Croydon Camera Club
Croydon Camera Club

Croydon Camera Club History 1890-1918
Consolidation, 1896

The year 1896 provides more interesting details of Club activity. Early in this year Sandell demonstrates "Anti halation and latitude in plates” and explains the triple emulsion film of his invention, whilst shortly afterwards Luboshez visits the Club and gives a talk on Portraiture and the use of Bromide papers.

Luboshez in after years during the 1914-18 War got to work in the Kodak Laboratory and devised the duplitized X-ray film which was soon in general use.

Editor’s Note:

The Sandell film was made by coating three thick layers of emulsion on prepared plate glass and then stripping the film from the glass. After exposure, when the film was developed, it swelled very appreciably, so that the pictures had nearly twice the area of the original film. The film was manufactured by Sandell for some years but eventually failed commercially.

Nahum Luboshez was in charge of Kodak Limited professional demonstrating and of their x-ray business. He suggested to the Kodak Company that they should make the duplitized x-ray film. This was aboriginal suggestion with Luboshez though he had been anticipated by Austin Edwards. Luboshez did not work in the Kodak Laboratory, but the film was made as the result of his suggestion.


A little later the club is invited to visit the new Municipal buildings in Katharine Street, members are shown round, a large number of photographs are taken and the Mayor entertains the party to tea.

Not only are the Club activities growing but the membership also appears about this time to be increasing . Resignations which had become frequent in early years were less and by the summer of this year (1896) the question of finding larger and more commodious rooms comes up for consideration and a Sub-Committee is appointed to make enquiries.

Another interesting visitor this year was Mr. Horsley Hinton who lectured on "Picture making with a Camera." "Many useful hints were obtained" says the report which sounds like faint praise for one who at that time was not only the leading exponent of pictorialism in photography but a most genial spirit as well.

Friese Greene; moving pictures

The year closes with a lecture by Friese Greene "Moving pictures of his production were thrown on the screen says the report, and at the end of the evening several X-ray photographs of hands were made. One is glad to note that to its everlasting credit the Club appreciated both the man and his work that at the next meeting it was proposed by the President that Friese Greene should be made an Honorary life member of the Club, and that he was supported by Alderman Edridge and the proposal unanimously adopted.

Celebrated visitors

In saying the year closed with this event one might add that on 30 December the new Club rooms were opened at Breadon House 106 George St. and gave great pleasure to all present.

At the AGM in the following year the Hon. Sec. Rogers resigned and E. A. Salt took his place. Salt it was who for many years regularly reported the doings of the Club in the pages of the B.J., they were well written, piquant, and if they sometimes poked fun at an over-zealous member it was all in good sport and no one ever felt peeved.

The Minutes of this time, now well written and fuller, tells us that the llth Annual Dinner was held at the "Greyhound" and that among the guests were Sir Frederick Edridge (afterwards Mayor of Croydon) Professor Whittaker, the eminent geologist, and Howard Farmer who became Principal of the Polytechnic School of Photography and was known for his celebrated Howard Farmer reducer. Some excellent songs, we are told, were given by various members and visitors, and marvellous card tricks by the then Hon. Sec. Mr. Salt.

Editor’s Note:

At that time, I was nineteen years old and was just starting research work at University College in collaboration with S. E. Sheppard on the theory of the photographic process. I was in the habit of talking to Mr. D. P. Roberts, who ran a large chemists! shop in North End Croydon, and he suggested that I should join the Croydon Camera Club. The suggestion for a developer containing both hydroquinone and resorcin was published in the British Journal of Photography (April 26, 1901, pp. 262-264). I found later that resorcin was of no value and retracted the suggestion that it should be used. This amused Salt very much, and he sent me a letter, of which the following is a COPY: "The Editors “Rylands Gazette.

"Gentlemen. In April 1901 I read before the inmates of The Croydon Deaf and Dumb Society, a paper which was re-printed (I say ! reprinted! because it was never printed before) in your valued columns . In that paper was given a formula for adding Petrol to Alcohol, the object being chiefly to restore the perpendicular to those inclined on occasions to unstable equilibrium, and abberations, especially that form of marginal spherical abberation known as Coma. When I took up this study with Mr. Shipload, Mr. Shipload told me the formula was entirely useless, aid that I was mistook. At that time I had no opportunity of investigating the question, and consequently had to draw entirely on my imagination to furnish the paper in question: , This is not uncommon.

“1 have recently worked the subject out in the following way: Two friends were taken, one (A; being given a sufficiency of alcohol plain, the other (B) an equal bulk of Petrol and Alcohol. They were then gently laid in the gutter and simple questions asked. On measuring the respective densities or denseness of their answers it was found the addition of Petrol had greatly weakened the intelligence, beyond the normal alcoholic. And in addition K, or the velocity of getting out of the gutter on to the pavement had been divided by 4, X taking 8 minutes, and B 32 minutes (with 15 falls) to reach the nearest lamp-post. "The lamp-post introduced a secondary re-action, and their respective equilibriums could not be successfully plotted or measured. Having thus found the addition of Petrol has no advantage whatever, and ought never to have been mentioned, nothing remains but to apologise to any whom I have misled. I believe Petrol has been seldom drunk, but it is certainly desirable that the error should be pointed out as soon as possible."

“ E. A. Pepper"

*Rylands was the name of my home.