Black and white silver gelatin photograph taken inside the Finishing Room, Building 2, Emulsion Making, Kodak factory, Coburg, May 1959.

The Finishing Room was on the first floor of Building 2 and features a steel reinforced concrete floor, columns and ceiling. There are solid plaster finished brick internal walls covered to door height, with high gloss tiles. The floor is finished with glazed ceramic tiles and drainage holes. There are air conditioning ducts, flush safelight fittings, prominent whitelight fittings, and surface switches located on the wall with the entrance doorway. Two (of three) water-jacketed stainless steel emulsion kettles can be seen mounted on the floor, along with stainless steel frames in the back wall ready for the installation of the kettles' respective control panels. Since this room operated normally under ultra-clean and safelight conditions, provision was made for a services corridor behind this wall to enable trade and technical staff to attend to control equipment under white light conditions without interrupting the darkroom operations.

Batches of emulsion were first made in Making Kettles where chemicals, silver nitrate, gelatin and halide salts were added into distilled water under a strictly controlled regime of mixing and temperature conditions. After setting and shredding, excess nitrates were washed out with treated water and passed on to the Finishing Kettles. Here further chemicals and gelatin were added under strictly controlled mixing and temperature conditions. Each emulsion batch was then run off into stainless steel cans, cooled, weighed and stored ready for use in the coating operations. Each batch was sampled for trial coatings and sensitometry, and from these results larger batches would be made by blending the smaller batches to make sufficient emulsion for a coating run.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as, film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005 after the manufacturing plant at Coburg had closed down the year before.

Description of Content

Two stainless steel water-jacketed emulsion kettles can be seen mounted on a glazed ceramic floor in a room with walls finished in high gloss wall tiles interspersed with open stainless steel frames where a further brick wall behind forms a corridor behind the frames.

Physical Description

Black and white silver gelatin photograph printed on light weight paper, landscape format.

More Information