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.
Ventilator. A ventilator may be provided at the highest point of the skylight, in the end wall. By having a shutter in this ventilator, controlled by a cord passing through pulleys, the opening can be controlled so as to admit as much fresh air as desired, and is especially advantageous when making flashlights, as it supplies a vent for the smoke.
Color Of Walls. The skylight room should be painted or papered a neutral or dark color - some color which will absorb light - never a light color, as light colors reflect light. A deep green or slate color will be found very suitable. If the walls are finished with matched lumber, the interior may be stained or oiled; or if it is desired to paper them, the boards should be first covered with some cheap muslin, which is stretched and tacked on to the walls, and then the paper is pasted and hung over the muslin.
962. Burlap makes a good wall covering, and for the skylight-room an olive green is a splendid color. If burlap is employed this will supply a good background for the skylight-room. Where papered walls are intended, plain papers should be used. Where walls are plastered they may be tinted or frescoed. In either case the back wall of the skylight-room may be made to do service for a background, it being of special value for group work.
The Floor. The floor of the studio throughout should be of well selected flooring, and of course hardwood flooring would be best, but it is considerably more expensive. A neat, plain rug for the reception-room, and one for the skylight-room, would add to the equipment. Where rugs are not used linoleum serves the purpose very nicely.
Reception-Room. In this little studio there are three doors entering into the skylight-room - one from the reception-room, one from the dark-room, and one from the printing-room. The dark-room is very handy to the camera, so that when exposures have been made you may step directly into the dark-room and change the holders. The greatest dimensions of the reception-room are 10 x 14 feet, with a corner of the room cut off by the partition. Facing the street you should have a large window in which to display pictures; another window should be located at the side of the room, to give illumination. Three or four chairs and a library table may be provided as furniture, and a few neatly framed pictures hung on the walls.
965. In the corner of the room opposite the entrance, next to the side window, one may build a small cozy corner, which would take the place of a couple of chairs and add very materially to the coziness of this room. A large rug may be used to cover the floor, and the walls tinted a plain color. A dark green is a very satisfactory shade, as this color gives the best relief to the pictures displayed.
Dark-Room. The dark-room may be situated directly back of the reception-room, and entrance is made to it from the skylight-room. A sink of good size is constructed in one corner, while shelving should be placed on two sides. An opening may be made in the wall of the room, at the point marked P. This hole may be about three inches in diameter, and covered with a sheet of dark ruby glass. The advantage of the little window is, that when you are developing in the dark-room you can see any one who enters the reception-room. This is particularly an advantage in the one-man studio. An excellent sink is one made of cement and a full description is given in Paragraphs 905-913.
967. A shelf should be placed above the sink in the dark-room, on which to place your graduates, hydrometer, etc. Underneath the sink should be shelving for the trays. A fixing and washing box may be arranged in the sink, the washing box being connected to a faucet. A changing box for the plates should be placed on one of the shelves, at a convenient height for handling. If you are using an oil or gaslight as a source of illumination for the dark-room, this light may be placed in the finishing-room, and a small window fitted with ruby glass and orange paper placed directly above the sink in the dark-room. By having the light outside of the dark-room the room will not become warm from the heat of the lamp. Ventilators should be provided, both near the ceiling and the floor, at the point marked V. These should be shielded as directed in Volume II, in the Chapter on Dark-Room Construction.