Gelatin Failure Kodak in 70's?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Grif, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Grif

    Grif Member

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    A thread on another list (metal lathes) talked about an emulsion failure in Kodak film in the 70's. Perhaps Photo Engineer can fill in the story?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I am not aware of anything of that sort. Sorry. Direct us to the source or give some data please.

    Thanks.

    PE
     
  3. Grif

    Grif Member

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    "Kodak Company, you know the people that used
    to make film, got burned one year in the 70's when some cattle
    ranchers changed the feed on their cattle. Film emulsion was made
    from hides and hoofs of cows, like Jello. Well the feed change,
    changed the chemistry of the emulsion..."

    That was about the total of the conversation. Decided to see if there was any truth to the statement.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    OMG. He is referring to something from about 1920. Kodak used active gelatin then and the cows ate Mustard Grass which put more Sulfur into the gelatin and fogged the film. This led to the discovery of Sulfur sensitization and led to increased film speeds.

    There was no problem in 1970. Terrible misquote. Please correct them if you can.

    Thanks.

    PE
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    And I thought gelatin was from connective tissue -- not hoofs and hides.

    Hooves and hide, I thought, were the sources of glue...I could equally be wrong there! :smile:
     
  6. Grif

    Grif Member

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    That'll be fun,,, Seeing where this actually came from.

    I'll see if he was running on experience or just a memory of a published issue. These sorts of things usually have some interesting bit of truth to them somewhere.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2011
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gelatin can be made from any part of an animal including fish and chickens. The hooves and hides are not generally used in photography. We use Ossein (bone) gelatin from cows or pigs, but pigs contribute more parts. They don't really have hooves!

    The fraction of gelatin (during the process each batch is a fraction until they reach the bottom) or the source of the gelatin gives the final product its BI (Bloom Index) which is related to gel strength and viscosity. Hooves and Skin make the best glue due to having a high BI.

    PE
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    This what I hate about the internet! Once something false gets mentioned it becomes impossible to stop.
     
  9. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    I suspect he meant the 1800's and even then he was off by a decade or two.
    OTOH, it is still not impossible to imagine, although the animals are, IIRC, actually sourced from many areas and not restricted to specfic ranches.

    Ray
     
  10. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Is modern film still made using gelatin from animals? Isn't there a synthetic product that would be as good or better? No, this isn't an animal rights thing, I'm just curious. In the early 70's I used gelatin cubes to brew up an emulsion batch from a formula that was from the early 1900's. Coated on to 4x5 glass plates it worked remarkably well but was REALLY slow. I wish I still had the formula. It was lost many moves ago but I still have one surviving glass plate. A little off the original topic but I thought it would be fun to share.
     
  11. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    "Kodak Company, you know the people that used to make film"

    Would be nice if you could correct the poster on this also.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Wade;

    Gelatin is still used in photographic products. Some synthetic binders are added for many purposes, but gelatin remains the major binder.

    Old formulas used the active gelatin referred to in the original post. Overactive gelatin was the problem that led researchers at Kodak to discover sulfur sensitization. Since then, most all photographic grade gelatin has had the sulfur compounds removed. This makes them give us a slow emulsion unless a sulfur sensitization step is added.

    I suspect that if you carried out this extra step you would double or triple the speed of your emulsion.

    PE
     
  13. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    For an account of the sulfur-contaminated gelatin due to the donor herd consuming mustard grass see

    George Eastman—a Biography
    Elizabeth Brayer
    ©1996 Johns Hopkins University Press

    http://www.amazon.com/George-Eastman-Biography-Elizabeth-Brayer/dp/0801852633#_

    It is a large book with a great wealth of information about George Eastman, the company he founded, the difficulties in making practical emulsions, making and selling cameras, and how Kodak became the greatest maker and seller of photographic materials in the world.
     
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  15. Grif

    Grif Member

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    Hi,
    Here's the response...

    I was teaching photography back then and we were developing slide
    film. On several rolls the emulsion slide off the base. That is the
    story I got back from Kodak. That was before the internet, so who
    knows if it was true.
     
  16. Grif

    Grif Member

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    Oh,,, it's getting better all the time... The latest, the guy posting the stuff on the other list is an old photo teacher, now teaching computer sci. Claims to have really enjoyed processing Kodachrome and Tri X in the darkroom.

    Did they ever have a process to do Kodachrome at home or in a very small hand tank lab?
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There was never a kit to home process Kodachrome. It could be done by hand, but was never ever released. This guy appears to be making things up! Sorry.

    PE
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The Kodachrome process was published in the Dignan Newletter many years ago. It contained the formulas for all the various baths. AFAIK, only one person attempted it and I don't don't know if they had any success. However, the two people who developed the process and sold it to Kodak were professional violinists and had no engineering degrees.
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Tell him it was supposed to do that. That's why it's called "slide" film.:wink:
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you look at the patents, Mannes and Godowsky had invented a chromogenic film in which two layers were coated with one layer on one side of the film support and the other layer on the reverse side of the film. This gave a 2 color image when developed in 2 color developers. They were so close, but did not have a 3 color version. Their materials were supplied to them by George Eastman.

    He finally invited them to join Kodak Research, which they did, and there they worked with a team of engineers to perfect what we now know as Kodachrome. That process required 3 developers, 3 re-exposures, and 3 bleach baths for tricolor imaging. It was the first Kodachrome released.

    IDK when this sequence changed but the new process required only one bleach and two re-exposures.

    In any event, even with publication of the formulas, the chemistry was hard to get and the process required up to 3 hours for the old one and about 1.5 hours for the new one. The old process required 3 processing machines and the new one took only one. All of these processes required exacting procedure if done by hand.

    You are right that only one or two people have attempted it, and the one result I saw posted was a far cry from anything you would want to show anyone. It was nevertheless a good effort.

    I would applaud anyone who got as far as having 3 colored images on a piece of Kodachrome film no matter how off color or poor the results might be.

    PE
     
  21. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    To keep him on the list topic, see if you can get him to tell you about the time he put an Acme-Gridley RB-6 bar machine in his basement. Or the time he built a full size steam locomotive with only a 110V Lincoln welder, a Bridgeport, and a Hardinge chucker. :D:D
     
  22. Grif

    Grif Member

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    Hey,,, I like my Lincoln buzz box, my chucker is a Morey and my mill is a LeBlond 3H from around 1920. (also have a Pratt and Whitney machine tool company planer from about the same time. (mechanical monster, not osha approved ;-)

    I really should take pictures of all that stuff,,, working on the darkroom/mancave in the corner of the shop currently doing electrical, but the machine tools will likely start getting more air time this fall/winter.
     
  23. Grif

    Grif Member

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    Ektachrome perhaps

    He's claiming a kit from Kodak, I'm thinking he has dis-remembered. ;-) and is thinking Ektachrome. Just the kind of make it up as you go along memory that's oh so important as a computer science instructor.
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If the emulsion came off the support at any time, perhaps he tried to process a C22 product (75F) in a C41 process (100F). If he did that, the emulsion would dissolve right off the support. The same would probably be true if he tried to run an E3 or E4 product through an E1 or E2 process. The E3 and E4 films had no hardener in them, and relied on a prehardener. There are may mistakes like that that he could have made. If he made enough mistakes, maybe that is why he ended up teaching computer programming! :D

    PE
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    So have you finished your locomotive yet?:tongue:
     
  26. Grif

    Grif Member

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    I've got enought sense left to not even start a project like that. I'm only 61, and just hope I manage to get my mancave finished in time to do a few projects before the end game