“Polychromide, a two-color subtractive process invented in 1918 by Aron Hamburger, achieved limited commercial success overseas, and was occasionally employed in England as late as 1933. Originally an orthochromatic and a panchromatic negative were exposed in a beamsplitter camera. Later the use of the beam-splitter was dropped in favor of a conventional camera using bipack negative films. Polychromide prints were made on double-coated positive film stock which was dye toned red-orange on one side and blue-green on the other. Exposure from each of the camera negatives was made simultaneously by the printer on opposite sides of the positive film. Perhaps the most significant advancements made by Hamburger lay in his dye-mordanting process. He was probably the first to dye the film first and to bleach and mordant afterward. This alteration of standard procedure resulted in improved color consistency throughout the length of the film.
Although Hamburger was an American by birth, he developed his system in England and no record of its commercial use in the United States could be found.”
(Nowotny, Robert A. (1983): The Way of All Flesh Tones. A History of Color Motion Picture Processes, 1895-1929. New York: Garland Pub, pp. 132-133.)
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Polychromide samples from the Kodak Film Samples Collection at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.
Credit: National Science and Media Museum Bradford.
Photographs by Barbara Flueckiger in collaboration with Noemi Daugaard, SNSF project Film Colors. Technologies, Cultures, Institutions.
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