US 3195438 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 20, 1965 E. c. wooDcocK PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Deo. 20, 1962 ven 1 El Wal-al C'. Macleod July 20, 1965 E. c. wooDcocK 3,195,438
PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 2o. 1962 sheets-sheet 2- In Veni-0f [feWa/-cl C. L/l/aaicac Unted States Patent O 3,195,438 PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING APPARATUS Edward Cecil Woodcock, Hawthorn Road, Willesden Green, London NW. 10, England Filed Dec. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 246,087 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Dec. 29, 1961, 46,777/ 61 9 Claims. (Cl. 9594)' This invention relates to apparatus for processing ilexible photographic material in long lengths, in which an endless exible band circulates through the apparatus, the return run of the band taking a path a part of which is exposed outside the apparatus to give access for attaching the leading end of the material to the band which then carries the material through the processing operations.
It is common to operate such apparatus in a dark room so that no special precautions have to be taken against fogging of the material during loading or operation.
-A purpose of the present invention is to enable such apparatus to be loaded and operated in the light. To this end the material must be held in a light tight enclosure such as a cassette and there must be provision for its light trapped entry into the apparatus. This alone could only provide for operation in the light. To provide for loading in the light a light trapped passage is provided leading from a point within the apparatus to the outside of the apparatus near the exposed part of the path of the band. Thus the material can have its leading end brought out through the passage into a position in which the operator can conveniently attach it to the band while the i band is moving. This alone would not suflice because I though the band will carry the material with it back into the apparatus, if the light trapped passage were a complete tunnel there would necessarily be a constantly exposed loop over the edge of the inner wall of the tunnel at the exit from the tunnel. Accordingly at least the last part of the passage from its exit back, has only an outer wall and side walls, behind which outer wall the band can draw the material back into the apparatus into a position in which the material takes its normal path into the apparatus and this last part of the passage is of such form and length as to provide an adequate light trap when the material is running normally into the apparatus. The walls of the passage will naturally be of dull black finish at least from some way back from the exit.
A very suitable form of passage is formed by an outer wall having two parts substantially perpendicular to one another joined by a gentle curve to guide the material as it is pushed from the entry into the apparatus, while the very last portion of the outer wall of the passage may be curved in towards the exposed part of the path of the band. Such shaping reduces the total length of wall necessary to provide an adequate light trap to a low value.
The invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate enough of a photographic processing apparatus of the kind here in question to show the incorporation of the invention in it.
FIGURE l is a vertical section,
FIGURE 2 is an end view.
The part of the apparatus shown includes a framework marked 11, a tank 12 for processing solution, a guide roller 13, and driving and guide rollers 14, 15 respectively over which runs an endless flexible band 16 to which the material to be processed is attached so that it is carried through the apparatus by the band. There may be further tanks (not shown) and at the remote end (not shown), the material is detached from the band and dealt with further as necessary, for instance dried and glazed.
The return run of the band takes a path which includes a part which is exposed outside the apparatus, in this 3,195,438 Patented July 20, 1965 ICC example a vertical part outside an end wall 17 of the apparatus. This arrangement enables the material easily to be attached while the band is in steady motion, for example by a clip of known construction. So far the apparatus is on well known lines.
The material 18 to be processed is here enclosed light tight in a cassette 19 and is led into the apparatus through a long narrow horizontal tunnel 21 constituting a lighttrapped entry. The apparatus presents a wall 22 continuing the outer wall of the tunnel horizontally. This wall 22 then continues through a gentle curve 22a into a downwardly extending part 22b which is finally curved in towards the wall 17 and terminates at 23 where it is rounded olf a little distance from the vertical external part of the path followed by the endless band 16 where the material 18 is to be attached to it.
In loading the apparatus a sufficient length of material is drawn out of the cassette fed through the tunnel 21 and past the wall 22 to the outside, a suitable length may reach approximately to the level indicated by the arrow 24. The end of the material is then turned in and secured by a clip or the like of well known construction to the band 16 which as it continues to move upward carries the leading end ofthe material back into the apparatus. The material forms a loop, as at 25, which gradually diminishes through a stage asat 26 in which .both limbs of the loop extend through the space between the end 23 of the wall 22 and the path of the' band, but as the band continues, the loop is first drawn in through this space passing through the form indicated at 27 and continues to shorten until finally the material is drawn straight out of the end of the tunnel 22 as at 28 into its normal forward path through the apparatus.
Desirably there is a guide roller 29 in the apparatus located adjacent the mouth of the tunnel 21, over which the material passes sensitised surface towards the roller when the loop has been entirely taken up and is following the path 28, thus avoiding damage to the material as it is drawn out of the. mouth of the tunnel.
To facilitate the loading operations, the tunnel 21 is fixed in the apparatus while the cassette 19 is placed into a holder 31 which has a flange 32 to locate the cassette and a soft inset 33 to form a light tight front with the bottom of the cassette. A pair of rollers 34, 35 are provided in fixed position in the apparatus, between which the material passes into the tunnel 21. The roller 34 is provided with a surface of rubber or the like, and with hand knob 36. Suflicient material is drawn out of the cassette 19 to enable its end to be drawn into the nip of the rollers by rotating the knob 36. The cassette is .then placed in position in the holder 31 and rotation of lthe knob 36 is continued to push the material in, when it Awill be guided by Ithe tunnel 21 and wall 22 until it emerges beyond the edge 23 and when a sufficient length has emerged, it can be attached to the band and drawn back into the apparatus as above described. The roller 34 serves as a guide at the entry which allows for the changing diameter of the roll of material in the cassette as the material is drawn out.
The leading portion of the material which is made use of in loading in this way will be fogged but it will be quite a short length in comparison with the length contained in the cassette and in any event when photographic processing is done in this manner a waste portion is always allowed for at the leading end of the material.
The invention is applicable to apparatus in which there is only a single path for the material. It is also applicable where several lengths are passed through side by side, say two are on each side of a Single band. The light trapping above described is adequate not only when the cassette is in place but usually adequate if one length of material is going through while another is being charged. However, if need be it can be improved to prevent light enter- I ing before one cassette is in place from reaching another length of material by means of lateral partitions such as 37(FIG. 2) behind the vertical part of the wall 22 between the paths of the several lengths of material. In FIGURE 2 separate holders 31 for two cassettes 19 are shown so that the adjacent Walls of the holders constitute lateral partitions. If a single holder for more than one cassette is used, lateral partitions may be provided in the holder between the locations of the cassettes.
The elfectiveness of the light trap depends in part upon the length of the tunnel 21 and wall 22. While it can be made effective, and if need be supplemented, even for highly sensitive material, the invention is more especially applicable to apparatus for processing photographic paper which is of lower sensitivity.
What I claim is:
1. Apparatus for processing a band of photographic material in long lengths, comprising an endless flexible conveying belt which circulates through the apparatus, a return run of the belt running exteriorly of the apparatus to provide access for attaching the leading end of the band to the belt, a irst light trap arranged at the entry of the belt into the apparatus, a removable light tight cassette containing the band tobe processed, a second light trap arranged for feeding the band leaving the cassette into the apparatus, and a channel between said traps, said channel being passed at least partially by the belt and being adapted to guide the leading end of the band fed through said second trap upon initial loading from said second trap to said first trap for feeding it through said rst trap and for fastening it to the belt at its exterior run.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the channel comprises an outer wall, which has two parts substantially perpendicular to one another joined by a gentle curve to guide the material as it is pushed from the entry into Ithe apparatus.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the channel comprises an outer wall, which has two parts substantially perpendicular to one another joined by a gentle curve to guide the material as itis pushed from the entry into the apparatus, the last poriton of the outer wall of the passage being curved in towards the exterior part of the run of the belt.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the second light trap comprises a tunnel.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the second light ltrap comprises a tunnel, and the outer wall of the tunnel being in line with the outer wall of the channel.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the second light trap comprises a tunnel, and in which a guide roller is provided at the inner end of the tunnel over which the band is guided when it is running normally into .the apparatus.
7. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which the second light trap comprises a tunnel, and inl which two guide rollers are provided at the entry to the tunnel between which the-band passes into the tunnel, one of the rollers being provided with means for rotating it.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which a holder is provided by which a cassette containing a supply of band of photographicl material can be supported in correct position for-the entry of the band into the apparatus.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which lateral partitions are provided for the processing of a plurality of bands side by side and between the paths of the several bands of material both at-the first and the second trap.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,658,094 -2/28 Paschen etal.
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,080,455 6/54 France.
OTHER REFERENCES German application, Dec. 1, 1960, No, 1,094,102. NORTON- ANSHER, Primm Examiner. EMIL G. ANDERSON, Examiner.