The Cleveland Convention has been written into the history of the National Association as one of the most progressive conventions that has ever been held.
While records for actual attendance were not broken, the dues of approxi mately 2,500 members, many of whom could not be present, were paid into the treasury, and the exhibits, demonstrations, lectures, entertainment and the enthusiasm shown by those in attendance were all that could be desired.
The entire week was marked by extremely warm weather, for which Cleveland was not especially to blame, the same condition existing all over the country. The convention hall offered ample floor space for all the manufacturers' exhibits, for the meetings and lectures, as well as the picture exhibit, but the space for demonstrations was rather crowded.
The picture exhibit was judged by Messrs. Croughton, Knaffl and Towles, and was exceptionally good, salon honors being given to the following exhibitors:
H. Lee Bell, Pensacola, Fla. I. Buxbaum, Brooklyn, N. Y. Pasquale S. Culotta, Baltimore, Md.E. E. Doty, Battle Creek, Mich. Dudley Hoyt, New York City.
F. S. Jacks, Muskegon, Mich. George J. Kossuth, Wheeling,
W. Va. H. C. Mann, Norfolk, Va. James W. Porter, Youngstown,
Ohio. Jane Reece, Dayton, Ohio. C. R. Reeves, Anderson, Ind. May L. Smith, Binghamton, N. Y. Strickler Studio, Pittsburgh, Pa. A. O. Titus, Buffalo, N. Y. Edward H. Weston, Tropico, Cal.
Aside from the regular picture exhibit there were the National Salon, New England Salon, Middle Atlantic States Salon, ex-Presidents' exhibits, a LInited States Government exhibit and the manufacturers' exhibits.
The entrance to the Coliseum, which is in the center of the building, led one directly into the Eastman picture exhibit. This exhibit was of exceptional educational value because it contained a number of panels of Artura prints, each of which displayed the work of one man, the prints being made, trimmed and framed by the exhibitor himself. The individuality of the man's work was thus made a distinctive part of each separate panel of pictures and, as was often remarked, it was just like making a visit to a number of the leading photographers' studios.
Besides the individual panels, one end of the Eastman print exhibit was devoted exclusively to the work of Cleveland photographers. There were also several panels of pictures selected from a great number of studios and several panels of enlargements, the work being of exceptional quality.
In another large section was a complete display of Eastman professional apparatus,including the Century Studio Camera line, Gra-flex Cameras and all the apparatus which goes to make up the modern studio equipment.
In still another section of the hall were the Plate and Film exhibits which were the largest and most pretentious ever shown at a convention. Permanent cabinets containing the most modern lighting equipment were used
for displaying the film and plate negatives, each of which was accompanied by a positive. It was an exhibit of exceptional merit showing the wonderfully uniform quality of Seed Plates and demonstrating the many advantages of Portrait Film for difficult home portraiture and studio work.
Directly opposite the plate and film exhibit was the booth of the Kodak Research Laboratory in charge of Dr. Mees and several scientific workers from Kodak Park. The object of the exhibit was to show the direct relation of the scientific to the practical side of photography. Such matters as color separation, including the uses and advantages of color sensitive plates and color filters, were illustrated and explained in a practical way and all questions of a technical nature were answered and explained in detail. One interesting piece of apparatus displayed was a shutter testing machine invented by one of the Research Laboratory workers and used for the accurate testing of shutter speeds. With this device the opening and closing of a shutter is photographed upon a strip of motion picture film, the exposures ordinarily being made at the rate of one thousand a second, each exposure being 1/30,000 of a second. If ten images of the shutter opening are recorded on the film during the time the shutter is opening and closing, the shutter speed is 1/100 of.a second. If twenty images are recorded the shutter speed is 1/50 of a second, etc., it being possible to accurately determine the number of exposures per second.
FROM A SEED PLATE NEGATIVE
Copyright by Knaffl & Bro. Knoxville, Tenn.
One of the unique features of the convention was the publicity given the slogan: "Your friends can buy anything you can give them - except your photograph." Large framed posters displaying the slogan in the same form as used in the magazine advertisements were displayed on easels in all the leading hotel lobbies, small cards bearing the slogan were hung in each hotel room, cards welcoming the P. A. of A. to Cleveland and displaying the slogan were shown in the windowsof thedown-town stores, the Cleveland newspapers contained the slogan in a prominent advertising space each day, buttons bearing the slogan were pinned on every photographer attending the convention, the Saturday Evening Post, a thousand copies of which were given away at the Eastman Exhibit on Thursday, contained a full page advertisement of the slogan, a banner bearing the slogan was stretched over the entrance to the Statler Hotel, two similar banners were prominently displayed at Cedar Point on the day of the outing and the slogan was set to the tune "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," the sheets of music being distributed on the train and sung on the trip to Cedar Point.
A handsome show case card with the slogan embossed in gold letters was also presented to each photographer in attendance.
It is quite certain that every photographer who attended the Cleveland convention knows that slogan - almost every one in Cleveland saw and read the slogan and knew there was a convention of photographers in town, and many photographers went home with a better idea of how to give publicity to the slogan in their own town with the idea of creating a desire for photographs and bringing the business to their own particular studios.
The next convention city was not selected, this matter being left to the judgment of the incoming board. The officers elected for 1917 are as follows:
President, Ryland W. Phillips, Philadelphia.
First Vice-President, Charles L. Lewis, Toledo, O.
Second Vice-President, Howard D. Beach, Buffalo, N.Y.
Treasurer, G. L. Ho.tetler, Des Moines, la.
Secretary, John I. Hoffman, Washington, D. C.
An impressive feature of the Cleveland Convention was the simple ceremony carried out by direction of the Association when past Presidents S. L. Stein, Frank W. Medlar, and George M. Edmondson journeyed to the last resting place of J. F. Ryder,
FROM A SEED PLATE NEGATIVE
Copyright by Knaffl & Bro. Knoxville, Tenn.
first president of the organization, and E. Decker, the ninth president, whose graves lie within a few hundred feet of each other in Cleveland's famous cemetery. There the past presidents placed upon the graves of the distinguished dead, wreaths as tributes to the memory of the men who contributed so much to the welfare of the National Association. A considerable amount of business was transacted by the Congress, much of which was suggested by the president's speech. The art and business lectures were interesting and instructive and very well attended, and standing room was at a premium at all of the demonstrations, the one made by Mr. Norton in the park being exceptionally interesting and offering suggestions for similar profitable work in one's own town.
The reception and dances, the evening excursion on the lake and the trip to Cedar Point offered all the diversion necessary to make the week thoroughly enjoyable.
It was a good convention and those who went with the idea of profiting by the educational features received a full measure of good ideas, business and advertising suggestions and the broadening influence of the unselfish fraternal feeling that marked the entire convention.
Copyright by Knajfl & Bro. Knoxville, Tenn.
The retiring officers are to be congratulated upon the good judgment and untiring efforts which made such a successful meeting possible.