It is generally conceded that the dark-room, especially in the small studio, receives less thought and attention in comparison with its importance than it should receive.

Because the dark-room must be dark it is usually chucked away into a space that can be used for no other purpose. Because it must, at times, be dark, no provision is made for ever having it light, and a place that is never light more likely than not is never clean.

The man who uses the darkroom is glad when he can get out of it. The boy who sweeps out the place reaches into the dark with his broom and brushes out the plate boxes and allows the dirt to remain, and a scrubbing out is a thing unheard of Dark-rooms have a bad reputation - and some deserve it, but the interest in the Model Dark-Room exhibited at recent Eastman Schools indicates that the trend is towards a better and more efficient light-room that can be made dark.

As we have had numerous inquiries for the plans and illustrations of the Model Dark-Room, we are publishing them for the benefit of all our readers.

As will be seen by the diagrams and illustrations, this room was planned as a printing and enlarging room, as well as a place for the developing of negatives. And while many photographers may find it more convenient to have separate departments for each line of work, it is a simple matter to plan two or three rooms containing the conveniences shown in the one.

The room is 10 x 12 x 10 feet with a light lock entrance. The film and plate loading bench with negative drying shelf beneath is at the right of entrance, the printing machine, paper cabinet and chemical cabinet are at the right of the room, the sink and developing lights are at the back of the room, and the enlarging apparatus and paper cabinet at the left.

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The lower shelf of the loading bench contains an electric fan, negative drying racks and a hinged door as a protection.

The top of the bench is for loading and unloading holders and is divided into three sections, as shown in the illustration. Between the two wall cabinets are the two lights, a Brownie Safe-light Lamp above for plate changing, when a small amount of light is needed, and a Kodak Safe-light Lamp below for greater illumination.

One lamp may be fitted with a safelight for handling films or orthochromatic plates, and the other for material not color sensitive. The two film or plate cabinets have sliding doors with counter balance weights which hold the doors up when the cabinets are open but which are not heavy enough to prevent them from remaining closed.A rack is placed at each side of the cabinet for plate or film kits, and on each side wall, but not shown in the illustration, are ten-inch rods at right angles to the wall, each of which will hold a dozen Film Developing Holders.

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Model Dark-Room - Plate Loading and Drying Bench

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Plan of Loading Bench and Paper Cabinet

At the left of the loading bench is a paper cabinet with a sliding door, an 8 x 10 Crown Printer with a Velox Dark-Room Lamp above and directly over this, on the wall behind, a six compartment frame containing four negatives of varying density.

These are arranged with two blank openings so that the negatives to be printed from may be placed in one or the other of the openings and so compared with the four negatives for which the printing exposure on the papers used has been carefully calculated. By this means of comparison the correct exposure for any negative may almost always be determined without the usual loss of paper in test exposures. As the light in the illuminated frame is only flashed on for an instant while the comparison is being made, the electric current consumed is of no consequence.

Possibly the most important part of a dark-room is the sink and its arrangement, though with different methods of working the arrangement will necessarily vary. The arrangement shown is excellent and allows the worker considerable latitude. It affords ample room for the development of films, plates, prints or enlargements, and with the chemical cabinet at the right, the shelf for scales above and the water close by, there is every convenience for the compounding of stock solutions and developers. As will be seen by the diagram, the sink is divided into three compartments, that at one end for negative washing, the one at the other end for developing and fixing boxes, and the large center compartment for tray development and print washing.

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Model Dark-Room - Showing Printing Conveniences

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The sink mat is in sections and is removable. One section may be taken out to make room for a Rounds Print Washer for which there is a storage shelf beneath. The sink itself is lead lined.At each end beneath the sink there is a compartment, the one at the left with a hinged door for a keg of hypo, and the one at the right for waste. The center is divided into compartments for trays.There are five water faucets, four for cold water and one for hot. This hot water will be found a great convenience in cold weather, and no dark-room should be without it.

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Model Dark-Room - Back View

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At either side of the hot water faucet is a swivel faucet for cold water. The spouts of these faucets are about ten inches long so that they come well out over the sink. The spout is connected with the valve so that the water is turned on as the spout is drawn out from the wall and shut off as as it is pushed back out of the way.