This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1918" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1918.
To send emulsion experts to aviation fields to experiment on different types of sensitive material, and to advise which we found best suited to aviation photography.
"To design a photographic motor truck for field work and submit detail drawings for a photographic field laboratory.
"To make tenders for all special apparatus and materials required by the Section, based strictly on their cost to us plus ten per cent, to cover contingencies, it not being our intention to make any profit whatever out of these materials."
That our offer to place everything that we have and everything that we are, in the service for the winning of the war was evidently appreciated at headquarters - an appreciation that makes us all the more anxious to do well our part - is evidenced by the following communications from Major General Squier, Col. Engel and Lieut. Col.Horner:
"Eastman Kodak Co.,
Rochester, N. Y.
The beginning of the new year brings with it a thorough realization of responsibility which rests upon everyone connected with the carrying out of the aircraft programme. We appreciate what you are doing to co-operate in this work. We know you realize that it is with only the most intense effort that the task can be successfully accomplished. The country looks to you for great achievements during the coming year. Squier, Major General,
Chief Signal Officer."
The following is an excerpt from a letter from Colonel Engel, dated January 16, 1918:
"This is by far the best offer that the undersigned has ever seen to help us in getting our units trained and equipped. I have just left the office of General Squier, and he is certainly delighted with everything."
Lieut. Colonel L. S. Horner wrote us along these same lines on February 6, 1918
"The management of the Equipment Division of the Signal Corps is more than satisfied with the broad-gauged American way which you and your Company have offered to assist us and are assisting us."
But to get back to Kodak Park: The necessity was for providing, at the earliest possible date, four or five thousand skilled photographers to do the ground work connected with aerial photography. The Signal Corps has the men, and as we have the facilities at the Park for training them, we offered, without charge, the use, until August 1st, of one floor of our new baryta building just being completed, for barracks and dark-rooms, and the use of our restaurant building, when not in use by our own employes, to feed the men. We also offered to furnish class rooms, a lecture room and recreation facilities.
PART OF UNFINISHED INTERIOR OF BUILDING WHICH, WITH FITTINGS INSTALLED, WILL PROVIDE IDEAL BARRACKS AND WORK ROOMS FOR THE SOLDIER PHOTOGRAPHERS.
"Eastman Kodak Co.,
Rochester, N. Y. Your kind offer approved by Secretary of War.
Squier, Chief Signal Officer, per Williams."
The offer was accepted in a Engineers and experts were sent at once by the Government to prepare plans and let contracts for installing the special fixtures and for preparing sleeping accommodations for the men, who are now taking up their training.
The building, which was selected for the barracks, is the largest building at Kodak Park. It is 150 feet wide by 560 feet long and contains nine acres of floor space, the one floor which is to be used by the men as a barracks and work rooms containing over two acres of floor space, which will be ample to accommodate seven hundred men at one time.
The men will be sent in detachments of about that number and it is expected that it will take about a month of intensive training to fit each lot of men for the special work they are to perform.
Our restaurant building, which will be used by the men of the school, has ample accommodations for feeding two thousand persons at one time, and as the soldiers' meal hours will not conflict with those of our employes, there will be no question of our ability to feed a few hundreds extra, and do it well.
There are ample facilities for recreation at Kodak Park, both indoors and out, and the Kodak Park Athletic Association will welcome the soldier students and extend to them the use of the Park Assembly Hall and the athletic grounds.
The "observers" who operate the cameras from aeroplanes are not necessarily technical photographers. As they always make their photographs from a considerable elevation, they are working invariably at "infinity." They, therefore do not need to focus nor to judge the length of exposure. Everything is set for them by the ground men before they go aloft. All they need to do is to pull the lever that makes the exposures. And the instant they alight, their negatives are developed and the prints and enlargements made by the expert ground men, who not only know how to develop and print, but know how to use all the shortcut methods that save time. The aerial photographer snaps a German position miles back of the lines and, in apparent retreat, at a speed of more than a hundred miles an hour, rushes back to his base, spirals at break-neck speed to his landing, quickly hands his exposures over to the waiting ground man.
A Corner of the Kodak Park Athletic Field
It is but a matter of minutes from the time that the exposure was made until the finished enlargement, still damp no doubt, is in the hands of the commanding officer. And the information it gives him may be vital, often is vital, to the success of his troops.
It is to the training of these highly important ground men of the Signal Corps that so much attention is now being given, that they may work accurately and rapidly. Fortunately, our facilities are such that they may be given the needed instruction promptly and thoroughly - will be quickly equipped with the knowledge which will enable them to be of as great service as the men on the firing line.
The location of the school in Rochester is, of course, an emergency measure, and it will probably be moved later on to one of the big aviation fields. The school is wholly under the Signal Corps officers detailed for the purpose, but they will be assisted by about fifty instructors taken from our technical staff in different departments, including the Research Laboratory,EastmanProfessional School, Demonstrating Force, etc. These men will be replaced by army instructors as fast as the latter become sufficiently familiar with the work.
While there will be no flying school here, there will probably be a few planes installed in one of the parks, which has been offered by the City, and these will be used to make photographic experiments in connection with the work of the school.
Through the acceptance by the War Department of our tender of the facilities at our command, Rochester is more than maintaining its claim to the title, "The Photographic Center of the World."