My first impression of a darkroom clings to me notwithstanding the fact that the impression was made a number of years ago. In fact, my second and third impressions were no better than the first, but I am glad to say that I have since encountered dark-rooms of a very much different sort.

That first old dark-room was the very best kind of an example of what a dark-room should not be, that I have ever seen. It was built in the corner of the operating room most distant from the light and there was no light in it except what came through the door and that could not reach the far corners.

An oil lamp sat on a shelf outside a small cracked glass window, and just inside this window was some kind of a metal sink. I don't know just what kind of a sink it was because I never had a chance to see it in the two years that I swept out that room.

There was an old hypo keg in the corner back of the sink into which everything went that didn't go into the sink or on the floor - but why go further. You have probably seen just such places yourself. Let us hope that we will see fewer of them in the future for they are not healthy to work in.

We have electricity almost everywhere today. This makes it possible to make the dark-room a light-room when it is not being used for developing. We have the tank system of developing and tanks can be covered with light-tight covers, so we can have darkrooms light even while developing is in progress. And the great improvement in lighting, with Safe-light Lamps, which give a great volume of safe, indirect illumination, makes it unnecessary to ever have the dark-room really dark, unless it is for the handling of panchromatic films or plates.

In addition to good lighting we find the modern dark-room well ventilated. There is a window that can be opened and there is often other means of ventilation when the room is closed. But with the modern light-trap opening, which is used instead of a door, the room need never be closed. If you should happen to be planning a new dark-room, hinge the two partitions that form the light trap so that you can swing them open and make a straight passage into the room that will let in light.

If I were building a room for developing I would call it a "safe-light-room," for I would never allow it to be absolutely dark. I would paint the ceiling white and the walls very nearly white. A double Indirect Light Box would hang near the ceiling with one pull cord and one wall switch. The pull cord would light the lamp in the side of the box, producing the white light, and this would give a flood of light reflected from the ceiling over the entire room. The wall switch would light the lamp in the side of the box fitted with a Safelight of a color that would give a flood of light, perfectly safe for the films or plates being used.

Of course no light is safe for an indefinite time, but a Safelight is safe for as long a time as is necessary to handle the materials for which it is recommended.

My safelight-room would be tight enough to keep out all daylight or other outside lights And just here I might mention that when closed, even though the room were painted a pure white there can be no white light in it if the lamps are covered with yellow or orange or red or green Safelights. A white wall or ceiling can only reflect the light that strikes it. If the light is red, the white ceiling will reflect more red light than a darker ceiling. Hut the light color of the ceiling does not present any element of danger unless white light strikes it.

How To Secure Modern Dark Room Illumination StudioLightMagazine1923 146


By Carl A. Bergmann

Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton

How To Secure Modern Dark Room Illumination StudioLightMagazine1923 148


By Carl A. Bergmann

Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton

Safelight Lamps near developing tanks or over tables where holders are loaded would add to the general illumination, so my work-room would be a cheerful place. And when I had finished developing I would turn on my white lights or throw open a window and the room would glow with brightness. There would be no excuse for allowing such a room to collect dirt, which, as every workman knows, is the enemy of good results in a work-room. There is a little booklet "Modern Dark-Room Illumination" which is worth reading if you plan a new dark-room or the remodeling of an old one. Your dealer will supply you with a copy or we will be glad to mail you one, free on request.