This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911.
Roams was sitting in an easy chair by the hotel window, smoking his pipe and apparently in deep thought. A letter in his hand was evidently the cause of his ruminations.
I had not seen Roams for several weeks so I slapped him on the back and asked him what was on his mind.
"Well, outside of the Mexican Revolution and Reciprocity with Canada, the only things bothering me just now are the biscuits I had for supper and this letter from the house." "Have to go down to Centerville to see Levins who has written in that he has some paper that won't make prints; says they seem weak and undertimed and he knows he exposed them all right."
"I might tell him what his trouble was without going down to see him, for I ran across the same thing last week, but I may be able to help him in some other way so I will go down on the early morning train. Where do you go from here, Hotson?"
I told him I would be down to Centerville myself in the afternoon and we could take supper together.
It was the next afternoon that Levins told me how Roams set him right.
"Roams was in bright and early and caught Johnny in the act of sweeping down the stairs. Told him how to sharpen the end of the broom handle so he could use it to get the dirt out of the corners and the boy took his advice. We always learn something from him and when he gives us advice we feel he knows what he is talking about. It may make us feel foolish, but we like it."
"Roams asked me if I didn't write the house about that paper Tuesday morning, and I told him I did. Said the reason he asked was because he saw by the bill boards that The County Chairman' was here Monday night."
"Did you go to see the play, Mr. Levins?"
"Yes, I took my wife; but what has that to do with the poor prints I had Tuesday morn-ing?
"Well, I think 'The County Chairman' was the cause of ALL the trouble, Mr. Levins; I don't see how we can blame anyone else."
'You probably exposed a gross or so of paper Monday afternoon and as you had to go home for an early supper, you only developed a part of it and left the balance here in the darkroom where it is rather damp, and Tuesday morning you couldn't get good prints."
"You probably changed the developer and fussed around until you got quite peevish."
"As you had used the entire gross of paper and had none left to try out, you got mad and wrote the house, telling them the blankety blank paper was no good. You opened another gross and found it was all right and then you were sure the paper was bad."
"Am I right?"
"Yes, you are right about that part of it, but I didn't think paper would work that way after being exposed and allowed to stand over night."
"Well, Mr. Levins, you have always been accustomed to developing your prints when you made them and it is advisable to continue doing so."
"There is a certain amount of deterioration of the latent image when paper is allowed to stand after being exposed and you should be particular not to leave exposed prints where there is dampness, for you will lose the exposure much more quickly."
"The same is true of plates, but not to so great a degree. Plates may be left for weeks or months, but prints should always be developed on the same day immediately after being exposed."
"Any other trouble, Mr. Lev-ins?
"Yes, I have been having trouble every Saturday with my plates and I am ashamed to say I can't figure it out."
"I know it isn't the plates, for it only happens Saturdays. Small black spots, look like metallic spots, but they are always there when I take the plates out of the washing tank."
"Well, let's dig up the trouble, Mr. Levins. A weak solution of Nitric Acid will take out the spots if they are metallic, but let's get at the bottom of it."
"Can I use your 'phone?"
"Certainly you can, go as far as you like."
"Hello, Central, give me the City Waterworks."
"Hello," "City Water Works?" "This is Levins' Studio." "Can you tell me what happens to your water supply on Saturday that don't occur on other days?"
"No?" "Well, don't you test the city fire plugs or something of that sort on Saturdays?"
"No?"-"Oh, yes, I see, and you draw it off every Saturday morning."
"Yes, all right, thank you very much."
"He says they draw the water out of the stand pipe every Saturday morning and fill it up with fresh water. Let's put some cotton in a cloth and tie it over the tap and let the water run for a while to see if we get some trace of iron rust."
"You can be almost sure we will find it, for when the water gets riled up there is almost always a certain amount of rust in it and you would get it Saturday evenings when you develop."
"I had a harder one than this a few days ago, but we found it before I left and it was so peculiar that I want to tell you about it."
"A man was using P. M. C. Bromide Post Cards and was making six cards for fifty cents. He showed me some of the cards and about one out of every six had a peculiar mark on it that looked like a letter W or an M, and of course he was sure it was in the cards."