There are two reasons for raising prices - necessity and opportunity. The first is always valid - the second may be, under some circumstances.

Taking advantage of war time opportunities is, in our opinion, unfair and perhaps, in the long run, bad business. The public, as a rule, does not know whether the producer has advanced his prices from necessity or from opportunity. In many cases he may have been influenced by a combination of both.

The photographic trade has been fortunate in the fact that in the most important item, paper, there has been no advance at all, and that in the next most important item, plates, the net advance has been but slight.

The chemical situation would have been funny if it had not been so serious - or perhaps the real word is aggravating. At the outset of the war all America was tremendously dependent upon Germany and France for photographic chemicals. To make the goods to which the photographic public had become accustomed was not as easy a task as it would seem to be to the uninitiated. The raw products themselves had been almost cornered for war purposes. On the other hand, a really big shipment of chemicals would be shipped over to the United States once in a while, and prices played around like a kitten with a ball of string. Necessity made everybody put up prices and sometimes a quirk in the market made those prices look absurd.

In papers, however, the situation was different. Costs of raw materials went up - not several thousand per cent. over night, however - and have kept the manufacturer busy in keeping his final costs down to a point where he could still continue to sell at be-fore-the-war prices. If we had been told in August, 1914, that the war was to last three years or more and that the world markets were to be tied up as they have been, that labor was to go up as it has gone up and that we would still be selling Azo at the old price in August, 1917, our answer would have been: "Impossible."

But we have thus far done it, partly by sacrificing a portion of our profits and partly because increased business has helped to keep down that manufacturer's nightmare "overhead." With bar silver at 80 cents an ounce, with raw paper and gelatine and other important items increased in cost, with labor up 15 to 20 per cent., our task has been a difficult one. The fact that the volume of our business enables us to produce good goods economically has helped; the fact that we make a saving by making some of the raw products also helps. Many manufacturers, for instance, buy their silver nitrate. We not only make our own nitrate of silver, we make and sell hundreds of thousands of ounces of it every year. Yes, and we make the nitric acid with which silver is nitrated. We even go back of that and make the sulphuric acid out of which nitric acid (in combination with nitre) is made.

Similar economies are made all along the line. A big output enables us to eliminate wasteful methods and, to a certain extent, keep down the cost of the materials that enter into our finished products. Frankly, our percentage of profit on photographic papers has been so far reduced that we can not expect to make it all up on increased volume. But there is a certain satisfaction to us in the fact that in no business, of which we know, have prices been kept down to so nearly a normal level as in the photographic line. And there is a further satisfaction in the part that our organization and our efficiently equipped plants have played in providing important staples at be-fore-the-war prices.

What the future may hold for us, none can tell. But at least, we do not intend that photography shall lose its good record in the matter of price reasonableness. There shall be no price raising except for the one valid reason - necessity. And all the facilities at our command are to be used to avoid that necessity.

Film Kits For Plate Holders

The Eastman Portrait Film Kit simplifies the use of film in plate holders. The film is placed in the holder, the kit, in the form of a narrow frame, fits in on top and holds the film in place. Your stock house will quote you prices.

Bromide Enlargement, From Seed Graflex Negative.

Bromide Enlargement, From Seed Graflex Negative.

From "Joan the Woman" Directed by Cecil B. De Mille.