British photographic history

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Inside Ilford Factory - seeking help to identify what part of the process has been captured.

Hello

I've come across a few photographs that were taken inside Ilford Mobberley Factory in the 1930s. Unfortunately the photographs aren't captioned and I can't say for certain what some of the factory workers are doing. Any insight would be hugely appreciated. I think I can only add one photo to the body of this post, so I'll add the others to the comments below. 

Inspecting film before emulsion is applied?

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Inspecting film and making notes?

Curing film? 

Trimming paper? 

Checking film using safelight?

Checking paper after emulsion has been applied? 

Hi Nicola. I may be able to help with these. But not first hand - I didn't arrive at Mobberley until 1983!

This looks like the input (unreeling) or output (re-reeling) end of a film coating machine. I am going to guess that it is the output end. The area he is looking at is possibly there for the operator to inspect the coating quality. Looks like they have just finished threading the machine.

Hi Nicola. I may be able to help with these. But not first hand - I didn't arrive at Mobberley until 1983!

This looks like the input (unreeling) or output (re-reeling) end of a film coating machine. I am going to guess that it is the output end. The area he is looking at is possibly there for the operator to inspect the coating quality. Looks like they have just finished threading the machine.

Pasted again because not sure I put it in the right place.

This one is a more basic system. I am going to guess that it is the input end. Basic in that there is no base cleaning or input festoon. That must have been one boring job.



Nicola Mayer said:

Inspecting film and making notes?

This looks like a very basic film drier. A festoon of film was hung up with tension top and bottom in a climate controlled room. 

Nicola Mayer said:

Curing film? 

This looks like a paper guillotine. Converting a slitting of paper into sheets. Not boring if you want to stay attached to your fingers!

Nicola Mayer said:

Trimming paper? 

More probably paper. Paper production was being moved to Mobberley at that time. Could also be an X-ray product - or both. I think there was an X-ray printing paper in production then.

Nicola Mayer said:

Checking film using safelight?

Spot on. Checking coating quality.

Nicola Mayer said:

Checking paper after emulsion has been applied? 

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