fast photo prints in 1924

fast printing at Black’s. Click for the 1924 process.

Toronto. In the days before the end of the broad popularity of film, you could take your exposed colour rolls to a fast film service outlet like Black’s or Japan Camera and see the prints in an hour. In the 1950s, the local drugstore could sent your black and white rolls to a service like Chas. Abel here in the city and have them back the following week with a set of prints for each roll.

In 1924, automated bulk processing of prints was a novel idea. This article in the March 1924 issue of Science and Invention illustrates one set of machines that significantly cut the number of people needed to process film. The article suggests that the negatives are pre-35mm and can be contact printed. The article doesn’t mention any film size criteria, just that the negatives are “wooden framed”.

Perhaps there was enough volume for runs of different size negatives. Wooden frames suggest glass plate or cut film although roll film had been manufactured and sold  for decades.

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