Unopened Kodachrome - Expired 1942 - WHOA

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by holmburgers, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yesterday at ye' old local antique mall, I found a box of Kodachrome Type A film, completely unopened with an expiration date of 1942! Literally, the box is still sealed shut. It's 828 film designed for the Kodak Bantam.

    So, how rare a find is this? Is any one interested in it? Since it's 828 I assume you could roll it into a 35mm cartridge. Then again, I doubt if shooting and processing (if Dwayne's would even do it) would be worth it. I don't know what to do with it, but ideas would be appreciated it.

    Can't wait to hear your responses.

    P.S. Also I got an old Agfa tin, with no film, but it's a cool old canister. I believe it's 35mm, but for bulk loading. It too expired in 1942, and on the tin has a warning about flammability, as it's a nitrate film! It's Ultra-Speed Panchromatic film. And by ultra-speed they mean 64 I think. There's some hand written numbers on it, one for a Weston number of 100 and then 64, which doesn't actually add up, as I understand it. Whatever, it's a neat old piece of history. :wink:
     
  2. rthomas

    rthomas Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Nice find! Not sure how rare it is. I have a box of 4x5 Kodachrome sheet film with a 1949 expiration date, which I paid $5 for when a local camera store closed at the end of 2008. Even if there was a possibility of using a seventy-year-old film and getting something, I don't believe your film could be processed, as it's not even the same process as the current K-14 Kodachrome process.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,930
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The first Kodachrome films had been processed together with the second generation fims in the second generation process.
    I expect the wrong-processing in the 4th process of today the lesser problem.
     
  4. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I thought my double 8mm roll of Kodachrome II that expired in November 1969 was a nice find. I'd say those '40s rolls are more interesting. I have no plan to shoot mine. I don't even plan on opening the box. You mention the flammability of nitrate film. Mine says safety film. Does that mean non-flammable, non-nitrate film?
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,930
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Safety-Film means Non-Nitrate film.

    (and by this: lesser flamable...)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2010
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Really?! I always wondered what safety-film meant. That makes sense I guess. You know, the bikes we take for common today were once known as safety bikes, compared to the giant front wheeled 'penny-farthings' of the day.

    Very cool, yeah I suspect shooting the film would be blasphemous, and pointless. Best to take a picture of it and put it on flickr for all to see.

    cheers!
     
  7. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Monterey Co,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Background gamma radiation will have fogged it completely (decades ago). It's worth more as ephemera, unopened.
     
  8. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,910
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Great Find! I'd love to stuble upon this!!!
     
  9. brian d

    brian d Member

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Me too, I do have a sealed box of Ansco Color 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet marked develop before Apr. 1950
     
  10. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm thinking I should keep one of my current boxes of Kodachrome for future displaying of the two boxes, over 60 years apart.

    The amazing part is, I found this film at the antique store the same day my processed Kodachrome came back from Dwayne's. Crazy!

    The Kodachrome gods are with us....
     
  11. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,022
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,910
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    He may already have this stuff but I bet PKM-25 (Dan Bayer) would love to have hold of the roll and the sheets.
     
  13. Time Freeze

    Time Freeze Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Elkins Park,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a unpened box of 12 Roebuck (I guess before he met Sears :smile:) 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 orthochromatic dry plates. The box is marked extra fast but there isn't any speed on the box; no expiration date either.

    John
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    wow, 4x5 kodachrome. cream dream.... hahaha
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,538
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Zeiss Contax camera my father gave me when I was a teenager he brought back from WW11 still had some Zeiss Ikon film in it, as far as I remember, the camera is pre war I don't know when Zeiss stopped marketing this film, but certainly in the 1930s.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2010
  17. jcorll

    jcorll Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    Western PA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My grandfather just recently gave me his Kodak Retina II from the WWII. He also gave me his camera bag and inside it is a roll of exposed 35mm Ansco color film in its aluminum/steel canister. My guess is that the film is from the 50's or maybe 60's. I am in a photography class and really want to develop it. Anybody know what the developer would be? Would it just be regular C-41?
     
  18. banana_legs

    banana_legs Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    Wiltshire, U
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have just shot a few half-plate sheets of Kodak Ortho-X from I believe 1938. Luckily it is B&W and works fine. Not quite sure if it is giving the full ASA125 though. I have a second un-opened box from the same batch that I shall store for a few more years....

    Evan
     
  19. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

    Messages:
    1,888
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    My understanding is that flammable nitrate-base film was replaced with a more stable acetate base, which was safer, and marketed as "safety film." I have never known just how flammable it was, whether it would spontaneously ignite perhaps after some time to oxidize in air, or if the heat of a movie projector would ignite it, or what.
    Dan
     
  20. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That's correct....the nitrate film is VERY inflammable and needs no oxygen to continue burning once lit. It also decays readily and becomes very unstable. Despite precautions, there were some horrific accidents in the early days of movie theatres.

    As regards the Kodachrome found by the OP, there is no chance of it now being processed or even being usable. But it's very collectable, and, if the box, etc., is in good condition, it's really a museum-quality item. :smile:
     
  21. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In a lot of 620 film that I purchased for the spools I found a box of Ektachrome develop before Apr, 1949. One end is torn off but there is a sealed roll inside. Whether it is the original I don't know. Interesting to me the box says "Processing directions packed in Kodak EKtachrome Processing Kit" and on another side "This film will not be processed by Eastman Kodak Company".
     
  22. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nitrate film can even burn while submerged under water. Once ignited, nitrate film can not be put out by normal means. IRRC, the only chemical that can extinguish it is carbon tetrachloride. That produces toxic gas. (Cyanide ?) So, if you have a nitrate film fire, you're basically screwed. The only thing you can do, really, is to contain the fire by isolating it and letting it burn out. (Assuming you can do that without the rest of your building burning down in the process.)

    To make it worse, nitrate film's decomposition is autocatalytic. In other words, the byproducts of decomposition will cause the film to degrade faster and faster the more they build up.

    And, finally, yes, nitrate film can spontaneously combust. However, it doesn't just burst into flames for no reason. It has to decompose for quite a while before it can self ignite. It has to reach a sustained temperature of over 100º F (38º C) before it will catch fire. So, while it can be dangerous, it's not exactly like a bomb waiting to go off.

    That having been said, I would not keep nitrate film in my house! I believe standard practice is to have it duplicated. If the nitrate original is important enough where it must be preserved, it should be stored some place safe. If it is not important it should be destroyed after it is duplicated.

    I have worked in movie theaters for just a little over 15 years, now and I have only seen nitrate film one time. That was during a demonstration about nitrate film and its dangers. I have never come across it in actual practice.

    In some jurisdictions it is not legal to bring nitrate film into a projection room which is not specifically outfitted for its use. That's why you often see signs that say, "Safety Film Only" on the doors to projection rooms.

    Kodak's website has lots of good information on the storage and handling of nitrate film: http://motion.kodak.com/US/en/motion/Support/Technical_Information/Storage/storage_nitrate.htm
     
  23. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

    Messages:
    683
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Film from the early 1940:ies features in a recent Hollywood movie, Inglourious basterds. I should not write more, not to spoil the fun for those who have not seen the movie. In any case, it it used metaphorically, to the effect that film, not pen, is mightier than sword.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2010
  24. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I get a lot of questions about nitrate film because of that movie!

    If only we could have a movie which features Kodachrome in such a fashion that it makes people ask so many questions about it!
     
  25. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

    DO NOT DO THAT

    Stand dev in rodinal
     
  26. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

    Messages:
    809
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nope! Phosgene.