This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Cleaning Celluloid Film. As the film becomes soiled and greasy from constant use, and by coming in contact with the wet surface of the negative, which latter, not having been properly washed, contains hypo, it is necessary that the celluloid be washed occasionally. This can be done in clean water, with a subsequent soaking in glycerin.
Making Post-Cards for Quick Delivery. 395 careful that the number be placed on the extreme edge. This number must correspond with the receipt and number given the customer when the name is entered on the studio register. When making the prints place the number on one of the cards, on the address side, about where the stamp would be placed. This will enable the sorting of the orders and insure against mistakes when delivered.
Keeping Track Of Sittings And Orders. You should provide yourself with checks similar to those used at amusement parks. These checks are printed and numbered in duplicate. The check is perforated in the center; one-half is retained by the customer and is presented at the office when calling for the pictures, and the other half is handed to the operator, who immediately places the check under a specially provided little spring clip attached to the back of the plate-holder at the time of making your sitting. The party changing plates marks the number on the plate to correspond with the check, and at the same time places the plate in the developing tank and starts the order on its way to finishing.
Manipulation. The speed of the developer is usually about six to eight minutes. The fixing bath is very strong and should fix in five to six minutes. Plates are placed from the developing tank immediately into the fixing tank. From the fixing tank the plates are quickly rinsed and dipped in the formalin for only a moment; then again rinsed thoroughly and dipped in the alcohol bath, when they are set in the rack to drain for a few seconds. The celluloid is then placed in contact with the wet negative and both placed in the printing-frame and the order printed. The cards are fixed for five minutes and washed by a spray of the hose for one minute, then dried, sorted and delivered.
Enlarging Method Of Making Post-Cards. Another method much in vogue, and, by some, considered the quicker, is the enlarging from a very small image on to a bromide card. This method requires extra apparatus in the dark-room, in the shape of a small enlarging lantern and a post-card easel. The regular small projecting lanterns will serve for the purpose, but special lanterns can be bought for a comparatively small sum. Burke & James make a lantern which is very adaptable for the purpose. The post-card easel is a small wooden frame, into which the cards can be quickly slid and withdrawn after the exposure has been made. The procedure is as follows:
818. A small plate is used, usually 2 1/4 inches square. This is quickly developed in the manner previously given, fixed, rinsed for a minute, and then the moisture wiped off both film and back of plate with a pad of cotton (the negative is not dipped into the alcohol bath). The negative is then placed in the holder in the lantern, and, after setting the easel at the correct distance from the negative, the bromide post-cards are slipped, one after the other, into the frame, a cap over the lens being used to effect the exposures. With a powerful light a second or two will suffice for the exposure. The cards are then quickly developed, fixed, washed, and dried in the manner already described. By this method the cards can be delivered in fifteen minutes, or less, from the time of exposure of the plate. Of course, bromide cards must be employed; gaslight or developing cards cannot be used in this way.
819. Care must be taken that the light from the lantern is protected or the cards and the plates will be fogged. After the post-cards have been made the negatives go back into the washing tank and are, after drying, available for future orders. The negative should be made as sharp as possible, to allow for the slight diffusion of the image which will result when enlarging on the post-card.