Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The British Photographic Research Association.

         The following communication has been issued by the Council:-
          The urgent necessity for the future development of British industry on a more scientific basis than hitherto has been recognized by the Government, who have placed a million sterling at the disposal of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research for the purpose of encouraging research and its application to the development of British industries. The Advisory Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, after consultation with manufacturers and scientists, recommended that grants should be expended on a co-operative basis in the form of liberal contributions by the department towards the funds raised voluntarily by associations of manufacturers, established for the purpose of research. By this method the systematic development of research and its application to industry is carried out under the direct control of the industries themselves, and the co-operation of the firms in one industry will enable research work to be undertaken which could not have been dealt with by an individual firm.
          The manufacturers of photographic materials and apparatus were the first to form an association to avail themselves of the scheme, and in May, 1918, the British Photographic Research Association was formally incorporated. Dr. R. E. Slade has been appointed director of research, and laboratories have been obtained for the time being at University College, London. These laboratories are under the control of the director of research and are distinct from the teaching laboratories.
          The Association will carry out research in photography, photochemistry and other related subjects, with a view to the' general increase of knowledge of these subjects, improving methods of manufacturing photographic materials and discovering new photographic processes.
          It is not the intention of the Association to attempt to standardize throughout the manufacturing methods of the photographic industry. Manufacturers will always insist on determining for themselves the lines on which their Business shall develop. It is the aim of the Association, by applying scientific methods, to obtain knowledge which will be of the widest application to the industry, which may be utilized by each manufacturer for the development of his own particular processes.
          Pure research into the scientific basis of photography, and into related subjects, such as colloidal chemistry and photo-chemistry, will be carried out for the increase of knowledge, without necessarily any immediate application of the results to manufacturing processes. These researches should open up new and important fields of applied research, and advantage will immediately be taken of any results of research which appear likely to lead to the progress of the photographic industry.
          Among pure researches which are contemplated are the following: Investigations into the fundamental properties of silver halides, and of the effects of various substances on these properties.
          Investigations into the physical and chemical properties of gelatine and other similar colloids.
          Investigations of a wide range of photo-chemical reactions.
          Investigations into colloidal chemistry.
          Investigations into the theory of processes of colour photography.
         Publication of the results of pure research will be made from time to time in accordance with the rules of the Association.
          Applied research will be undertaken to improve products now being manufactured, to improve methods of manufacture, and to introduce new photographic processes. These researches may be undertaken with a view to improving some process which is well known to require improvement or to overcome some difficulty which has arisen in manufacture, or they may be undertaken when some advance in pure science has been made which it seems possible to apply to photography.
          Among the subjects of applied research will be the following :
          Investigation of esensitizing and reducing agents on sensitive materials, with particular reference to insensitive spots in plates and papers, and impurities in the raw materials used.
          Studies of the properties of various samples of gelatine with a view to arriving at the causes of the effects they produce and ultimately to obtain a standardization and improvement of the product.

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