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AliceS

Help! Film from 1930s(?)

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Help! My father recently passed away and I sifted thru his camera closet. I found film, presumably from my grandfather, who was an avid photographer. It is a Leica box with cardboard tubes (see image). These tubes had film in them. Most of the film was tightly rolled, not encased in anything other than the cardboard. There were a couple (3?) that had a metal cartridge around them. I have no idea which camera the film came from. All I know is that one of the rolls was possibly from 1934, as that was written on the bottom of the cardboard tube. 

What has woken me up in a cold sweat was that I fear that the tight rolls...is it possible that he offloaded the film without developing it? Have I exposed the film by removing it from the tubes in the light? 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/ideas on this crazy situation! 

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Tricky situation as you don't know when and what type of film your father stored away. I think this box was intedended to store developed films, so you might open one of the paper cartridges and check, if you want to add some extra to a safe situation do this in darkroom with red light. If you see developed negatives your are safe. Than check what type of film and how old these might be. Realy old orthochromatic ones will not suffer from red light if undeveloped. To check wether such films where you see nothing are already exposed is difficult, maybe the emulsion-side is still matt, you can develope them and see wether the were exposed or not. Early ones might be on celluliod-base and can burn or explode - check for this.

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3 hours ago, AliceS said:

Help! My father recently passed away and I sifted thru his camera closet. I found film, presumably from my grandfather, who was an avid photographer. It is a Leica box with cardboard tubes (see image). These tubes had film in them. Most of the film was tightly rolled, not encased in anything other than the cardboard. There were a couple (3?) that had a metal cartridge around them. I have no idea which camera the film came from. All I know is that one of the rolls was possibly from 1934, as that was written on the bottom of the cardboard tube. 

What has woken me up in a cold sweat was that I fear that the tight rolls...is it possible that he offloaded the film without developing it? Have I exposed the film by removing it from the tubes in the light? 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/ideas on this crazy situation! 

One hour stand development with diluted D76 and 15 secs agitation every minute did this lot for me. Do you know how to open the FILCA brass cassettes in the dark? I suggest you get expert help locally if that is possible during the Covid pandemic.

https://www.macfilos.com/2020/09/11/swiss-roll-hidden-for-70-years-these-photographs-were-recovered-from-an-ancient-leica-film-cassette/

William

 

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If you inspected all the tubes and there was exposed and undeveloped film in them it's most likely they are ruined anyway. So choose one and unroll the film to see if there are any images on it. If it was undeveloped the emulsion side will be a grayish colour. If there are images be careful not to scratch the film and roll it back up again and then think about getting it scanned. For the film in the metal cassettes it's a little more hopeful. They could be rolls that haven't been exposed, but they may have images that need developing. A local photo society may be able to help develop them.

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This was a common way to store developed film before glassine, before Print Files. I doubt these would have undeveloped film out of the cartridge, mostly that would be the metal canister. Open one, I would expect a roll of developed film. If you find cartridges be careful taking the film out, it may crack. Also film of the '30s was flamable, so don't smoke around it follow development instructions others will give. The developed film may be fragile so unroll gentily. This could be interesting, let us know what you find.

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