Toronto. One of the thrills (and skills) of film is to watch a print miraculously appear in the developer tray in a darkroom lit by a dim rubyish light. Every darkroom has its enlarger and/or contact printer ready to crank out paper prints converting a negative image to a positive one.
About a century ago, enlargers were a ‘nice to have’ accessory for owners of large cameras to make oversize prints. When minicams came along in the 1930s, they were down right essential!
The tiny contact print of a 35mm negative (an inch by an inch and a half) took very young, very perfect eyes to see detail. Enlargers gave decent size prints (double or more in size) so us older folk could see the detail too.
Long before minicams took over, Kodak leaped into the market with its enlarger for glass plates allowing modest enlargements to be made by amateurs – and even professionals were amateurs at some time! Of course enlargers were known long before this Kodak version – even before electricity reached almost every home in the city.
In our September 17th auction, the lovely Kodak Enlarger (horizontal model ?) (lot 274) will go under the hammer. Here is a chance to add an unusual enlarger to your collection. And collectors of cameras, or images, or Stanhopes, or paperweights, etc. will find this an auction not to be missed too!
NB: The title of this post was inspired by Canadian Norman Jewison’s wonderful 1967 movie, “In the Heat of the Night” featuring the great Sidney Poitier as Tibbs, the black detective stuck in a rather bigoted (at the time) American south.