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 Post subject: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 15:55 pm 
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Can any of my fellow photogs shed light on the possible date/dates of these film canisters please ..??

The Kodak one is unmarked apart from the name, the Agfa one has 'I. G. Farbenindustrie A. G. AGFA Berlin SO 36; on the rear


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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:41 am 
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The color code of the Kodak canister is for Kodachrome II (yellow top, unpainted body) according to the list below. Kodachrome II was around between 1961-1974 in 35mm format.

Quote:
From the GEH collection:
Panatomic ca. 1934 brown aluminum top & yellow painted bottom ; "Kodak" stamped into the bottom

Panatomic X ca. 1939 brown aluminum top & yellow painted bottombrown top / yellow bottom

Panatomic X ca. 1965 unpainted aluminum top & bottom SS Pan unpainted aluminum top & bottom; "Kodak" stamped into the bottom

Super X pan green painted aluminum top & yellow painted bottom; "Kodak" stamped into the bottom

Plus X pan unpainted aluminum top & bottom Super XX pan green top / yellow bottom

Tri X pan unpainted aluminum top & bottom

Kodachrome F (daylight) yellow top / yellow bottom

Kodachrome (WWII years) yellow painted steel top and bottom

Kodachrome A (tungsten) red top / yellow bottom

Kodachrome II yellow top / unpainted bottom

Ektachrome blue top / yellow bottom

Keep in mind the GEH collection represents a very small sample. Also, as these came from previously opened film boxes, the film inside the canisters may have been switched.

From about 1965, all 35mm film was supplied in unpainted aluminum canisters.
From about 1974, all 35mm film was supplied in plastic snap-top canisters.
Also, during WWII, film was also supplied in steel canisters, as aluminum was in short supply.

Best,
Todd Gustavson
Curator, Technology Collection


So yours is likely post-war, but the canisters shapes pretty much remained unchanged until the plastic ones were introduced.
I have about 10 unpainted (1965+) that I use sometimes.


As for the Agfa one, I don't know much about them I'm afraid. I only have a medium format one for Agfa Pan F film.

There was a topic on 1930s packaging and film canisters on Rangefinderforum a year or so ago

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:21 am 
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Here's the link to the topic at RFF concerning vintage film canisters/cartons etc:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87322

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:36 am 
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Hey Rick, thanks for all the above, sorry to take time to reply, grateful for the help ... Ive got two of the yellow top and the one Agfa which I think will be the only one I can possibly display ?? but the others will be handy to keep film in out of sight.

It goes without saying I think that if anyone has any of these canisters we would be willing to take them off you .. !!

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:51 am 
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I guess you could always paint them to match the proper period ones

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:54 am 
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I have thought of that to be honest .. some of them though have the Kodak logo embossed in the bottom not the sides ... might be worth looking into though .. ??

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:19 pm 
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Been looking into it further Rick ... The color code of the canisters (yellow top/plain bottom) is for Kodachrome II which didnt come on the scene until 1961 I think it was ... so they are well out of period ... for the war years they should be steel too ... !!

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:29 pm 
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I would've thougth the cans would have been simply recycled like the larger 35mm cine film canisters. Send them back to the plant to be reloaded with a fresh film cartridge, that sort of thing.
And I also think there would have been pre-war pre-shortages produced film stock that got sold during the war in the regular aluminium cans.

So they aren't 'wrong' per sé ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:41 pm 
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:D hhmmm stretching it a bit maybe .. :wink: but you are right there would be 'ali' stock made pre war and sold during ..
As they are both 'modern' to a point I think I may re-paint them to match Kodachrome A 35mm (1936 onwards) ie; red top, yellow bottom

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 13:55 pm 
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All Kodachrome still and motion picture film had to be sent back to the Kodak laboratories in the US for development anyway.
So the canisters would have gone back to the lab anyway.
Not stretching it that much ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 14:14 pm 
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Good point .. I wonder though how many films were sent back in the canisters for processing ... and conversely then how many times Kodak returned the processed film in the same canister ..???

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:13 am 
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All Kodachrome film for certain, because of it's extensive multi-bath developing process.
This is specifically mentioned in "Armed with Cameras" by Peter Maslowski.

Back then in the US you got those little cloth bags with a label on it. You put the film in the canister in the little bag and wrote your address on the label and dropped it in the mail. The price of processing and printing was included in the purchase price of the film as I recall.

I suppose those cans would probably just be refilled with fresh film cartridges and resold through their distributors.
I don't think the negatives were sent back in the canisters though. More like they still do now where they are sleeved and cut and put in the envelop with the photos.

Not sure what the other labs would do with other type of films. I'm sure Military field labs wouldn't bother recycling the cans at all.

But it's all speculation on my part.


I recall European mailbox slots are as high as they are because of the film canisters. Otherwise film would've had to be sent as a parcel making the service more expensive for the customers.

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 Post subject: Re: 35mm film canisters
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 17:53 pm 
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I started work for Kodak, in processing Lab's in 1967, at that time they were using systems that had been used for many years. Tins, Containers etc, were thrown away as part of prepping the film to go into the darkroom. The operators did not want to mess about opening 'cans' in the dark (35mm cassettes were bad enough, without additional 'wrapping').

It wasn't tll the mid '90's that recycling kicked in. up to then it all went into the bin.

So you only got a 'can' if you didn't send it in with the film.

The only contradiction being if the customer wanted the film returned un-cut, then they would be rolled up and put into a 'can', that was fished out of the trash !!!

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