remembering DuPont photo products

Dolphin book cover using Dupont photo products

Toronto. We all remember Kodak products and most will recall Ansco and Ilford photo products. But do you remember the other products like those made by DuPont – both film and paper? I did a post on Dupont the summer of 2022.

Recently Malcolm Brenner, a writer/photographer based in Florida, sent me a note on DuPont. He mentions the company’s adventure in B&W photo paper producing the first  variable contrast paper, “BTW, I seem to remember reading somewhere that Dupont originated the whole idea of “variable-contrast enlarging paper,” using high-contrast blue-sensitive emulsions and more even-toned green-sensitive emulsions to make it work, years before Kodak.

“Considering that, remember that the Great Yellow Father invented the electronic still camera prototype in 1976, paid the inventor for his efforts, and exiled it to that warehouse where the Arc of the Covenant disappeared at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark!

I used the Ilford version myself and still have the filter set which fit my Durst M35 Color Enlarger.

Malcolm mentions his introduction to Dupont products too, “In my sophomore year of college, 1970-71, I attended the University of South Florida in Tampa for a semester, taking courses in photography and film. The head of the Photography-as-Art Dept. gave me a couple of boxes of Dupont variable-contrast fiber-based enlarging paper to experiment with, said he was switching to the Kodak product.

“I guess Dupont was getting out of the consumer photo market at about that time. I fooled around with that paper, had great fun experimenting with solarization and negative contact prints, and made some significant prints on it. But other than that, and the ads I saw in old issues of American Cinematographer I found lying around a film office, I haven’t had any contact with Dupont photo products.”

Wikipedia has an article on Malcolm as a writer and lists his accomplishments. You may want to think again about dolphins after you read his books (and Douglas Adams and his series “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, especially “So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish”.

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