US 3524396 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  inventor William Blinoff, Jr.
1332 Woodland Lane, Deerfield, Illinois 60015 [211 Appl. No. 695,224  Filed Jan. 2,1968  Patented Aug. 18, 1970  TANK FOR DEVELOPING PHOTOGRAPHIC PAPER 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 95/90, 95/9 95/98  Int. Cl G03d 3/10, 603d 13/04  Field of Search 95/90, 96, 98, 89
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 661,819 11/1900 Saloman 95/98 934,331 9/1909 Merrill 95/98 1,001,422 8/1911 McCandless 95/98 1,158,879 11/1915 Wilson 95/98X 2,190,754 2/1940 Carleton 95/90 2,344,710 3/1944 McMurtry 95/90 Primary Examiner- Norton Ansher Assistant Examiner Robert P. Greiner A ttorneys- Pendleton, Neuman. Williams and Anderson in the presence of either natural or artificial light. The photographic paper is supported on members which are held in parallel pockets on the walls of the tank.
Patented Aug. 18, 1970 Fig 5 //VVEN7'0R WILL/AM BL/NOFF JR. 8) PENDLETON, NEUMA/V SE/BOLD 8 WILLIAMS v A TTORIVEYS TANK FOR DEVELOPING PIIOTOGRAPHIC PAPER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore in making of photographic prints, e.g. up to and incIuding S by 7 inches in size, it has been customary to utilize the socalled open tray method which is not only time-consuming, awkward and untidy, but requires that substantially all of the steps be undertaken within the confines ofa dark room. In practicing such a method it was necessary that numerous individual open trays be employed which were normally arranged in side-by-side relation so as to facilitate successive transfer of a sheet of photographic paper from one tray to another. The handling of the wet sheet in such a situation required not only dexterity but care as well so as to prevent damaging or tearing of the transferred sheet. Because of the ingredients of the developing liquids or processing solutions, tongs or the like were usually used and further because of the likelihood of the developing liquid being splashed about during the transferring steps, it was a prudent practice for the person manipulating the tongs to wear old clothes or some protective garment such as an apron and/or work gloves.
In addition with the open tray method, only one sheet of paper was accomodated at a time in a given tray, and the time interval during which a sheet remained in a given trav varied depending upon the character of the liquid accommodated therein. In view of these facts the operator was required to remain attentive throughout the developing cycle. Where numerous prints were to be made, the developing procedure became exhausting to the operator and required his presence for prolonged periods within a dark room.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus for developing or processing a plurality of photographic prints which readily avoids the aforenoted shortcomings ofthe open tray method.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus whereby a large number of sheets of photographic paper may be simultaneously and expeditiously developed.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus which is economical to practice and use because the paper loading density of the apparatus is high and thus only a small quantity of the developing liquid need be used at any given time to perform the prescribed step.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a method which may be practiced for the most part outside of a dark room environment, utilizes a simple compact and inexpensive apparatus, requires only a single timing device and does not require the talents of a highly skilled or knowledgeable person or one possessed ofhigh dexterity.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings and appended claims.
1 In accordance with one embodiment of this invention an apparatus is provided which comprises a tank capable of containing a predetermined quantity of developing liquid. Removably disposed within the tank are a plurality of thin assembled units positioned in upright edge-bearing spaced substantially parallel relation. Each assembled unit includes a thin substantially inflexible supporting member which is sandwiched between two sheets of photographic paper and with the sensitized surface of each sheet facing outwardly. The tank comprises a pair of upright end walls arranged in spaced relation; at least one of the end walls being adjustable towards or away from the other. Each end wall includes a plurality of upright parallel elongated pockets arranged in contiguous side-by-side relation. The open sides of the corresponding pockets ofthe end walls are arranged in opposed aligned relation whereby the side edges of one ofthe assembled units can be slidably accommodated therein. The bottom wall of the tank intermediate the end walls is provided with a plurality of parallel elongated pockets which are arranged in contiguous side-by-side relation. Each pocket of the bottom wall is aligned with corresponding end wall pockets and is adapted to accommodate and support the bottom edge of an assembled unit accommodated by said end wall pockets. Removably accommodating the upper edges of the assembled units, when disposed within the tank, is a means which is provided with a plurality of contiguous parallel elongated pockets. The latter pockets are aligned with corresponding pockets in the end and bottom walls. The open top ofthe tank is closed by a removable cover which is provided with means for receiving into and discharging from the tank the developing liquid.
For a more complete understanding of the invention reference should be made to the drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective top view of the closed tank with a portion ofthe side and end walls cut away to expose the interior of the tank.
FIGS. 2 and 3 are sectional views taken along lines 2-2 and 3-3 respectively ofFIG. l;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective edge view ofa corner of an assembled unit; and
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a loaded tank with the cover removed.
DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawing, a photographic paper developing apparatus 10 is provided which comprises a tank 11 having opaque side, end and bottom walls. The open top side ofthe tank is provided with a removable opaque cover 12.
The periphery of the cover snugly inter-fits with the upper' edges of the side and end walls of the tank, which delimit the open top of the tank, so as to form a barrier against light rays entering the interior ofthe tank.
In the illustrated embodiment, the tank II is of rectangular configuration. Each of the end walls 13 has formed on the interior surface thereof a plurality of elongated upright contiguous parallel pockets 14. Each pocket I4 extends substantially the full height of the end wall. As noted in FIG. 5, each pocket has tapered sides. Corresponding opposed pockets in the end walls are aligned with one another.
Disposed intermediate the end walls I3 is a movable partition or end wall 15. One surface of partition 15 is provided with a plurality of pockets 16 which are similar in size, shape and number to those formed in one of the fixed end walls IS (in FIG. 5, the end wall in question is the left-hand one). Formed on the narrow vertical side edges of partition I5 are lugs 17 which are adapted to slidably engage selective grooves 18 formed on the interior surfaces of the tank side walls 20, see FIG. 3. Once the lugs I7 are slidably disposed within selected grooves 18, the partition 15 is positioned in a spaced parallel relation with respect to the end walls 13. Which pair of grooves 18 are to be selected will depend upon the size of the photographic sheets A and B to be developed. Partition I5 conforms substantially in size and shape to that of the end walls 13.
The bottom wall 2I of the tank I] has the interior surface thereof provided with a plurality of elongated .contiguous parallel pockets 22, see FIG. 2. It is not necessary that pockets 22 span the entire distance between the end walls 13 or the left-hand end wall and partition 15; however, each pocket 22 should be aligned with the corresponding upright pockets l4 and 16 formed respectively in an end wall and the partition.
The aligned pockets l4, l6 and 22 are adapted to accomodate an assembled unit 23. see FIG. 4. The configuration of the unit will vary according to the shape of the print being developed. Each unit 23 comprises a thin (e.g. .020 of an inch) relatively inflexible member 24 having smooth flat opposed surfaces and vertical side edges 24a which are adapted to be slidably accomodated in corresponding aligned pockets [3 or 13 and 16. The bottom edge 24b of the member 24-rests in a pocket 22. Member 24 is sandwiched between sheets A and B with the sensitized or emulsion surfaces of the sheets facing outwardly. Because of the inherent characteristic of photographic printing paper to expand slightly when wetted with the developing liquids, it is necessary that member 24 be slightly larger in size than each sheet of paper A and B. When wet, the sheets A and B become limp and are not self-supporting. However, the lack of stiffness of the wet sheets is compensated by the intermediate member 24, the stiffness of which is not adversely effected by the developing liquids. The wet sheets A and B, due to static forces, are caused to cling to the adjacent surfaces of member 24 and therefore no, or only a minimal, amount of distortion or warpage of the wet sheets occurs. Thus, because of this fact, the assembled units, when disposed within the tank 11, may be arranged in close proximity to one another and thereby give the tank a high load density characteristic, which is most desirable.
The sheets A and B and member 24, as well, are each of thin gauge so that when they are assembled to form unit 23, the total thickness of the latter is still small. Thus, the pockets l4, l6 and 22 may be narrow. The tapered sides of each pocket cause the accommodated edge of the unit 23 to be readily centered in the pocket. Because of the size differential between the sheets A and B and the intermediate member 24, the expansion of the sheets, when wetted, will not be obstructed by the tapered sides of the pockets.
in order to retain the top edges 24c of the members 24 in proper spaced relation, one or more elements 25 may be utilized. Each element 25 has the undersurface thereof provided with a plurality of elongated contiguous parallel pockets 26 which, except for their length, are similar in configuration to pockets [4, l6 and 22. Each element 25 spans the distance between side walls 20, see FIG. 5. Where the elements 25 are of greater size (width) than as shown, only one element may be utilized. In such a case the element will be located at approximately the mid-length of the top edge 24c of each member 24.
Cover 12, in the illustrated embodiment, is provided with a depending peripheral flange 27 which slidably engages and snugly encompasses the upper edges of the tank end and side walls. By reason of the engagement of the cover flange with the tank walls, a barrier to light rays is established.
At one end of the cover top surface 28 there is a raised portion 30 which is provided with a spout 31. The spout permits the developing liquid to be poured into the tank interior and to be discharged therefrom when desired. An outwardly and upwardly flaring lip or funnel 32 encompasses a collar 33 which defines the spout opening. Spaced beneath the collar 33 is a transversely disposed baffle 34. Opposed peripheral portions 34a of the baffle are affixed to the cover top panel; however, the balance 34b of the baffle periphery is spaced from the cover flange 27 and provides suitable openings 35 through which the developing liquid may readily pass. Because of the relative disposition of openings 35 with respect to the opening defined by collar 33, no harmful light rays will pass into the interior of the tank wherein the assembled units 23 are disposed, even though the exterior of the loaded device is exposed to natural or artificial light. Other forms of spouts and baffle arrangements may be utilized without departing from the scope ofthis invention. Likewise, other means for securing the cover to the tank than that shown heretofore and described may be utilized.
When a developing liquid is poured into the tank, it will be diffused by baffle 34 so as to pass through openings 35 and down along the side walls 20 of the tank and thereby not cause the sheets A and B to become disengaged from the members 24. Enough developing liquid should be utilized so that each of the assembled units 23 are completely submerged therein. Because of the high-load density of the tank as previously mentioned, the amount of developing or processing liquid utilized is comparatively small and thus a savings in cost is realized.
lfdesired, the exposed underside ofthe bottom wall 21 may be provided with an elongated transversely extending groove 36 which is adapted to slidably receive a semi-cylindrical rod 37, while the flat side of the rod is resting on a table surface or counter top, not shown. Once the groove 36 of the loaded tank is in contact with the rounded surface of the rod 37, an oscillating or rocking motion may be manually imparted to the tank. Due to the tank motion there is produced agitation of the developing liquid across the sensitized surfaces of the sheets A and B. Notwithstanding the agitation of the liquid, there is no disengagement of the sheets from the sandwiched members 24 because a very thin layer ofthe liquid is formed at the sensitized surfaces of the sheets which has no relative motion. if desired, the rod 37 may be omitted and agitation of the liquid effected by picking up the tank and gently shaking same.
in utilizing the apparatus, it is only necessary that the units 23 be assembled and loaded into the tank in a dark room or the like. This operation is a simple and expedient one which does not require unusual dexterity. Furthermore, after the tank has been loaded with the assembled units 23 and the cover properly placed over the tank, the closed tank may be removed from the dark room to a lighted convenient location where the developing liquids are available and a timer is readily observable. With the improved apparatus only a single timer is required.
Thus, it will be seen that a simple, inexpensive and compact apparatus has been provided which supersedes the conventional open tray method of developing photographic prints or the like. In addition, the apparatus readily permits the simultaneous processing ofa plurality of prints.
While several embodiments of this invention have been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not limited thereto since modifications may be made by those skilled in the art, particularly in light of the aforedescribed teachings. Therefore, it is contemplated by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An apparatus for use in developing simultaneously a plurality of photographic prints, said apparatus comprising a liquid tank of opaque material and a plurality of removable print-supporting members arranged in upright spaced parallel relation within said tank, each member including a thin substantially inflexible element having flat, unobstructed opposing surfaces substantially overlaid by a pair of sheets of photographic print paper with the sensitized surfaces of said paper being exposed, said paper sheets when wetted by developing liquid clinging to said opposing surfaces, the height of each print-supporting member being no greater than the depth of said tank; said tank including a pair of upright end walls arranged in spaced relation, each end wall being provided with a plurality of upright parallel elongated pockets arranged in close contiguous side-by-side relation, the open sides of corresponding pockets on said end walls being in opposed aligned relation and slidably accommodating theppposed side edges of said supporting members, a bottom wall connecting said end walls and being provided with a plurality of parallel elongated pockets and engaging the bottom edge of said accommodated print-supporting member; removable means provided with a plurality of parallel elongated pockets arranged in contiguous side-by-side relation and engaging the top edges of the accommodated print-supporting members; and a removable cover of opaque material provided with means for receiving and discharging a developing liquid while said cover is in a closed position with respect tosaid tank; the spacing between supporting members accommodated in adjoining pockets being such that the adjacent sheets of photographic print paper of said members remain in spaced, separated relation when wetted by said developing liquid,
2. The apparatus of Claim 1 including an intermediate wall provided with upright parallel elongated pockets, said intermediate wall being adjustably disposed between said end walls to selected positions whereby said intermediate wall is in spaced parallel relation with respect to said end walls; corresponding pockets in said end and intermediate walls definment and do not reach the accommodated print-supporting members when said cover and tank are in assembled relation.
4. The apparatus of Claim 1. wherein the dimension oi'each print-supporting member with respect to the sandwiching sheets of paper is suchthat the perimeter of each sheet is delimited by the periphery of the sandwiched supporting member when said sheets are \vetted by the developing liquid.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CQRRECTION Patent No. 3,524,396 Dated August 18, 1970 Inventor(s) WILLIAM J. BLINOFF, JR.
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 5, after "in" insert -the- Column 1, line 25, "acconiodated" should be --a.ccommodated-- Column 2, lines 65-66, "accomodateshould be --a.ccommoda.te
Column 2, line 71, "accomodated" should be --a.ccommodated- Claim 1, line 57, after "pockets" insert "arranged in contiguous side-by-side relation, each bottom wall pocket being aligned with corresponding end wall pockets-- alt raid Raw an nova 1m (SEAL) Amt:
Edward M. Fletcher, 11'.
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