About two years ago, I bought what I thought was two used 4 x 5 film holders on EBAY. What I got was something of a puzzle. Both were wooden film packs made for Premo Cameras, and only one was 4 x 5. The other one seems to be for film that is approximately 3 1/2" x 5 3/4" in size. They both have a dark slide on one side and a metal back that you can open to insert a film pack. Both are labeled "Premo Film Pack Adapter". The 4 x 5 is imprinted on the side "For Premo Cameras" and the odd sized one is imprinted "3A Premo". Inside on the metal back is stamped "Manufactured for Eastman Kodak Co. Successor to Rochester Optical Co." along with various patent dates from 1903.
I know all about the history of Kodak and Rochester, but I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about these old type of holders or the film packs that go (or went) inside them. If anyone could shed a little light on these for me it would be appreciated.
Now for what I thought was going to be the fun part. One of the two holders still had a film pack inside it with all the tabs sticking out (Kodak Super XX film). I know we've all seen the ads on EBAY for the occasional old Kodak folding camera that "still has film in it". Well, there is virtually no way that any film in those old cameras could survive without someone opening the camera back. However, my curiosity finally got the best of me, and I started thinking that maybe the film in the one holder had been exposed.
So I read up on old Super XX film and decided to try to develop it. So here I am in my darkroom trying to open a holder and film pack that I have never seen the likes of before and only guessing at what I'm feeling trying to decide what is paper and what is film. I finally got everything apart and had what I thought were 10 sheets of film and started at it. Here I am trying to shuffle 10 sheets of film in a tray (and very thin film at that) at once wondering what might be on it. Could it be some press photographer's images of some dead president, or the burning of the Hindenberg, or even some lost negatives that Ansel himself took. Most likely, easter sunday photographs of Aunt Mabel down on the farm. Imagine my dissapointment when they came up blank - the film had not been exposed yet. Oh well, it was a fun couple of hours anyway.
So now I have two film pack holders that I don't have any possible use for. Rather than putting them on EBAY and getting a dollar for them (not worth my time), I was wondering if any of you all out there are still really into this type of thing. The only cost for either or both of them is to reimburse me for the cost of shipping from California. I'll even through in the dissambled film pack as well. I don't really know exactly how it goes back together so that is something you will have to figure out. How is that for a deal.