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.
The Dark-Room. The dark-room may be made by partitioning off one end of the room, and should be large enough to permit a person to conveniently develop and wash the prints. A dark-room should not be smaller than 6 x 10 feet, and a liberal size sink built, with at least two water faucets. A sink 30 inches wide and 6 feet long will answer every purpose.
587. Three large trays 20 x 24 inches, and one tray 11 x 14 inches, will be required for developing, fixing and washing the prints. The sink should be fitted with wooden racks, upon which to rest the trays. Besides the above, you should have an ordinary table, at least 3 feet long, and a few shelves built over the end of the sink for holding bottles of developer, etc. A rack may be constructed underneath the sink, to hold trays when out of use.
Drying Racks. The most convenient drying racks are the stretcher frames. Provide yourself with as many stretchers as you require, made of 1 x 2-inch pine, 22 x 36 inches in size. Cover these frames with thin muslin. An inch block should be nailed on top of the corners, and in the center of each screen, thus providing for air space between stretchers when stacked with prints. When ready for use, lay the first stretcher on a table (which should be provided for this purpose and located in the same room with the record machine) and raise the first stretcher above the table say 4 inches, to allow for a current of air to pass between table and screen. Fill the first stretcher with prints and cover with another stretcher, and continue in this way until all are laid out to dry. A current of air from an electric fan will reduce the time required for drying to a few hours.
Manipulating The Apparatus. With the bellows of the camera extended, the lens and prism in place, and the ground-glass attached to the rear of the camera, in place of the roll-holder, you are ready to begin work. First, place the copy, or application, upon the stage, directly underneath the prism. This space you should outline on the bed of the stage, so that all future applications may be placed in exactly the same position, thus making it unnecessary to focus each application. The prism is centered over the application by racking the camera bed attached to the cabinet, forward or backward; the racking is easily accomplished by means of a wheel at the side of the cabinet.
590. To hold the application flat, cover it with a sheet of plate glass; then step to the rear of the camera and observe the image on the ground-glass. The size of the image is adjusted by the raising or lowering of the stage. This adjustment is operated from the rear of the camera stand. The focusing of the image on the ground-glass is accomplished by racking the camera forward or backward. When the focus is once obtained for a certain size of work, there will be no need for re-focusing.
591. After obtaining a sharp focus remove the ground-glass and place the roll-holder in position. Be certain that the shutter on the lens is closed, then withdraw the slide of the roll-holder. Reel off enough sensitized paper for the first exposure. With lights working well, six seconds should be a sufficient exposure. After the first exposure, the shutter being closed, the exposed paper is reeled off, bringing an unexposed section in place for the next exposure, etc. When all applications have been photographed, insert the slide in the roll-holder and proceed to the darkroom to develop the prints.