US 3165039 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 12, 1965 Filed March 29, 1963 R. B. DOWNEY 3,165,039
PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet l FIG.
ATTORNEYS Jan. 12, 1965 R. B. DOWNEY 3,165,039
PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS 5 Sheet.s--Sl'1ee+v 2 Filed March 29, 1965 INVENTOR.
BYMMW/ ATTORNEYS Jan. 12, 1965 R. B. DOWNEY 3,165,039
PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 29, 1963 FIGS ATTORNEYS Jan. 12, 1965 R. B. DOWNEY PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS 5' Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 29, 1963 INVEIEOR.
ATTORNEYS Jan. 12, 1965 R. B. DOWNEY 3,165,039
PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS Filed March 29, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. ll
f .1 5 1 f v INVENTOR.
a BYM M ATTORNEYS 3,165,039 PHOTOGRAPHTC APKARATUS Rogers F5. Downey, Lexington, Mass, assignor to Polaroid Corporation, (Iambridge, Mass, a corporation of Delaware Filled Mar. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 26$,3ti2 29 Qlairns. (til. 95l3) This invention relates to photographic apparatus and more particularly to apparatus suitable for incorporation with a camera to effect the processing of photographic materials which have been exposed therein.
The apparatus of the present invention is adapted to use in conjunction with a diffusion transfer process in which, for example, a multilayer film assembly comprising at least one photosensitive emulsion and a releasably contained processing liquid, including a silver halide developer and a silver halide solvent, is to be subjected to progressive compression after it has been photographically exposed. In a method of the type contemplated, a preferably viscous processing liquid is released from container means of the film assembly and is spread between and imbibed into appropriate layers of the aforesaid assembly. Reagents of the processing liquid reduce exposed silver halide to silver and react with unreduced silver halide to form a soluble silver complex which is transferred and which, in turn, is reduced to silver at an appropriate surface location to provide an image. Certain modifications of the foregoing transfer process, known to the art, occur in conjunction with the production of full-color images but, will not be described herein as they form no part of the present invention, excepting in the sense that in a full-color process, in which occurs distribution of a processing liquidby an application of a compressive force, there exists the requirement for an exceedingly even progressive application of compression throughout areas which are co-extensive with that in which the ultimate image is to be formed. Where the film assembly is an individual unit of a film pack rather than in the form of a roll film, and where the assembly possesses thickness variations and is drawn, manually, between compressive means by a leader, tab, or the like, special care must be taken to insure that its movement shall be continuous, essentially linear and at a generally constant speed, substantially unharnpcred by frictional forces. This is necessary to achieve an even spreading of the processing liquid and the production of an image of high quality, free from streaks or other blemishes which, it will be appreciated, may be particularly observable in a multicolored image both as differences of density and differences of color.
Assuming, for example, the compressive means to be in the preferred form of a pair of pressure rolls between which the film assembly is advanced, although a pair of fixed pressure-applying surfaces could conceivably be employed in conjunction with the present invention, one basic factor which may prevent the film assemblys proper movement, as above described, may be the operators failure to draw upon the leader linearly and essentially at 90 to the axes of the pressure rolls. Another cause of irregular movement may be due to the presence in some element of the compressive mechanism of undue frictional forcesarising from the type of mechanism employed, as, for example, in an instance where one pressure roll is mounted on an arm or bell-crank for pivotal movement toward and away from the other and the arm is so short as to require a large amount of pivotal movement at the pivot point to obtain a relatively small amount of translational movement of the pressure roll. Again, where the arm is short, it may cause the roll to move, bodily, in a pronounced arcual manner under the influence of varying thicknesses of the advancing film assembly, to a position such that the axes of both rolls lie in a United States Patent 3,lh5,3 Patented Jan. 12, 19%5 plane disposed at an angle relative to the plane of the advancing film assembly which departs too greatly from one of and produces a bend in the film assembly causing resistance to its advancement. With respect to the operators failure to pull the leader generally at 90 to the axes of the roils, an undesirable amount of friction or even a binding or tearing action may occur between the edges of the film assembly and portions of the processing mechanism through excessive contact therebetween if the misdirection of film assembly travel is too pronounced. In this connection, it is to be noted that lateral movement of the film assembly is more likely to take place where the pressure rolls or other compressive means are located close to an exit port, as in the instance of the present invention, that is, where they are located in proximity to the aperture at which the leader is gripped. This is because the leading edges of the film assembly can be drawn to the longitudinal edges of the rolls in a markedly sideways direction in response to merely a small lateral movement of the leader. Furthermore, an individual film. assembly usually has less restraint against its displacement at a trailing edge when undergoing advancement than does a continuous roll film and, accordingly, can be puiled sideways more easily. Other factors involved in obtaining a proper film assembly advancement and spreading of the processing liquid relate, more particularly, to given film and camera structures with which the apparatus of the present invention is adapted to be utilized and which will be described in detailbelow.
Various expedients have been employed to provide a suitable film assembly and to compensate for errors in its direction of travel in a camera of the character described in conjunction with means for providing a proper retention of the processing liquid within the film structure during its advancement. Certain structures relating thereto have been described in U.S. Patent No, 3,080,805, issued to Joel A. Hamilton on March 12, 1963, and in the copending U.S. patent application of Rogers B. Downey, Serial No. 203,265, filed June 18, 1962. The present invention is directed toward improved means of the general character alluded to above which are suitable for incorporation in a compact, commercially acceptable camera. These include an improved compression-applying device possessing the features of movement in a plurality of rotational or arcual, as well as linear directions, for slidably engaging, and more particularly, for slidably compressing or pinching together the longitudinal margins of the film assembly during its movement to hold the released processing liquid confined therein even though the film assembly is advanced sideways to a certain degree. Included therein is an improved band-like compressing means which, advantageously, concentrates the applied compression and provides a more eifective barrier to escape of the liquid Within the limited area of the band. The margin-compressing means also possesses improved friction-reducing features. One such feature is the aforesaid band-like structure of compressing elements which reduces the size of the compression-applying surface. Another is the flared and tapered form of entrance surfaces which permits the edges of a film assembly to slide easily thereacross. Additionally, the margin-compressing means includes the feature of being automatically centered, laterally, on its mounting carriage and automaticaily withdrawable from proximity to the pressure rolls, when the latter are swung to open position, as may be desired to provide ready access to the rolls. Other features include a pivotal type of pressure-roll mounting or suspension which reduces undesirable friction in the pivotal elements thereof to a minimum; a suspension which provides an eificient application of load substantially directly to the rolls; and the provision of pressure rolls of a length which is adapted to a compact camera but which length, nevertheless, is suflicient to allow a considerable amount of lateral movement of a film assembly between the extremities of the rolls as may be caused by drawing upon the leader at an acute angle.
In accordance with the foregoing considerations, a principal object of the present invention is to provide improved apparatus for processing a multilayer photographic film unit or assembly of a type containing a processing liquid and adapted to be processed through advancement between compressive means, namely, apparatus which is capable of so controlling the movement and manner of compressing the film assembly as to eifect a reduction or elimination of frictional and binding forces operating against its even advancement so as to effect an even spreading of the processing liquid to a given thickness between specified layers thereof.
Other objects are to provide apparatus of the character described adapted to use in a compact camera with a plurality of said film assemblies in the form of a film pack; to provide an improved and relatively simple compressing means for use with the film assemblies to compress narrow marginal bands thereof, which means is adapted to be located close to a pair of pressure rolls for subsequently compressing substantially the entire area of the film assemblies, the margin-compressing means including mounting members which yield in a plurality of rotational, arcual and linear directions in response to deviations in thickness and in the direction of advancement of the film assemblies; to provide a margincompressing means having narrow, band-like compressing surfaces; to provide a margin-compressing means having friction reducing features with respect to film materials passing therethrough; to provide pivotal pressure-roll mounting means including mounting arms of a length and form adapted to reduce frictional forces at pivotal points thereof and to effect substantially linear movement of a pressure roll in accommodating to different thicknesses of film materials, thereby, also, to provide an increased lateral dimension for accommodating the film assemblies; to provide a pressure roll mounting means adapted to permit individual compressive pivotal movement of one pressure roll for compression of a film assembly and pivotal movement of both rolls, as a unit, for the purpose of providing access to the pressure rolls; to provide the aforesaid margin-compressing means in a form adapted to be retracted, automatically from proximity to the pressure rolls when the latter are pivoted as a unit; and to provide pressure roll mounting means of the character described wherein a pair of relatively long U-type springs having low rate and stress characteristics may be employed in conjunction with said mounting arms to apply bias to one of said rolls.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the apparatus possessing the construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which are exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims. For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic side view, partly in crosssection, of a self-developing camera embodying the processing apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged diagrammatic side view, in crosssection, of a portion of the processing apparatus of FIG- URE 1 showing its function with respect to a film assembly;
FIG. 3 is an exploded View of the processing apparatus of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic front view of the apparatus of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic side view of the apparatus of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic front view of a portion of the mechanism of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the mechanism of FIG. 6;
FIGS. 8 through 10 are diagrammatic perspective views of the apparatus of the invention as it would appear at various functional positions of its major components; and
FIG.- 11 is a diagrammatic plan view illustrating an operational stage of the apparatus of the invention.
The apparatus described herein finds particular application in a camera, in conjunction with a plurality of film assemblies of a type which comprises a first sheet material having a photosensitive emulsion, flexible strip materials interconnecting with a second sheet which may, appropriately, serve as a carrier or support for the final positive image and which, when thus employed, may be called the image-receiving sheet, and a rupturable container releasably holding a processing liquid mounted on the interconnecting strip materials and so positioned as to release the processing liquid between the emulsion and the second sheet. As known in the art, the second sheet may serve merely as a barrier layer, the image being formed elsewhere in the assembly. Each film assembly also includes a first, releasably attached leader or tab which, to avoid confusion with a second leader, will be termed a tab throughout the present specification, and which is positioned to extend through a first exit aperture of the camera so that, when it is pulled, manually, during a first or positioning stage, it serves to remove the first sheet from a location at which it has undergone photographic exposure and advance it to a location Where at theemulsion is superimposed and contiguous with the second or image-receiving sheet. The film assembly also includes a second tab or leader which extends from the interconnecting strip materials and which will be termed a leader herein to differentiate from the aforesaid tab. Continued drawing upon the tab advances the leader between a pair of pressure rolls so as to extend slightly through a second exit aperture of the camera, the tab, throughout the aforesaid operations, bypassing the rolls. At this juncture, the tab passes beyond a guide bar, which has heretofore maintained it close to the plane of the leader and, because its direction is now markedly sideways, it separates from the leader and is removed from the apparatus entirely. The leader is left projecting from the camera, in readiness for use in performing the second stage of processing the film assembly.
The leader, when drawn upon at the second or processing stage, advances the superimposed sheets between the compressive means, releasing and spreading the processing liquid between given surfaces, and, thence, from the camera. Each film assembly also includes a mask for defining the area covered by the liquid and thus determining the picture area, spacer means contributing to a given thickness of the spread processing liquid, and means for trapping any excess of the processing liquid and preventing its escape to a location outside the film assembly. Film assemblies of the aforementioned general category are described in detail in US. Patent No. 3,079,849, issued to Richard R. Warcham on March 5, 1963; US. Patent No. 3,080,805, issued to Joel A. Hamilton on March 12, 1963; and in the copending US. patent application of Rogers B. Downey, Serial No. 203,265, filed June 18, 1962. The aforesaid film assemblies are supplied in a light-tight container so as to constitute a film pack.
While the foregoing sequence of operations is disclosed in the above-referenced copending US. patent application of Rogers B; Downey, Serial No. 203,265, filed June 18, 1962, and is essentially that performed by the apparatus of the present invention, it is performed by this apparatus in a somewhat modified and distinctly more efficient manner. In this regard, it is to be emphasized that the photographic diffusion transfer process involved is an exceedingly delicate one, particularly where the process is one producing an image in full color. Thus, the improved processing operations which are made possible by the.
,3 apparatus of the present invention may well provide the difference between an image which is defective as, for example, in its color properties, and one which is entirely satisfactory; It is to this end of insuring a perfect image through apparatus which eliminates certain detrimental frictional forces and which includes means compensating for certain inadequacies of the operator that the present invention is directed.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the film-assembly processing apparatus 4- of theinvention, including the front pressure roll 6, the rear pressure roll 7, the marginengaging and compressing means partially shown at 8, the tab guiding bar 9, and the pivotal exit aperture closure means 10, having a tors-ion spring H and limit stop means 12, is shown, schematically, in relation to a camera 13. It is to be noted that the pressure rolls s and '7 are normally spaced slightly apart, providing a slot therebetween which serves a purpose of allowing passage of the film assembly leader therethrough. The camera, appropriately, includesa back 14 in which the film assemblies are mounted for exposure and processing, a front il containing lensand shutter elements, not shown, and a conventional bellows l8 and linkage 1? connecting the front and back. i
A film pack 2h comprising a container 22, which may, alternatively, be regarded as a magazine, releasably holding a plurality of film assemblies 24 (one only being shown), and having formed therein a frontal exposure aperture 26 and an end aperture 27 for withdrawal of each film assembly, is mounted in the main or fixed portion of the camera back to which the bellows is attached, the flat spring members 23 and 25 contributing to its being held firmly at this position. FIGURE 1 shows the film assembly at an exposure position and FIG. 2 at a stage of its advancement immediately preparatory to processing.
The processing apparatus 4 of the present invention, comprising a device for selectively compressing marginal areas of thefilm assembly and a cooperating device, im mediately adjacent thereto for compressing substantially the entire film assembly, is principally mounted on a pivotal portion or door 1280f the camera back through the instrumentality of an intermediate mounting plate 369. The door 28, when swung open at hinge 32, permits a film pack to be loaded or removed and provides access to the entire processing apparatus, as may be desired. A latch member 34 which is adapted to engage a releasable mating latch member, not shown, and mounted within frontal portions of the camera back, holds the door 2 5 at closed position. When the door 23 is closed, an exit aperture 36, namely, a first exit aperture, is provided for accepting the tab 38 of the film assembly and a second exit aperture til is provided for accepting the leader 42 of the film assembly. The tab and leader are used to advance a film assembly in two separate stages, namely, the first or positioning stage and the second or processing stage, previously mentioned, and to be described more fully.
Although the film pack and individual film assemblies thereof constitute no part of the invention they will be described in some detail to make clear the function of the apparatus. As shown in FIGURE 1, a pressure plate 44, biased forwardly by spring means 45 extending from the rear wall of the container 22 and bearing upon rearwardly-extending side portions of the pressure plate, not shown, provides that the photosensitive sheet 476 of a film assembly 24- which is foremost in the container is positioned forwardly of the pressure plate 44 with its emulsion side forward and adjacent to the exposure aperture 2s formed in the front wall of the container 22. Accordingly, the photosensitive sheet 46 is located adjacent to the exposure aperture 43 of the camera aligned with aperture 26, its emulsion thus being located at the focal plane of the camera and at a correct position for photographic exposure. It will be understood that the terms front, foremost, forward, etc., are here intended to define proximity to, or direction toward, the front of the camera, the terms rear, etc., having an opposite meaning.
Other elements of the film assembly include an imagereceiving sheet 54? positioned rearwardly of the pressure plate 49 and connected by a flexible strip 51 and a leader 42 to the photosensitive sheet 46, a mask 52 bondedto marginal surface areas of the sheet Stl and having a rectangular aperture, which defines the area throughout which the processing liquid is spread and the ultimate picture area, a pair of spacer strips 54 extending longitudinally of and bonded to marginal portions of the mask so as to cooperate therewith in providing a given spacing between the image-receiving sheet and the photosensitive emulsion after they have been brought to superimposed facing position and thereby substantially determining the thickness of the spread processing liquid, a pair of elongated spacer blocks 56 bonded to end portions of spacer stripssd for relieving compression of the film assembly at the end of the compressive cycle to prevent further spreading and any undesirable escape of the processing liquid, and a container 53 ofthe type disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,543,181, releasably holding the processing liquid, its release being'elfected by a given separation or. rupture of a linear area of the container under an applied compression. The trailingend of the photosensitive sheet includes an area an extending beyond that of the emulsion which eventually is to be superimposed with an area 61 of the mask lying transversely between the spacer elements 56. Any excess of the processing liquid is held or trapped in the space lying between these areas because the spacer elements as bear substantially all of the compressive force.-
As supplied, the film pack includes a safety cover (not shown) completely covering the container exposure aperture 2d and composed of an opaque papenor the like,
having a leader which initially protrudes through the aperture 36. After mounting the film pack in the camera, the safety cover is removed by pulling upon its leader. Tab 38 of the first film assembly is releasably attached to the cover sheet leader and is pulled with, and finally separated from, the latter so as to extend through aperture 36. during removal of the cover sheet. Assumingthe film pack to hold a full complement of film assemblies when it is loaded in the camera, the essentially open end 27 of the container 22 would be filled by a plurality of folded-over tabs extending therethrough.
in F168. 3 through 10 the pressure-roll mounting elements and the cooperating film assembly margin-engaging elements are shown in detail. A support frame 62 or carriage, preferably formed of a rigid material such as steel or the like, and comprising the transverse plate-like section 54 and a pair of forwardly-extending, relatively narrow, flange-like support members 66 at the sides thereof, serves as a basic support means for mounting the aforesaid margin-engaging elements 8, retractable mounting means therefor, and the rear pressure roll 7. Adjacent to each side of the support frame 62 is a cut-out area 67 serving a function to be described below and com prising portions of both the section 64 and the side pressure roll support members as thereof. The side support members 66 of the support frame 62 are pivotally attached, at bearing means 68, to a pair of depending flange members 7 d of the mounting plate 3% by a pair of studs or pivots '72 rigidly fastened to the members 74), and are positioned, laterally, outside of the flange members 70. The aforesaid mounting method permits the entire support frame 62 and the elements mounted thereon, including also the pressure roll 6, through interconnection of its mounting means with that for roll 7, to be pivoted forwardly, as a unit, with respect to the mounting plate 30. This allows ready access to the pressure rolls, for any desired purpose. The support frame 62 is releasably held at closed position by a slotted spring clip 74, attached to the mounting plate 3%, and engaging a pin 76 projecting outwardly from a side of the pressure roll support 66. A pair of fiat springs 78 extending outwardly from the front surface of plate 3d and against which the frame 62 bears at closed position, serves to take up any undesirable a section 64 to form an integral structure.
play which might exist between the support frame 62 and the plate 30. c
The rear pressure roll 7 is rotatably mounted in bearing means 80 of the support frame side members 66. The members 66 may, alternatively, be considered as constituting a pair of support arms interconnected by the The front pressure roll 6 is rotatably mounted in bearing means 82 positioned in angularly-disposcd end portions 34a of a pair of support arms 84. The latter are preferably formed of steel or the like and are also pivotally mounted by bearing means 86 on the fixed pivots 72. The support arms 84 are capable of rotation at pivots '72 independently of the side members 66. Accordingly,the pressure roll 6 is capable of translational movement toward and away from the pressure roll 7. It will be noted, that portions of the support arms 84 which are located adjacent to the pivots 72 are positioned, laterally, between the flanges 70 and the side members 66 and that they are so angularly bent adjacent to their extremities at 84a and $45 as to include end portions or sections which extend in one plane and a central portion or section in another plane. This provides that the major central portion is in a plane relatively more widely spaced from the side member 66 than are the end portions 84:: and 8412. A pair of long, partlyenclosed chambers 87 is thus formed between the arms 84 and the side members 66, for a purpose to be de scribed. The aforesaid structure thus enables relatively widely-spaced pressure-roll mounting means at each end of the front roll 6 and also-avoids any inwardly-encroaching mounting structure. It follows that a maximum length of the roll 6, consistent with the overall limits prescribed by the camera dimensions, is thereby permitted. Pressure rolls 6 and 7 are, appropriately, formed of stainless steel and comprise stub shafts for mounting purposes. It is to be noted that the front roll 6 has a flange Get at both of its extremities which bears against an adjacent peripheral portion of the roll '7 to provide the spacing or-slot 15 between the rolls.
Each side member 66 is provided, adjacent to an end thereof mounting pressure roll 7, with an elongated slot 88 and an inwardly-extending flange 96). The angularly disposed portions 84a of the support arms 84 provide that the front pressure roll 6 is properly located and aligned with respect to the rear pressure roll '7. The support arms 84 also include a pair of outwardly extending short flanges or ears 92. A U-shaped spring 96 formed, for example, of square, oil-tempered steel wire stock, of a type having desirable low rate and stress characteristics, is positioned within each chamber 87, its closed or U-end 96a being located adjacent to the pivot '72, and its open extremities extending in a plane generally parallel with the side members 66 and the supporting arms 84. The open extremities, normally slightly flared, are compressed when the spring is functionally mounted so that bias is applied divergingly, namely, so that the forward side 96b of one extremity bears upon the rear edge of the flange 90 which extends from the side member 66 and the rear side 96c of the other extremity bears upon the front surface of the projecting car 92. Portions of the rear extremity of each spring extending toward and including the U-end, are accommodated by the cutout areas 67, which areas contribute to maintain the springs properly mounted. Similar portions of the front extremity of each spring are free to extend forwardly slightly beyond the confines of chambers 87. As will be apparent, the extremities of the springs 96, when compressed to assume their functional positions, are biased outwardly. The flanges 90 against which the front extremity of each spring bears constitute a fixed bearing means for these extremities. The flanges 92., against which the rear extremity of each spring bears, are movable in a direction opposite to that of the applied bias of the rear spring extremities. The pivotal support arms 84, from which the flanges 92 project and on which latter elements one rear extremity of each spring bears, are thereby so biased as to urge the pressure roll 6, carried by the arms 84, toward the rear, relatively fixedly mounted pressure roll '7 to the limit permitted by the peripheral flanges 6a of the front roll. The slots 88 are adapted to accommodate the flanges 92 should any adjustment of tolerances require their use for the purpose.
In addition to permitting a maximum length of the pressure rolls and providing a maximum width of the area for passage of a film assembly between the pressure rolls by eliminating mounting means of a type which would occupy any part of the area, the suspension mechanism for the rolls possesses certain other advantages as follows. Thefrictional force is reduced to a practical Zero at pivots because essentially none of the load of the springs 9-6 is applied thereto. Instead, it is applied at the other ends of arms 84 so as to be transmitted, most efflciently, substantially directly to the front roll 6. Furthermore, the length and stock width dimensions of the U springs are chosen to facilitate a desirable relatively low spring stress and rate. Contributing also to the reduction of friction at pivots '72 is the very minute amount of rotation of arms 84 which occurs atthe pivots. This is due to the relatively great length of the arms which exists between the bearing points at 82 and 86' what complex assembly which will now be described in detail. A pair of elongated, preferably metallic, platelike members 98, the inner, facing marginal portions 98a of which constitute a pair of tracks, is mounted, as by rivets 99, on the transverse section 64 of the support frame 62 at either side of a central, longitudinally-extending, depressed or grooved area 64a thereof. A configurated block element 1%, composed of a plastic material such as the plastic having the trade-name Delrin, manufactured by E. I. du Pont de Nemours 8: Co. of Wilming ton, Delaware, U.S.A., includes a forwardly-located generally planar platform 102 having a pair of side walls We, a pair of horizontally-extending flanges 106, a horizontally-extending groove 197, and a rectangular aperture 1% formed therein, a planar platform 11d extending forwardly slightly farther than said platform N2, a block member 112 projecting forwardly from the center of the groove 104 and having a horizontally disposed perforation 114 passing therethrough, and a pair of rearwardlylocated flanges 116. A large, central, curved groove 118 extends intermediate of and parallel with the long dimension of said flanges 118 along the rear surface of the block. A flat spring member 129, e.g., of phosphor bronze, is attached to the rear surface of platform so that an extremity thereof extends through and forwardly of the aperture M98. The side walls 104, taken with the surfaces of the flanges M96 and 116 which face rearwardly and forwardly, respectively, form a pair of channels within which the inner track portions 98a of the plates 98 are slidably engaged.
Further referring to the film-assembly margin-compressing mechanism 8, there is included the multi-faced, bar member 122 having forwardly-extending small platforms 124 with tapered sides 126 at its extremities, the bar also being formed of a plastic material such as that having the trade name Delrin, manufactured by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. of Wilmington, Delaware, USA. The taper 126 is preferably at approximately 45 to the plane of arms 130. This angle, when taken with the resistance properties of the material of which bar 122 is composed, is of importance because it is effective in enabling the tapered portions 126 to prevent the image-receiving sheet from entering the pressure rolls prematurely, that is, ahead of its superimposed relation with the exposed negative. The angle selected is a function of the coefficient offriction between the material of which the bar is formed and the surface of the imagereceiving sheet. The taper also contributes to guide the film assembly between the margin-compressing means and to reduce friction with respect to the film assembly during its passage therethrough. The mechanism 8 further comprises an integral mounting means for the bar member including a pair of tapered ears 128 and a pair of parallel appendages or arms 13%, disposed substantially at 90 to the bar member and having a cross-piece 1 32 therebetween with .a smooth rear bearing surface. An elongated, modified-flat, bowed, spring-like element 134 composed, for example, of stainless steel, and which will be termed the spring element, for brevity, is attached to the bar member 122 by a small pin 136 extending from the rear surface of the bar and inserted in a perforation 138 formed centrally in the spring element. A pair of small projections 139 hold the spring against any possibility of rotation about the pin 136. Portions of the spring element approaching its extremities are twice bent so as to be angled substantially at 90 around the ends of the bar at locations 134a, slightly beyond the actual ends of the latter, thus placing the extremities 13452 of the spring element adjacent to the front surface of the bar. The spring element extremities are contoured, and tapered to provide each with a transversely-extending, narrow, band-like bearing surface 1340 in contact with the bearing surfaces of the platforms 124, as provided by the bias applied by the bowed condition of the spring element. It is between these bearing surfaces 124 and 1340 that the margins of the film assemblies .are advanced and compressed for holding the released processing liquid therewithin. The extremities of the spring are also flared outwardly at edges thereof between which the film assembly enters and is advanced, the flared contours facilitating its entrance and reducing friction during its advancement.
The bar member 122, with spring element 134 assembled thereon as above described, isso basically mounted on the block element 1% as to be capable of a considerable degree of both horizontal movement and rotational movement about two principal axes. It is also capable of lesser rotational and linear movements in a plurality of other directions. These movements are achieved through the medium of a round shaft 140 which is mounted, adjacent to its ends, in a pair of elliptical perforations 142 formed in the extremities of the arms 130, and, at its center, somewhat loosely in the perforation 114 which passes horizontally through the block member 112. A pair of compression springs 144, mounted on shaft 14-1), between opposite sides of the block 122 and the arms 13h, exerts a slight tension, just sufficient to normally maintain the bar and spring assembly, 122-134, substantially centered, horizontally, but to permit their joint horizontal movement to the extent permitted by the spacing between the spring surfaces at 13412 and the adjacent sides of the support arms 84. The rear surface of the cross-piece 132 is in slidable con tact with the forwardly-projecting surface of the flat spring 129, the assembly thereby being pivoted forwardly to a slight degree. The elliptical shape of the perforations 142, taken with the round contour of the shaft 140 and its ability to slide as well as rotate therein, permits an additional forward and rearward movement of the bar member 122. The loose fit of the shaft 141] in the perforation 114 permits, in addition to slidable horizontal movement of the bar, slight movement in a rotational manner, substantially in the plane of the arms 130 and thus essentially in the plane of a film assembly. The combination of all of the foregoing mounting means will be understood as providing a substantially complete freedom of movement in many directions which is limited only by dimensional considerations. A cover plate 146 19 is attached to the block 1% by three small screws 148 inserted through the perforations 15d of the plate and threaded in the perforations 152 of the block 1110.
The movable assembly comprising the block 100, slidably mounted in the tracks 98a, and carrying the bar member 122, spring element 134- and cover plate 146 is normally positioned so that the bar 122 and spring 134, that is, the elements which provide the actual applications of compression to the margins of the film assembly, are located closely adjacent to the slot 15 existing between the pressure rolls, as shown, for example, in FIGS. 4 and 8, with the band-like pressure areas between the elements in line with, that is, substantially coplanar with the slot. This is the condition when the support frame 62 is at the closed position shown in FIGS. 4 and 8 and is achieved as follows. An extension spring 154 is attached, at one end, to a small lug 156 extending forwardly from the plate section 64a and, at the other end to a notch 158 formed centrally in an edge of the platform 1112 of block 1th). The assembly has been drawn to the position shown by the extension spring 154. However, the assembly is retractable relative to the pressure rolls. When the support frame 62 carrying the various elements mounted thereon is pivoted outwardly, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the aforesaid assembly of block 1%, bar 122, spring 134 and cover plate 146 is automatically withdrawn from its proximity to the pressure rolls and an unencumbered space 159 is provided so that ready access to the rolls is possible for cleaning or other purposes. The structure performing this movement comprises a link 169 which is rotatably attached, at one end, to a bracket 162 extending from an edge of the cover plate and, at the other end, to a loop 164- provided at a transversely central location of the mounting plate 30 but somewhat closer, longitudinally, to the pressure rolls than are the pivot points 72. This differential positioning of pivot points at '72 and at the loop 164 causes the aforesaid movement of the assembly comprising the margin-cornpressing members in a direction away from the pressure rolls, against the bias of the extension spring 144 when the support frame 62 is opened. As previously stated, the spring 154 provides its return when the support frame is closed.
Consideration of the apparatus of the invention, with special emphasis on its function relative to a film assembly of the character described, as particularly illustrated in, FIGS. 1, 2 and 11, will now be given. A film assembly 24 is positioned in the film pack container 22, and the latter is mounted in the camera as shown in FIGURE 1, with the tab 38 passing across a recessed area 9a of the guide 9 and a recessed area 113a of the closure or door means 1t) and extending through the aperture 36 of the camera. Let it be assumed that the photosensitive element as has been exposed in the camera. The tab 33 is pulled manually to perform a first stage of advancement, of film assembly components, preliminary to a second or processing stage, which first stage causes the exposed photosensitive element 46 to be brought around the curved extremity 44a of the pressure plate 44 to superimposition with the image-receiving sheet 5%). Continued pulling of the tab 38 against the recessed surface llda 0f the door 11 pivots it to an open position, against the bias of the torsion spring 11, as shown in FIG. 2. The guide 9 insures that movement of the leader 42 is essentially linear so that it is directed toward and enters the margincompressing means 8 and, thence, passeswithin the space 15, provided between the pressure rolls 6 and 7 by the flanges 6a of the front roll, and through the aperture 4-0 to a location outside of the camera. At the approximate conclusion of these operations, the tab 38 becomes separated entirely from the film assembly by reason of the fact, at this juncture, it is drawn in an angular direction markedly away from the plane of the film leader 42, to which it has been releasably bonded. The actual point of separation is principally determined by the location of the rear surface of guide element 9.
The leader 42 is then pulled manually and steadily to perform the second or processing stage. The container 58 of the processing liquid, positioned slightly in advance of the superimposed photosensitive and imagereceiving surfaces, between the leader and an extension of the mask, is drawn between the pressure rolls 6 and 7, is ruptured, and the liquid is dispensed in the direction of the aforesaid superimposed surfaces. The margin-compressing means 8 holds the marginal areas closely together along the narrow compression bands 1340 so as to prevent the escape of any of the liquid between the edges of the superimposed materials. As previously described, any tendency of the image-receiving sheet to move between the pressure rolls in advance of the photosensitive sheet is prevented by the tapered surface 126 of the bar platform rnemberllzd of the margin-compressing element, in cooperation with the spring extremities 1134b thereof. The entire assembly is progressively compressed, any excess of the processing liquid being held within the trailing areas 60 and 61, located exteriorly of the image areas, as provided by the spacer or trapping blocks 56.
As previously stated and as particularly illustrated in FIG. 11 a moderate deviation from the ideal direction of advancement of a film assembly at 90 to the axes of the pressure rolls is possible without any appreciable impairment of the image quality produced. The limits to such non-normal directions of movement are principally determined by the contact of the spring member surfaces 13417 with the sides of the support arms tie it being noted that contact, with the latter is at portion 84a enabling maximum lateral movement of the margin-compressing element and the film assembly passing therethrough. A small additional lateral movement of the film assembly is provided by the fact that the internal spacing between the spring portions 134a is somewhat in excess of the width of the film. This avoids a possible tearing of the leader and interconnecting paper materials of the film assembly through a binding action at their edges. The structure of the pressure roll suspension, enabling a maximum pressure roll length and a maximum transverse dimension for movement of the film assembly, is clearly shown in FIG. 11. The compliance of the margin-compressing assembly 8 in following the film assembly movement at an acute angle, e.g., at an angle which may depart from the normal by as much as 10", is also illustrated. In this regard, it will be noted that the margin-compressing element has assumed a nonparallel relation with the pressure rolls. This has largely been made possible through the loose mounting of the shaft 140 in the perforation 114 of block 112.
Further referring to the margin-compressing mechanism 8, a portion thereof serves an additional function with respect to the proper spreading of the processing liquid. The medial portion of the bar 122 includes a bevelledarea 123, a planar area 125 generally parallel with the plane of film assembly travel, and a ridge 127 therebetween. When the viscous processing liquid is released from container 58 by passage of the latter between the pressure rolls 6 and 7, it is caused to flow, to some extent, in a direction opposite to the direction of film assembly advancement. If the layers between which the liquid is released are not held against separation the liquid tends to concentrate in the center thereof and form a longitudinal band which may fail to properly cover the entire image area. Assuming the entire film assembly to be under tension during its withdrawal, the ridge 127, bearing against the more-flexible receiving-sheet side of the film'assembly, holds the layers against an undesirable separation and, in a sense, constitutes a bar-- rier, forcing the liquid toward the transverse edges of the assembly, thereby contributing to complete coverage of the image area.
The novel margin-compressing and pressure-roll mounting structures of the present invention cooperate with one another in the broad function of achieving an even spreading of the processing liquid between the layers of a film assembly of a given structure, with respect to which such an even spreading of a processing liquid has been found to be especially difficult. The solution of this problem has been achieved through the provision of apparatus which reduces or eliminates frictional forces at various critical locations thereof. Related to the elimination of friction, the apparatus permits a greater latitude as to permissible deviations in the direction of advancement of film materials than has heretofore been possible, thus safeguarding more effectively against the possibility of undesirable contact and excessive friction developing between the edges of the film assembly and structure adjacent thereto. It is to be noted also that the apparatus of the invention has been incorporated in a camera of a compact type, even though it includes pressure rolls and mounting means therefor of relatively large dimensions, for satisfying the aforesaid requirements of reducing friction and providing a greater freedom of lateral film movement.
Since certain changes may be made in the above apparatus without departing from the scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. Processing apparatus for use with a film assembly including a photosensitive sheet, a second sheet, and a contained processing liquid adapted to be released under compression and spread between said sheets, said apparatus being mounted on a supporting surface and comprising an elongated margin-compressing element including a pair of compression-applying components located at each extremity thereof adapted to slidably engage and compress the transversely opposite marginal areas of said film assembly during its advancement therebetween, a pair of elongated pressure-applying members so located adjacent to said margin-compressing element that an entrance area thereof for accepting said film assembly lies substantially in a plane in which also lies an entrance area serving a similar purpose of said margin-compressing element, said elongated pressure-applying members having a length of their working surfaces which appreciably exceeds the lateral spacing between said pair of compression-applying components and which to a greater extent exceeds the width of said film assembly, pivotal mounting means for said elongated pressure-applying members enabling the translational movement of one of said members with respect to the other in a direction generally normal to the plane of a film assembly undergoing advancement therebetween, said mounting means being so located, laterally, at the extremities of said elongated pressure-applying members as to render the entire length of the working surfaces of said members available for compression purposes, spring means biasing said pressure-applying mem her which is translationally movable in a direction toward the other of said members, and mounting means for said margin-compressing element permitting the movement of said element in a plurality of directions in compliance with various directions of advancement of said film assembly between said pressure-applying members as well as various lateral positions of said film assembly between the extremities of said members.
2. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 1, wherein said pressure-applying members are in the form of a pair of pressure rolls.
3. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 1, wherein said mounting means for said margin-compressing element permits pivotal and both arcuate and linear translational movement thereof.
4. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 1, wherein the mounting means for said elongated pressure-applying members comprises a pair of elongated flanges depending from a plate-like section of said apparatus for mounting one of said members and a pair of elongated arms for mounting the other of said members, said flanges and arms being mounted in adjacent side-by-side relation for concurrent identical pivotal movement about common pivotal means of said supporting surface so that they can jointly be svmng away from said surface.
6. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 5, wherein said elongated arms are'mounted on said pivotal means so as to be independently pivotable with respect to said flanges, in addition to being jointly pivotable therewith.
7. Processing apparatus adapted to be incorporated with a camera for use with a film assembly including a photosensitive sheet, a second sheet, and a contained processing liquid subject to release under compression and spreading between said sheets, said apparatus being mounted on a supporting surface within said camera and comprising an elongated element for engaging the longitudinal-marginal areas of said film assembly and including a pair of compression-applying components located at each extremity of said element adapted to slidably compress said marginal areas during the advancement of said film assembly through the processing apparatus, mounting means for said elongated element permitting its movement in a plurality of directions, a pair of elongated pressure rolls so located adjacent to said marginal area engaging element that an aperture of said element for entrance of said film assembly therebetween is substantially in line with an aperture formed-between said pressure rolls, said pressure rolls having a length which exceeds the distance between said compression-applying components and which even more markedly exceeds the width of said film assembly when positioned therebetween, mounting means for said pressure rolls comprising two pairs of elongated mounting arms, each arm of which is individually pivotally fastened at one extremity to connecting means of said camera supporting surface adjacent to an edge thereof so that the two pairs extend along marginal areas adjacent to two opposite edges of said surface, said pressure rolls being rotatably mounted adjacent to the other extremities of said mounting arms, and spring means bearing against surface portions of each of said mounting arms for urging the pressure rolls mounted thereon toward one another.
8. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 7, wherein said spring means is a pair of elongated U-shaped springs, the extremities of each of which bear divergingly against a flange element of each of said mounting arms.
9. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 7, wherein one of said mounting arms of each pair includes a major central section extending in a given plane and a pair of end sections extending in a different plane.
10. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 9, wherein said end sections are in a plane closer to the ends of said pressure rolls than is said central section.
11. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 10, wherein a semi-enclosed chamber is formed between said central section of said mounting arm and a coextensive length of the other mounting arm of said pair.
12. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 11, wherein each of said spring means is a U-shaped spring and is mountedin said chamber, its extremities bearing divergingly against a portion of each arm of said pairs of mounting arms.
l3. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 7, wherein limit stop means in the form of narrow flanges formed around the periphery of one of said pressure rolls, adjacent to the two extremities thereof, determines the maximum proximity of one roll to the other under the bias of said spring means and provides a narrow slot therebetween extending longitundinally between said flanges.
14. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 8, wherein said flange elements, against which the extremities of said U-shaped springs bear, are located adjacent to the extremities of said mounting arms at which said pressure rolls are mounted, thereby providing that the load of said spring means is applied substantially directly to said pressure rolls.
15. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 8, wherein said spring means constitutes an interconnecting medium between a mounting arm of each pair and wherein said pairs, in turn, are interconnected by a transverse platelike member, permitting the mounting arms and pressure rolls mounted thereon to be pivoted, as a unit, outwardly from said supporting surface.
16. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 15, wherein each pair of mounting arms is mounted on a single pivotal means but wherein the arms of each pair are so mounted on said pivotal means as to be independently pivotable with respect to one another.
17. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 7, wherein said compression-applying components of said marginal area engaging element are in the form of two pairs of components, each disposed along a line substantially normal to the plane of said film assembly during its advancement.
18. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 17, wherein said compression-applying components comprise narrow, band-like compressive surface areas.
19. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 17, wherein said marginal area engaging element includes mounting means therefor adapted tomovement in a plurality of linear, pivotal arcual and translational movements in compliance with various movements of said film assembly in contact therewith during advancement of said film assembly.
20. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 19, wherein said mounting means includes means for automatically centering said mounting means with respect to the longitudinal dimensions of said pressure rolls.
21. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 17, wherein one of said compression-applying components of each pair is a metallic spring-like member and the other of said compression-applying components of each pair is a small forwardly-extending platform, integral with said elongated element.
22. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 21, wherein said spring-like member includes a plurality of multiangled portions adjacent to its extremities, said portions including a narrow, band-like area for applying said compression and flared edges for admitting said film assembly and contacting said assembly during its advancement so as to substantially eliminate friction therebetween.
23. Processing apparatus, as defined in claim 21, wherein each said forwardly-extending platform is formed of a plastic material and includes a tapered side adapted to contact a leading edge of a component of said film assembly and to retard the movement of said component.
24. For use in a camera of a type wherein a fihn assembly undergoing advancement is adapted to be progres sively compressed to release between its layers a processing liquid, apparatus for compressing said film assembly to provide an even spreading of said liquid and its confinement within said assembly comprising a device for selectively compressing marginal areas of said film assembly comprising an elongated element having a small platform at each of its extremities a cooperating spring element attached to the rear of said elongated element and formed around said extremities so as to contact a forward surface of each of said platforms, compressively, and mounting means attached, respectively, to said elements and to a relatively fixed supporting surface, said mounting means being adapted to permit the movement of said elongated and spring elements in a plurality of linear, rotational and translational movements, and a device for progressively compressing at least an entire area of said film assembly which is coextensive with an image area thereof, immediately following the compression of said marginal areas, comprising a pair of pressure rolls and mounting means therefor in the form of two pairs of elongated mounting arms so attached to said supporting surface as to permit pivotal movement of both said pressure rolls away from said surface, as a unit, one of said arms of each pair likewise being independently pivotable with respect to the other arm and biased toward said other arm by one of a pair of elongated U-shaped springs, the extremities of which bear functionally on both arms of each pair, said mounting arms being located at the sides of said supporting surface beyond the working surfaces of said rolls and, transversely, beyond the area of said film assembly, said device for compressing marginal areas being adapted to move freely in compliance with various movements of said film assembly.
25. For use in a camera of a type wherein a film as sembly undergoing advancement is adapted to be progressively compressed to release between its layers a processing liquid, a device for selectively compressing marginal areas of said film assembly comprising an elongated plastic element having a small platform at each of its extremities, a cooperating bowed, metallic spring element attached to the rear of said elongated element and formed around said extremities so as to contact a forward surface of each of said platforms, compressively, and mounting means attached, respectively, to said elements and to a relatively fixed supporting surface, said mounting means comprising a plurality of pivotally and slidably mutually engaging elements permitting a plurality of linear rotational and translational movements of said elongated plastic element and said spring element while in compressive engagement.
26. A device, as defined in claim 24, wherein the compressive surfaces of said spring element are in the form of narrow, band-like areas projecting rearwardly toward said platforms;
27. For use in a camera of a type wherein a film assembly undergoing advancement is adapted to be progressively compressed to release between its layers a processing liquid, a device for compressing at least an area of said film assembly which is coextensive with an image area thereof comprising a relatively fixed mounting surface, a pair of pressure rolls, a pair of flange-like bands formed around the periphery of one of said rolls at its extremities providing a narrow spacing or slot between said rolls when said rolls are at extreme adjacency with respect to one another, and mounting means for said pres sure rolls comprising two pairs of elongated mounting arms rotatably mounting said pressure rolls adjacent to given extremities of said arms, the latter being pivotally attached to said mounting surface at their opposite extremities, the pivotal attaching means of said arms permitting pivotal movement of both said pressure rolls with respect to said mounting surface, as a unit, one of said arms of each pair also being mounted for independent pivotal movement with respect to the other and biased toward the other by one of a pair of spring means bearing on both arms of each pair in a manner to cause their being biased toward one another, said. mounting arms being located adjacent to the sides of said supporting surface beyond the working surfaces of said pressure rolls and outside of the area across which said film assembly is advanced to permit a moderate amount of lateral movement of said film assembly during its advancement.
28. A device, as defined in claim 27, wherein said spring means is a pair of elongated U-shaped springs, and wherein the extremities thereof bear divergingly on both arms of each pair at relatively crossed bearing points so as to bias the arms of each pair in a direction toward one another.
29. A device, as defined in claim 28, wherein the mounting arms of each pair extend in parallel, spaced relation throughout the major part of their lengths, and wherein said U-shaped springs are mounted in semi-enclosed chamber means formed between said mounting arms.
No references cited.