This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1919" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1919.
Someone said, "Nothing succeeds like success." It doesn't matter so much who said it. The important thing is that it is a fact.
When Portrait Film was placed on the market a few years ago, we were confident it would succeed. We were not betting on our ability to sell the film idea by advertising and demonstrating. They would help, to be sure, but they could only help.
We were betting on the success film had already made - the biggest success in the history of photography - motion pictures.
It was film success that would sell film.
But just here we might say that this was not a big idea conceived and executed over night. It was twenty years old, and those twenty years represented a great deal of thought and experimental work. Film for professional use was a different thing than film for motion pictures, though fundamental principles were the same.
When Portrait Film had been perfected, that is, when we had gone as far as we could go and must put it into the hands of photographers to find what faults it might develop, we did so with the idea of correcting such faults before giving it further tests.
But film had succeeded. There were some minor faults to be corrected, but those who had tried it said, "Give us more film, we will have to find more serious faults than we have found before we will give it up."
Once we knew what they were, the little faults were overcome and film was placed in the hands of the dealers. We knew it was a success but we had to convince others. We knew the wonderful results that were being secured on film, but we had to tell and show and prove to others.
Film sales grew from month to month by leaps and bounds.
A good year's business was doubled the next and that year's business the next, until we are reaching the point where such increases can no longer be reasonably expected unless the photographers of the country begin doubling their business as well.
But even this may come about. In those days when motion pictures were pretty much straight photography, there was the firm belief in many minds that the novelty would wear off. They were only ordinary pictures that had to follow the rules and limitations of photography.
But the motion picture business had grown and a lot of reckless operators who didn't give a rap about the rules and regulations of photographic procedure, had broken into the business. Rank revolutionists to be sure, but they were backed by the producers who wouldn't have hesitated to ask for a "close up" of old Sol himself if they could have used it.
A wonderful change came over the "movies." Wonderful effects were produced, artistic beyond a question, but entirely contrary to the orthodox rules of photography. The novelty wore off but the "movies" were appreciated more than ever for the artistic note that had been introduced. They had gone ordinary photography one better and film quality had enabled them to succeed.
With the introduction of Portrait Film, home portraiture, which was struggling with the same problem the motion picture producers had struggled with, received a greater impetus. Portrait Film made its first big success in home portraiture.
There were not many photographers engaged in this work but their numbers grew as the work they produced came to the notice of the profession, and Film sales grew with them. And, finally, Portrait Film broke through the crust of prejudice or doubt and came into the studios of many of our most prominent workers.
The commercial photographer had taken advantage of film quality in the meantime, and had asked for other emulsions. He had found Portrait Film so superior for certain classes of work that he wanted to use film for all his work. And so we gave him Commercial and Commercial Or-tho and Process Film.
We have talked a lot about film and many photographers have said this made them film users. We don't take the credit. Our demonstrators have done excellent work and have made many customers for film but they don't take the credit for more than their work. Film quality is the one thing that is responsible for film sales and film quality may be responsible for the doubling of many a photographer's business.
The sales of Eastman Professional Film for October, 1919, were 262% in excess of those for October, 1918, and we thought those 1918 sales would be hard to double. They represented a big war-time portrait business. We have more than trebled them in October, 1919.
Eastman Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By Frank W. Schaldenbrand Detroit, Mich.
These figures apply to U. S. Similar comparisons are not yet available for Canada.