of ordinary film with a backing paper which was not quite light-proof. Between the backing paper and the film was a strip of carbon-like paper. The two together forming a light-proof barrier to the film. A door in the back of the camera could be opened which exposed the backing paper, by writing on the backing paper with a stylus the carbon layer was disturbed and made no longer light-proof. The door was held open for a few seconds to expose the writing which then appeared in the negative.

It did not prove especially popular in use despite being heavily promoted by Eastman. The original idea was patented by H.J. Gaisman.

The images, right, show the extra carbon layer in an Autographic film and a camera for use with Autographic film.


Vidil Film

Photographers who were used to using focusing screens on plate cameras did not always trust the focusing scale and view-finder on roll-film cameras. A film, developed by Hugo Fritzsche of Leipzig and marketed under the name Vidil, had sheets of film interspersed with paper, the paper acted as a focusing screen when a door in the camera back was opened. In Britain the system was sold under the Ensign brand.42

Film and Plate Sizes

Standard Plate Sizes

Common sizes in Britain:
3 ¼" x 3 ¼"Lantern slide8 ½" x 6 ½"Whole-plate
2 ½" x 3 ½"10" x 8"
4 ¼" x 3 ¼"Quarter-plate12" x 10"
5" x 4"15" x 12"
5 ½" x 3 ½"Post-card. Intro. mid 1900s18" x 16"
6 ½" x 4 ¾"Half-plate20" x 16"
7 ½" x 5"24" x 20"
Continental sizes:
4.5 x 6 cm13 x 18 cm
6.5 x 9 cm18 x 24 cm
9 x 12 cm24 x 30 cm
10 x 15 cm
Stereoscopic sizes:
7 ¼" x 4 ½"45 x 107 mm
6 ¾" x 3 ¼"Adopted as a standard at the 1891 Phot. Congress6 x 13 cm
6 ½" x 4 ¼"Double quarter-plate9 x 18 cm
6 ½" x 4 ¾"13 x 18 cm
8" x 5"
7 ½" x 5"
5 ½" x 3 ½"

Common Sizes for Daylight Spools and Cassettes

The image size was obviously dependent on the camera used but where the film advance was indicated by a red window the appropriate number had to be printed on the backing paper. To double the number of exposures on a roll of film two windows could be used, the backing paper was advanced so that each number appeared in each window successively. As more cameras began to use a picture size different to that intended a second or third series of numbers was printed on the backing paper.

Numbers designating the type of spool were introduced on Eastman films in 1912. Until then it was normal to refer to the spool width when ordering a roll of film or simply give the name of the camera.43

Kodak Film Sizes

No.Intro.SizeNo. Position
10118953 ½ x 3 ½Bottom
10218951 ½ x 2CentrePocket Kodak with ratchet spool movement
10318974 x 5
10418975 x 4Bottom
10518972 ¼ x 3 ¼
10618983 ½ x 3 ½
10718983 ¼ x 4 ¼Cartridge Roll-holder
10818984 ¼ x 3 ¼CentreCartridge Roll-holder
10918984 x 5Cartridge Roll-holder
11018985 x 4Cartridge Roll-holder
11118986 ½ x 4 ¾Cartridge Roll-holder
11218987 x 5Cartridge Roll-holder
11318989 x 12 cmCartridge Roll-holder
114189812 x 9 cmCartridge Roll-holder
11518987 x 5
11618992 ½ x 4 ¼Bottom
11719002 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cmCentre
11819003 ¼ x 4 ¼Bottom
11919003 ¼ x 4 ¼
12019012 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cmTop
12119021 ⅝ x 2 ½
12219033 ¼ x 5 ½Top, Bottom
12319044 x 5
12419053 ¼ x 4 ¼Top
12519053 ¼ x 5 ½Top
12619064 ¼ x 6 ½
12719121 ⅝ x 2 ½4 x 6.5 cmCentreNarrow diameter metal core
12819131 ½ x 2 ¼Centre
12919132 x 3Centre
13019162 ⅞ x 4 ⅞
61619322 ½ x 4 ¼BottomNarrow diameter metal core
62019322 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cmTopNarrow diameter metal core
828193528 x 40 mmCentreNarrow diameter metal core
135193424 x 36 mmPerforated 35 mm film in cassette
35191632 x 44 mm
126196328 x 28 mmSealed plastic cartridge
Sizes in the left column are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first. The column headed 'No. Position' shows the frame number position as if the film is being wound to the right.

Film numbers were not allocated until 1912.

Alternative Image Sizes

No.SizeNo. Exp.No. Position
1202 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cm8TopOriginal format
2 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cm12Centre
2 ¼ x 1 ⅝6 x 4 cm16
2 ¼ x 1 ¾6 x 4.5 cm16Bottom
1271 ⅝ x 2 ½4 x 6.5 cm8CentreOriginal format
1 ⅝ x 1 ⅝4 x 4 cm12Top
1 ⅝ x 1 ⅛4 x 3 cm16Intro. 1930
1 ¼ x 1 ¼16
6202 ¼ x 3 ¼6 x 9 cm8TopOriginal format
2 ¼ x 2 ¼6 x 6 cm12Centre
2 ¼ x 1 ⅝6 x 4 cm16Bottom
1162 ½ x 4 ¼8BottomOriginal format
2 ½ x 2 ⅞12Centre
2 ½ x 2 ⅛16Top
Sizes in the left column are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first. The column headed 'No. Position' shows the frame number position as if the film is being wound to the right.

The idea for doubling the number of exposures on a roll of film came from W.H. Harvey's patent 13246 of 1914. He describes camera backs having two red windows or film with intermediate marks on the backing paper, masks for the focal plane and view-finder are also described. The Ensign Cupid, 1922, was probably the first camera to use the 'double window' arrangement for doubling the number of exposures on a roll. It employed two red windows where film with standard numbering on the backing paper was advanced so that each number appeared in each window successively. The Cupid used 120 roll-film. In 1930 Zeiss introduced cameras using two red windows for 127 roll-film. Later, film manufacturers printed frame numbers for alternative image sizes on the backing paper.

Common Formats

Daylight Spools
Most daylight spools had a continuous backing paper for the film which was wound on a core with flanges at each end. One end of the the spool had a slot that matched a key in the camera allowing the spool to be turned to advance the film. Most early spools had a thick wooden core and metal flanges, later the whole spool was made of metal and lastly plastic. A narrow metal core was used on some spools, e.g. 127 size. 102 film was an exception in that it had a ratchet on the flange to advance the film.

The film was wound so that it was inside the backing paper, which suited the layout of most cameras.

Roll-holder Film
Film for the cartridge roll-holder, produced by Kodak, was wound so that the film was outside the backing paper. As the spools were behind the film plane this saved the film from making a tight S curve when winding on and off the spools.

220 Roll-film
This was a similar in overall size to 120 but with twice the film length. It had only a paper leader and trailer rather than continuous backing paper.

This is roll-film wound on a narrow metal core for 28 x 40 mm exposures. The film is 35 mm wide and, on early examples, had a single registration hole per frame on one side of the film.

35 mm cassettes
The cassettes introduced by Agfa in 1932 and Kodak in 1934 for the Retina became the standard pattern for disposable 35 mm cassettes.44

The film is 35 mm wide with perforations along each edge at a pitch of 3/16". The standard frame size, for still cameras, was 24 x 36 mm (image plus inter-frame gap equalled 8 perforations), 24 x 18 mm became known as half-frame and 24 x 24 mm was also used.

Agfa Karat/Rapid
The Agfa Karat cassette, introduced in 1936, was also used in a few non-Agfa cameras. It used standard 35 mm film, for 12 exposures, held in separate feed and take-up cassettes, the film was advanced by the sprocket holes but was held loose in the cassettes rather than being wound onto a spool. The idea was re-introduced as the Agfa Rapid cassette (1964) with the addition of a key on the side of the cassette indicating the film speed, this could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

126 Cartridge
The 126 cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1963 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

The film is 35 mm wide but has only a single registration hole per frame, the image size is 28 x 28 mm. The film is contained in a sealed plastic cartridge, it is wound onto a take-up spool that is rotatable from outside the cartridge, the film in the feed part of the cartridge is not wound on a spool. The film has a continuous paper packing carrying the frame number which is visible through a window in the cartridge. A large, clear, window in the back of the camera shows the frame number and other information printed on the cartridge. The position of a small notch in the cartridge indicated the film speed which could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

110 Cartridge
The 110 cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1972 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

The film is 16 mm wide but has only a single registration hole per frame, the image size is 13 x 17 mm. The film is contained in a sealed plastic cartridge, it is wound onto a take-up spool that is rotatable from outside the cartridge. The film has a continuous paper packing carrying the frame number which is visible through a window in the cartridge. The cartridge indicates the film speed which could be 'read' by the camera to set the metering system.

Kodak Disc Film
Disc Film was introduced by Kodak in 1982 along with a compatible range of cameras aimed at the lower end of the market.

Each exposure was 8 x 10 mm with 15 exposures on a disc. The film was held in a light-tight cassette which interfaced to the camera to operate the dark-slide and rotate the film in the cassette.

Advanced Photo System
APS was introduced by Kodak in 1996.45

The film is 24 mm wide with two irregularly spaced perforations per frame. The film also incorporates optical and magnetic recording areas that hold data on the exposure, described as the Information Exchange System, photo-finishers could add information. Each exposure had a size of 30.2 x 16.7 mm, one of three formats (aspect ratios) for the exposure could be chosen by the user:

  • High Definition, 30.2 x 16.7 mm.
  • Classic, 25.1 x 16.7.
  • Panoramic, 30.2 x 9.5.
The different formats were achieved by cropping at the printing stage, each exposure was recorded full-size, the format could therefore be changed at a later date.

The film was contained within a cassette, placing the cassette in the camera moved the film into the exposure position by a 'Thrust mechanism' inside the cassette. It was automatically re-wound into the cassette on removal. The cassette could be removed before the film was completely exposed and later replaced without loss of a frame. On the end of the cassette were indicators showing the status of the film:

  • O - unexposed.
  • D - part exposed.
  • X - fully exposed.
  • a square symbol - processed.

Despite its very advanced specification APS did not prove very popular and was, in any case, overtaken by digital technology.

Film Size Equivalents

3 ½ x 3 ½1013 ½E018A
1 ½ x 21021 ½E02
4 x 51034E032310A
5 x 41045E042512A
2 ¼ x 3 ¼1052 ¼CE05055A
7 x 51157E1513A
2 ½ x 4 ¼1162 ½E16C16169DD86A
2 ¼ x 2 ¼1172 ¼AE17C17175B1B13A
3 ¼ x 4 ¼1183 ¼E18C181812EE7A
4 ¼ x 3 ¼1194 ¼E1911A
2 ¼ x 3 ¼1202 ¼BE20C20208B2B11/84A
1 ⅝ x 2 ½1211 ⅝E21212A
3 ¼ x 5 ½1223 ¼AE22C222221GG18A
4 x 51234AE2310C
3 ¼ x 4 ¼1243 ¼BE2424147C
3 ¼ x 5 ½1253 ¼CE2518C
4 ¼ x 6 ½1264 ¼AE262819A
1 ⅝ x 2 ½1271JE27C27273AA8
1 ½ x 2 ¼1281EE28C28282
2 x 31292EE29C29296NN6
2 ⅞ x 4 ⅞1302 ⅞E30C303017M
2 ½ x 4 ¼616Z.16PDDM8
2 ¼ x 3 ¼620E62Z.20PBB11/M8
28 x 40 mm82888
2 ¼ x 3 ¼2J
1 ¼ x 1 ⅝E1010
3 ½ x 2 ½01
Sizes are in inches, the width (across the spool) is given first.

There were two numbering systems used on Ensign film, those shown in the left column are the earlier, the second system was used from the early 1920s and following the Houghton-Butcher merger.

Ansco used the suffix A or B to designate different lengths of film of the same type, likewise the suffix C or D, but a film numbered, for example, 18C was a different size to 18A.

References & Notes

[1] Cox Cat 1858, p. 13.

[2] Parkes patented a waterproofing product (BP 1125/1856) which seems to have been the start of his research in this field. The first patent to mention Parkesine was 1313/1865.

[3] The Xylonite Co. was formed in 1869 and wound up in 1874. In 1875 Daniel Spill & Co. was formed which was replaced by the British Xylonite Co. in 1877. Xylonite sheet film was advertised by E.B. Fitch and by Hinton. PA 1891, p. 477.

[4] US patent 156353/1874. Celluloid sheet film was advertised by R.W. Thomas in the BJA 1890, p. 699, and by Fry in the BJA 1890, p. 206. Advertisements from England and Eastman are in PA 1891, p. 477. Fitch claims to have started manufacture in 1888, but this may have been Xylonite (BJA 1899, p. 1114). Mawson & Swan made celluloid roll-film by the late 1890s.

[5] BJA 1909, pp. 559, 567. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise, pp. 288, 295. Jenkins details the reasons behind the introduction of acetate film by Eastman.

[6] Sensitised paper was advertised in Knight's catalogue of 1853.

[7] For general references to paper negatives see: Beginner's Guide to Photography (1889), p. 75. Eder, History, p. 485.

[8] BJA 1886, p.51.

[9] Morgan & Kidd: BP 5448/1881, BP 2780/1882. BJA 1886, p. cxxvi.

[10] BP 9575/1885.

[11] BJA 1901, p. 1405A. The firm was part owned by J.E.Thornton.

[12] BP 2699/1885.

[13] BP 5725/1885 - Eastman. BJA 1886, p. 52 - Warnerke.

[14] BP 1123/1856.

[15] BJA 1882, p. cxlvii.

[16] BP 1559/1881.

[17] BP 10659/1886. YBP 1888, p. ci. The Vergara slide held a double length of film (BP 2390/1886).

[18] BJA 1901, p. 1406. The firm was part owned by J.E.Thornton.

[19] BP 620/1899. BJA 1900, p. 1480. BJA 1901, p. 534. The films could swell by up to 20% when being developed, immersion in methylated spirit would return the film to its original size. The earlier patent for multi-coated emulsions was BP 21381/1891.

[20] For general references to celluloid film see: Jenkins, Images and Enterprise, 132. Clerc, Photography. Theory and Practice, p. 156. Cyclopedia of Photography, p. 96.

[21] There were very few roll-film cameras produced in Britain between the Luzo of 1889 and the last years of the 1890s when Lizars in particular started to manufacture roll-film cameras.

[22] BP 1914/1855.

[23] BP 1123/1856.

[24] BP 2029/1856.

[25] BP 2315/1857.

[26] Article by Dr. Liesegang, 'Emulsion Negatives without Glass', in Phot. News 14/9/1877. BJA 1877, p. lxxvi. BJA 1886, p. 51.

[27] BP 1608/1883.

[28] Phot. News 29/2/1884, p. 135.

[29] BP 13596/1884. BJA 1888, pp. 485, 630. Eastman Cat. May 1886.

[30] BP 24750/1898 in the names of O. Moh, A. Hesekiel, J. Grünewald. The process in Britain was handled by Secco Films (British & Colonial) Ltd. The works were at East Molesey, the registered Office was at 39 Lombard St. A.H. Lymn may have been connected with the firm. Phot. Dealer Mar/1901, p. 71.

[31] The first roll-holder was patented by John Blakey Spencer and Arthur Melhuish, BP 1139/1854. Morgan & Kidd advertised roll-film negative paper in sizes of quarter-plate - 15" x 12" - BJA 1886, p. cxxvi.

[32] The BJA 1876 has an advertisement for Warnerke stripping film. Kodak Museum Catalogue p. 22.

[33] BP 13596/1884.

[34] BJA 1890, p. 224. Kodak Cat. 1894, p. 55.

[35] BP 2170/1867. BP 13262/1885. BP 11416/1889. BP 8650/1892.

[36] Kodak Museum Catalogue p. 26. Kodak Cat, 1894, p. 34. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise, p. 142.

[37] Captain Barr in 1855 used paper negatives attached to a black calico strip, the strip was longer than necessary so that it could be wound around the completed spool making it light-tight. It is not clear if this allowed daylight-loading or only removal of the film in daylight. Notes & Queries 21/4/1855, p. 311.

[38] BP 11622/1901. BJA 1902, pp. 580, 584.

[39] 35 mm cine film was first used in Edison's Kinetograph of c. 1892.

[40] IG Farbenindustrie (Agfa), BP 405093/1934.

[41] Kodak Cat. 1915. Kodak Museum Catalogue. Lothrop, Century, p. 132. BP 9005/1914. BP 9006/1914.

[42] BP 4961/1903. BP 4962/1903. BP 5386/1903. BP 5595/1903. DRP 150945. DRP 152185. DRP 155177. BJA 1904, p. 372. A similar arrangement had been patented earlier by F. Schmid, BP 24064/1901.

[43] Clemitson Cat. 1909, p. 130. BJA 1913, p. 1229. BJA 1923, p. 170. Coe and Gates, Snapshot Photograph, p. 138.

[44] IG Farbenindustrie (Agfa), BP 405093/1934.

[45] [acessed 2014]

Negative Material


Paper Negatives

Gelatine and Collodion

Cellulose Nitrate Film

Stripping Film

Roll-Film Types

Special Film Types

Autographic Film

Vidil Film

Film and Plate Sizes

Standard Plate Sizes

Daylight Spool sizes

References & Notes

Return to Glossary