Vintage and Classic Cameras
Autographic Kodaks

The Autographic feature is only to be found on Kodak cameras and was introduced around 1914. It takes the form of a hinged or sliding hatch and stylus.

It is essentially and early form of data recording, by means of the supplied stylus the paper backing of the film is partly broken down allowing a degree of light transmission, which in turn records the information between the negatives.

The stylus is normally stored either in loops on the lens board or loops in the Autographic hatch as in the picture at right. The Styli were sometimes nickel plated, as in this case.

 Autographic feature is only to be found on Kodak         cameras

the details to be recorded are written with the stylus

In use, following the exposure of the picture, the photographer removed the stylus from it's loops and opened the hatch revealing the backing paper, not allowing direct sunlight to fall on it. Using firm pressure, the details to be recorded are written with the stylus. The open hatch is then held in the light, the times given below are for a 1922 Kodak.

Out of doors, expose to sky but not to the sun.
Brilliant light, 2 to 5 seconds : Dull light, 5 to 10 seconds.
Indoors
Close to window: Brilliant light, 5 to 7 seconds.
Close to window: Dull light, 10 to 15 seconds.
Electric light: distance 2 inches. 30 to 60 seconds.
Incandescent gas: distance 6 inches. 30 to 60 seconds.

In retrospect, it seems that the Autographic feature was little used in practice as rarely do negatives or prints bearing evidence surface. As film sensitivity increased, allowing light to enter the camera directly became ill advised, and the feature was dropped in 1933

 

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