Toronto. Back around 1960, I built my first darkroom. After an enlarger, my first purchase was a Gralab timer. This was when I first began developing and printing at home – high school and my time in Labrador and northern Quebec helped me hone the skills of developing film and printing positives (in black and white).
As you may know, a timer is needed for two critical operations: processing films via time and temperature, and printing positives using the same method. Stop baths, fixing baths and washing are not that critical so a watch will do, but development by time and temperature makes both critical.
As handy as the old Kodak Timer was, a massive Gralab with its big luminous dial and hands was the cat’s pyjamas for a serious amateur’s darkroom. Being a bit naive at the time I bought my Gralab, I added a foot switch socket, a push button “start”, an A/C fuse and a relay. Press the push button, and the relay sent power from the safelight to the enlarger for an accurately timed period preset on the large dial.