Metal safelight torch used at Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd in Abbotsford, circa 1940s.

This safelight torch was used in light sensitive areas where photographic emulsion was made and coated onto film and paper, as well as where films were developed and printed. If unexposed film came in contact with light before it was used in the camera, it could be spoilt. Similarly, if light wasn't controlled when exposed film was being developed, the print could be ruined. Thus, conditions in the emulsion and film department at Kodak's factory and in their developing laboratories required carefully controlled lighting - but people working in these areas couldn't work entirely in darkness, so 'safe lighting' was used.

The term 'safe lighting' referred to the type of lighting to which film products could be safely exposed. Safe lights not only used low wattage, but used a variety of filters to suit each type of light-sensitive product. For example, green filters were used for Kodachrome, the film used for colour slides. Safe lights included both fixed lights that were placed at strategic points in the factory, store or darkroom so that they did not shine directly onto the products, for example under benches or on the floor, and also included portable torches such as this one.

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.

Physical Description

Silver metal torch with clip at the end. It has a small light bulb in the illuminating end and also a spare globe in the other end which is accessed by screwing off the end of the torch.

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