Ian, my hat's off to you. And I don't even wear a hat...
Well that's my pack of "Bessachrom" Voigthlander plates, and my father shot rather a lot of images on Selochrome on his regiments (IEME light tanks) long march from Karachi, through the mountains on the Afgan border, Persia, Lebaon, Syria, Palestine and Egypt and witnessed Rommel and Montgomery's epic El Alamein tank battle, they were on the edge of the fighting closing off bolt holes
Originally Posted by Colin Corneau
My mum took a few picture of me as a kid on Verichrome, then later when my sister was born Werichrome Pan
So you see "Chrome" could mean different things to different people.
I said earlier it's a purely slang term mainly US for colour slides but actual usage goes back far further.
In the UK it was rare to here the word Chrome used for transparencies, clients would say can you shoot B&W & tranny, or specify colour neg,, but usually they said what the work was for and that governed the choice.
Then when I went to the lab early 70's I'd have to say E4 or Agfa for some professional development because Agfa transparency and negative films weren't E4 or C-22 compatible a fact that labs hated.
Here'e how I see it. The first REAL color film was Kodachrome. They just happened to call it 'chrome' because it is a color film. But when Kodak later came out with color negative film, they could not call it Kodachrome since 'chrome' was already taken by the famous positive film. So they called it Kodacolor. Thus started the convention of calling slide films 'chrome', and using the 'color' suffix for negative films. Other manufacturers followed suit.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
You should look at the quality of Autochromes they are the first "real" colour film/plate, if you've never seen original prints made from them then you should make an effort, the colours are extraordinarily good considering the technology and why Kodachrome has that name.
There were a number of colour slide films prior to Kodachrome all additive processes like Lumiere Filmcolor, Dufaycolor, and Agfacolor, but Kodak needed to differentiate their new film which was the first subtractive process from its competitors so used Chrome instead of Color, to indicate the better colour fidelity, for the same reasons Lumiere had used the term in Autochrome aboutb 30 years earlier.
In fact it was some time before a major competitor used Chrome to denote slides, Agfacolor-Neu launched in 1936 a year after Kodachrome and was their subtractive Transparency film. The next chrome transparency films were Ektachrome, again from Kodak.
In 1954 Gevachrome is a B&W film, Gevacolor R (reversal) N (neg), Agafacolor Neg or Reversal, Ilford Colour D (reversal),, same in the early 60's. Probably the first company to copy Kodak is Fuji with the release of Fujichrome in the late 1950's.
The term "Chrome" for other colour transparency films began being added slowly with Agfa and Perutz using it with new films (1964 Agfa had merged with Gevaert and rationalised it's film products) but it only became common to all with the release of the E6 in 1977 when all company's outside the Eastern block moved to E6 as a fully compatible processing system.
That will proof impossible to proof.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I think StorminMatt's explanation is the better one.
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Just remember one important thing we've overlooked.
The man behind Verichrome at Wratten C.E.K. Mees was Head of Reasearch at Kodak, he would have played a part in naming Kodachrome. The Kodachrome Research team worked directly for Mees who was also a Vice President of Eastman Kodak. (George Eastman had died 3 years before the release of Kodachrome).
Mees went to an English Public school and would have learnt Classics, both Latin & Greek, so the earlier comment about the use of Chrome coming from the Greek word Chroma would be logical to him.
I just want to add that it took some time in Germany to change frome `-chrom┤ to -chrome┤ in the designations.
(Which means changing from the german to the english spelling.)
Last edited by AgX; 10-06-2009 at 01:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Yet again, not something that can be shown to be relevant.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
We just do not know why the word "chrome" came to be in use, except that, it meaning colour, is an appropriate word for colour related thingies.
Mees, by the way, came to Wratten when they already were working on their panchromatic plates. 'Post hoc'.
George Eastman did not die before Kodachrome started life in 1914...
Last edited by Q.G.; 10-06-2009 at 11:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
By 1914 Mees had already head of Kodak Research for 2 years and had his sidekick from school, University and Wratten Shepperd was working alongside him.
Mees was the high-flying chemist, and throw what ever dates - he's the link there with Verichrome, Kodak & Chrome
Going back to the term Chrome for modern slide films, Agfa marketed their films like Agfacolor CT18 in some markets right up to the switch to E6 films, but in the UK had changed the packaging to Agfachrome by the 70's.
chris, to get back to your original question ...
Originally Posted by Chris Nielsen
chrome = slide film mainly because it was easier to say chrome,
instead of whatever brand it was. it was lingo mainly to
professional, since most of what was shot ( color at least )
and all the diapositive or slide films end in chrome ...
as for the derivation of the word chrome and why it is
used at all in photography, who knows ...
photography has had a history of trying to be as prove itself as
the "fine arts" so probably the person who came up with "chrome"
with whatever prefix he decided to use - auto ( was he first ? )
was trying to be fancy, by referring to the greeks ...
seeing that the summer olympics were held in paris in 1900 ..
and probably paris was still "greek-crazy" ..
as for the rest of them, probably autochromes were seen as
"the best!" so the name-makers were just referring back to IT, when
putting the name chrome in whatever name was used.