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Chemistry

The camera obscura, an ancient device that captures light through a lens or pinhole and projects it onto a surface, long tantalized artists, scientist and inventors with the dream of capturing its fleeting images. Eventually, scientists discovered that certain chemicals react to light with visible and persistent changes. Inventors developed devices and techniques for capturing images in silver hallide and other photo­sensitive chemicals. Photography revolutionized the magic lantern show, made stereo­views practical and movies possible.

The use of photochemistry is not limited to storing images: an optical soundtrack for a movie stores sound, phototypesetting discs store fonts as photographic negatives, and photosensitive dyes are used in write-once optical discs. Photochemical systems are also used in photolithography, photo-etching and other industrial processes.

Photochemical Processes

Photographs store information as photochemical changes that alter the reflectance or transmittance of the medium. The chemicals used for photography are, in most cases, silver halides in the form of microscopic crystals suspended in a gel. Silver halide becomes metallic silver, which is opaque, in proportion to the amount of light falling on it. The initial exposure to light focused through a lens creates a latent image, which is enhanced during developing by the application of additional chemicals. In many cases, the resulting image is a negative, from which a positive print is generated in a second photochemical process. With reversal film, the exposed image is positive and can be viewed directly.

Black & White

A black and white photograph stores the value of a single variable, light intensity, at each point in an image. It ignores the mix of wavelengths that we sense as color, which requires representing three variables—a much more difficult problem that occupied scientists and inventors for decades after the invention of photography.

  • Stereo Talbotype

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Stereo Talbotype

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Stereo Talbotype

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Stereo Talbotype

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Stereo Talbotype

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative
  • Stereo Daguerreotype

    c. 1841–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Stereo Daguerreotype

    c. 1841–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Stereo Daguerreotype

    c. 1841–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Stereo Daguerreotype

    c. 1841–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Stereo Daguerreotype

    c. 1841–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate
  • Stereo Ambrotype

    early 1850s–mid-1860s
    Wet collodion negative on glass against black background

    Stereo Ambrotype

    early 1850s–mid-1860s
    Wet collodion negative on glass against black background

    Stereo Ambrotype

    early 1850s–mid-1860s
    Wet collodion negative on glass against black background

    Stereo Ambrotype

    early 1850s–mid-1860s
    Wet collodion negative on glass against black background

    Stereo Ambrotype

    early 1850s–mid-1860s
    Wet collodion negative on glass against black background
  • Tintype

    1850s–c. 1950
    Wet collodion on black-enameled iron plate

    Tintype

    1850s–c. 1950
    Wet collodion on black-enameled iron plate

    Tintype

    1850s–c. 1950
    Wet collodion on black-enameled iron plate

    Tintype

    1850s–c. 1950
    Wet collodion on black-enameled iron plate

    Tintype

    1850s–c. 1950
    Wet collodion on black-enameled iron plate
  • Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    Printed on glass from wet collodion negative

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    Printed on glass from wet collodion negative

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    Printed on glass from wet collodion negative

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    Printed on glass from wet collodion negative

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    Printed on glass from wet collodion negative
  • Albumen Print

    1850s–late 1800s
    Wet-plate collodion negative printed on albumen and silver nitrate-coated paper

    Albumen Print

    1850s–late 1800s
    Wet-plate collodion negative printed on albumen and silver nitrate-coated paper

    Albumen Print

    1850s–late 1800s
    Wet-plate collodion negative printed on albumen and silver nitrate-coated paper

    Albumen Print

    1850s–late 1800s
    Wet-plate collodion negative printed on albumen and silver nitrate-coated paper

    Albumen Print

    1850s–late 1800s
    Wet-plate collodion negative printed on albumen and silver nitrate-coated paper
  • Stereo Cyanotype

    1871–c. .1900
    Contact-printed image in Prussian Blue

    Stereo Cyanotype

    1871–c. .1900
    Contact-printed image in Prussian Blue

    Stereo Cyanotype

    1871–c. .1900
    Contact-printed image in Prussian Blue

    Stereo Cyanotype

    1871–c. .1900
    Contact-printed image in Prussian Blue

    Stereo Cyanotype

    1871–c. .1900
    Contact-printed image in Prussian Blue
  • Imperial Rotograph

    c. 1880–present
    Printed on silver bromide paper

    Imperial Rotograph

    c. 1880–present
    Printed on silver bromide paper

    Imperial Rotograph

    c. 1880–present
    Printed on silver bromide paper

    Imperial Rotograph

    c. 1880–present
    Printed on silver bromide paper

    Imperial Rotograph

    c. 1880–present
    Printed on silver bromide paper

Color Separations

Virtually all color photography is based on the trichromatic theory of vision proposed by Thomas Young in 1802 and developed by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1850. Our retinas have three types of receptors sensitive to ranges of the visible spectrum centered on red, green and blue. In 1855, James Clerk Maxwell conducted experiments that demonstrated this theory by combining red, green and blue light in various proportions using a spinning disc. He hypothesized that the different color receptors didn't themselves see color, but were simply sensitive to light intensity at particular frequencies. The sensation of color was created in the brain by combining these three intensities. This was important to color photography because it meant that color could be stored as three black and white images, each representing the intensity of light as seen through a color filter.

Maxwell demonstrated the concept in 1861 using color separations, taking three black and white photographs through color filters, then superimposing images projected through the same color filters by three magic lanterns. Separations could also be combined using mirrors in a viewer like the Ives Kromogram. Inventors produced a number of cameras and viewers using this method. The devices were necessarily complex and color photography came ultimately to depend on other approaches. But the use of color separations continued in Technicolor and similar color movie technologies in the early 20th century, as well as in color printing through the present day.

  • Ducos du Hauron

    c. 1869–1900
    Viewed or projected through filters

    Ducos du Hauron

    c. 1869–1900
    Viewed or projected through filters

    Ducos du Hauron

    c. 1869–1900
    Viewed or projected through filters

    Ducos du Hauron

    c. 1869–1900
    Viewed or projected through filters

    Ducos du Hauron

    c. 1869–1900
    Viewed or projected through filters
  • Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Made to be viewed in an Ives Junior Kromoscop, which used reflectors and color filters to combine the images.

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Made to be viewed in an Ives Junior Kromoscop, which used reflectors and color filters to combine the images.

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Made to be viewed in an Ives Junior Kromoscop, which used reflectors and color filters to combine the images.

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Made to be viewed in an Ives Junior Kromoscop, which used reflectors and color filters to combine the images.

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Made to be viewed in an Ives Junior Kromoscop, which used reflectors and color filters to combine the images.
  • Ives Kromogram


    Ives Kromogram


    Ives Kromogram


    Ives Kromogram


    Ives Kromogram


  • Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    Miethe developed a projector to combine images from negatives like these.

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    Miethe developed a projector to combine images from negatives like these.

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    Miethe developed a projector to combine images from negatives like these.

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    Miethe developed a projector to combine images from negatives like these.

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    Miethe developed a projector to combine images from negatives like these.
  • Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Glass plate for prototype three-color camera and projector.

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Glass plate for prototype three-color camera and projector.

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Glass plate for prototype three-color camera and projector.

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Glass plate for prototype three-color camera and projector.

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Glass plate for prototype three-color camera and projector.
  • Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images projected simultaneously through color filters.

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images projected simultaneously through color filters.

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images projected simultaneously through color filters.

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images projected simultaneously through color filters.

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images projected simultaneously through color filters.
  • Herault Trichrome

    1926
    3 color frames projected sequentially to fuse in the viewer's mind.

    Herault Trichrome

    1926
    3 color frames projected sequentially to fuse in the viewer's mind.

    Herault Trichrome

    1926
    3 color frames projected sequentially to fuse in the viewer's mind.

    Herault Trichrome

    1926
    3 color frames projected sequentially to fuse in the viewer's mind.

    Herault Trichrome

    1926
    3 color frames projected sequentially to fuse in the viewer's mind.
  • Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

Additive Color

Additive processes reproduce color by passing light through three versions of the image, each filtered by the color originally used to take the image. Color separations are an additive technology, but for color photography to be commercially successful, something simpler was required. This was provided by screen processes, first suggested by Ducos du Hauron in 1868, but not successfully implemented until the end of the 19th century by John Joly (1895), James William McDonough (1897) and Louis Dufay (1905).

A screen process combines the three images, essentially by intermingling them to create a single image. The color at each location on the image is actually three separate dots, representing the intensity of red, green and blue. The dots are small enough that the eye fuses the three colors. (Pointillism, developed in 1886 by the painters George Seurat and Paul Signac, is a similar additive technique.) Inventors came up with a variety of ways to break the three images into dots. The autochrome process introduced by the Lumières in 1907, which used dyed grains of potato starch, was the first commercially successful approach. Color on computer and TV screens is still produced using tiny dots of the three primary colors.

  • Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Starch grains dyed red, green and blue and fixed to a glass plate as filters for capturing and viewing the image.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Starch grains dyed red, green and blue and fixed to a glass plate as filters for capturing and viewing the image.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Starch grains dyed red, green and blue and fixed to a glass plate as filters for capturing and viewing the image.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Starch grains dyed red, green and blue and fixed to a glass plate as filters for capturing and viewing the image.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Starch grains dyed red, green and blue and fixed to a glass plate as filters for capturing and viewing the image.
  • Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Autochromes could also be projected. This is a picture of a lounge on a cruise ship.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Autochromes could also be projected. This is a picture of a lounge on a cruise ship.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Autochromes could also be projected. This is a picture of a lounge on a cruise ship.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Autochromes could also be projected. This is a picture of a lounge on a cruise ship.

    Autochrome

    1907–mid-1930s
    Autochromes could also be projected. This is a picture of a lounge on a cruise ship.
  • Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Used a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Used a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Used a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Used a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Used a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.
  • Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Used a screen with a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Used a screen with a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Used a screen with a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Used a screen with a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Used a screen with a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue.
  • Agfacolor Screen Plate

    1916–1920s
    Similar to autochrome, but using dyed gum droplets

    Agfacolor Screen Plate

    1916–1920s
    Similar to autochrome, but using dyed gum droplets

    Agfacolor Screen Plate

    1916–1920s
    Similar to autochrome, but using dyed gum droplets

    Agfacolor Screen Plate

    1916–1920s
    Similar to autochrome, but using dyed gum droplets

    Agfacolor Screen Plate

    1916–1920s
    Similar to autochrome, but using dyed gum droplets
  • Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Used a screen of red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Used a screen of red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Used a screen of red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Used a screen of red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Used a screen of red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.
  • Keller-Dorian

    c. 1925
    Filmed through a 3-color filter onto film embossed with tiny cylindrical lenses.

    Keller-Dorian

    c. 1925
    Filmed through a 3-color filter onto film embossed with tiny cylindrical lenses.

    Keller-Dorian

    c. 1925
    Filmed through a 3-color filter onto film embossed with tiny cylindrical lenses.

    Keller-Dorian

    c. 1925
    Filmed through a 3-color filter onto film embossed with tiny cylindrical lenses.

    Keller-Dorian

    c. 1925
    Filmed through a 3-color filter onto film embossed with tiny cylindrical lenses.
  • Kodacolor

    1928–1935
    Based on the Keller-Dorian process.

    Kodacolor

    1928–1935
    Based on the Keller-Dorian process.

    Kodacolor

    1928–1935
    Based on the Keller-Dorian process.

    Kodacolor

    1928–1935
    Based on the Keller-Dorian process.

    Kodacolor

    1928–1935
    Based on the Keller-Dorian process.
  • Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.
  • Lumicolor

    1934–1955
    The autochrome process on roll film.

    Lumicolor

    1934–1955
    The autochrome process on roll film.

    Lumicolor

    1934–1955
    The autochrome process on roll film.

    Lumicolor

    1934–1955
    The autochrome process on roll film.

    Lumicolor

    1934–1955
    The autochrome process on roll film.
  • Thomson Color

    1947–1949
    A lenticular process using tiny "beads" embosed on the film.

    Thomson Color

    1947–1949
    A lenticular process using tiny "beads" embosed on the film.

    Thomson Color

    1947–1949
    A lenticular process using tiny "beads" embosed on the film.

    Thomson Color

    1947–1949
    A lenticular process using tiny "beads" embosed on the film.

    Thomson Color

    1947–1949
    A lenticular process using tiny "beads" embosed on the film.

Subtractive Color

Subtractive color processes take a different approach to combining the three images required to reproduce color. In subtractive color photography, the three images are superimposed. The film has three silver halide layers sensitive to blue, green and red. When developed, dyes in each layer produce a negative image in the complementary color: yellow, magenta and cyan. When printed, the dye in the cyan layer for example, will be opaque in inverse proportion to the red light falling on the original film. When white light passes through the three layers, red is subtracted based on that opacity.

  • Kodachrome

    1935–2010
    The first commercially successful subtractive color film.

    Kodachrome

    1935–2010
    The first commercially successful subtractive color film.

    Kodachrome

    1935–2010
    The first commercially successful subtractive color film.

    Kodachrome

    1935–2010
    The first commercially successful subtractive color film.

    Kodachrome

    1935–2010
    The first commercially successful subtractive color film.
  • Agfacolor

    1936–1978
    Less complex to develop than Kodachrome.

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978
    Less complex to develop than Kodachrome.

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978
    Less complex to develop than Kodachrome.

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978
    Less complex to develop than Kodachrome.

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978
    Less complex to develop than Kodachrome.
  • Agfacolor

    1936–1978

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978

    Agfacolor

    1936–1978
  • Ektachrome

    1946–present
    Liked for its fast speed and ease of use.

    Ektachrome

    1946–present
    Liked for its fast speed and ease of use.

    Ektachrome

    1946–present
    Liked for its fast speed and ease of use.

    Ektachrome

    1946–present
    Liked for its fast speed and ease of use.

    Ektachrome

    1946–present
    Liked for its fast speed and ease of use.
  • Ektachrome

    1940s–present
    Easier to develop than Kodachrome, which made it more suitable for home movies

    Ektachrome

    1940s–present
    Easier to develop than Kodachrome, which made it more suitable for home movies

    Ektachrome

    1940s–present
    Easier to develop than Kodachrome, which made it more suitable for home movies

    Ektachrome

    1940s–present
    Easier to develop than Kodachrome, which made it more suitable for home movies

    Ektachrome

    1940s–present
    Easier to develop than Kodachrome, which made it more suitable for home movies
  • Anscochrome

    1955–1977
    An American-made version of Agfacolor

    Anscochrome

    1955–1977
    An American-made version of Agfacolor

    Anscochrome

    1955–1977
    An American-made version of Agfacolor

    Anscochrome

    1955–1977
    An American-made version of Agfacolor

    Anscochrome

    1955–1977
    An American-made version of Agfacolor
  • Medium Format

    1935–2010

    Medium Format

    1935–2010

    Medium Format

    1935–2010

    Medium Format

    1935–2010

    Medium Format

    1935–2010
  • Eastmancolor

    1950–1980
    An Eastmancolor reduction print from the 1925 2-strip technicolor version.

    Eastmancolor

    1950–1980
    An Eastmancolor reduction print from the 1925 2-strip technicolor version.

    Eastmancolor

    1950–1980
    An Eastmancolor reduction print from the 1925 2-strip technicolor version.

    Eastmancolor

    1950–1980
    An Eastmancolor reduction print from the 1925 2-strip technicolor version.

    Eastmancolor

    1950–1980
    An Eastmancolor reduction print from the 1925 2-strip technicolor version.
  • IB Technicolor

    1922–1952
    A process for printing color film.

    IB Technicolor

    1922–1952
    A process for printing color film.

    IB Technicolor

    1922–1952
    A process for printing color film.

    IB Technicolor

    1922–1952
    A process for printing color film.

    IB Technicolor

    1922–1952
    A process for printing color film.
  • Fujicolor

    1980s–present

    Fujicolor

    1980s–present

    Fujicolor

    1980s–present

    Fujicolor

    1980s–present

    Fujicolor

    1980s–present

Photographic Formats

Photographs store information through photochemical changes that alter the reflectance or transmittance of the medium. The grains of silver in a photograph store information about the intensity (irradiance ) of light arriving from a range of directions focused by the lens. The chemicals used for photography are silver halides in the form of, in most cases, microscopic crystals suspended in a gel. Silver halide changes to metallic silver in proportion to the amount of light falling on it. The initial exposure creates a latent image, which is enhanced during developing by the application of additional chemicals. In many cases, the photograph is a negative, with a positive then produced as a photographic print from the negative. Applications include photography, photolithography and some forms of optical audio storage.

Magic Lantern Slide

Magic lanterns had been in common use for over a century when photography was invented. Before then, slides were hand painted, lithographed or transferred by decalcomania. A process for printing photographs on glass was invented by William and Frederick Langenheim in 1849. It was immediately applied to creating magic lantern slides. Photography itself hadn't been around for more than a decade, and for most of that time daggeureotypes had been the standard photographic process.

  • Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    First process for printing a positive photographic image on glass.

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    First process for printing a positive photographic image on glass.

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    First process for printing a positive photographic image on glass.

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    First process for printing a positive photographic image on glass.

    Hyalotype

    1849–1870s (?)
    First process for printing a positive photographic image on glass.
  • Hand-Tinted

    c. 1849–1965
    Black & white slides were often colored by an artist using watercolor or oil paints.

    Hand-Tinted

    c. 1849–1965
    Black & white slides were often colored by an artist using watercolor or oil paints.

    Hand-Tinted

    c. 1849–1965
    Black & white slides were often colored by an artist using watercolor or oil paints.

    Hand-Tinted

    c. 1849–1965
    Black & white slides were often colored by an artist using watercolor or oil paints.

    Hand-Tinted

    c. 1849–1965
    Black & white slides were often colored by an artist using watercolor or oil paints.
  • Life Model

    1880s–1900s
    Multi-slide morality play with actors photographed in front of painted backgrounds.

    Life Model

    1880s–1900s
    Multi-slide morality play with actors photographed in front of painted backgrounds.

    Life Model

    1880s–1900s
    Multi-slide morality play with actors photographed in front of painted backgrounds.

    Life Model

    1880s–1900s
    Multi-slide morality play with actors photographed in front of painted backgrounds.

    Life Model

    1880s–1900s
    Multi-slide morality play with actors photographed in front of painted backgrounds.
  • Autochrome

    1907–1930s
    One of several formats used by the Lumiére's color process

    Autochrome

    1907–1930s
    One of several formats used by the Lumiére's color process

    Autochrome

    1907–1930s
    One of several formats used by the Lumiére's color process

    Autochrome

    1907–1930s
    One of several formats used by the Lumiére's color process

    Autochrome

    1907–1930s
    One of several formats used by the Lumiére's color process
  • Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Additive color using a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Additive color using a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Additive color using a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Additive color using a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.

    Finlaycolor

    1908–c. 1931
    Additive color using a screen of red and green circles on a blue-violet background.
  • Movie Theater Ad

    1910s–1960s
    Illustration and local ad copy printed photographically on celluloid.

    Movie Theater Ad

    1910s–1960s
    Illustration and local ad copy printed photographically on celluloid.

    Movie Theater Ad

    1910s–1960s
    Illustration and local ad copy printed photographically on celluloid.

    Movie Theater Ad

    1910s–1960s
    Illustration and local ad copy printed photographically on celluloid.

    Movie Theater Ad

    1910s–1960s
    Illustration and local ad copy printed photographically on celluloid.
  • Mica Slide


    Mica Slide


    Mica Slide


    Mica Slide


    Mica Slide


  • Viopticon

    1912–1920s (?)
    Small-format glass slide used in movie theaters and classrooms.

    Viopticon

    1912–1920s (?)
    Small-format glass slide used in movie theaters and classrooms.

    Viopticon

    1912–1920s (?)
    Small-format glass slide used in movie theaters and classrooms.

    Viopticon

    1912–1920s (?)
    Small-format glass slide used in movie theaters and classrooms.

    Viopticon

    1912–1920s (?)
    Small-format glass slide used in movie theaters and classrooms.
  • Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Additive color using a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue filters.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Additive color using a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue filters.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Additive color using a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue filters.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Additive color using a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue filters.

    Paget Color

    1913–1920
    Additive color using a criss-crossing lattice of red, green and blue filters.
  • Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Additive color using red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Additive color using red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Additive color using red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Additive color using red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

    Dufay Color

    1932–1950s
    Additive color using red, green and blue filters arranged in a grid.

Slide

Magic lantern slides evolved into what came to be called simply slides when photography moved from glass plates to celluloid roll film. Instead of printing images on large and fragile plates, frames from a developed roll of film could be cut out and placed directly in cardboard mounts ready for the projector. Reversal film, which created a positive image when developed instead of a negative, simplified the process. Smaller slides led to smaller and lighter projectors.

Slides have come in a wide range of film sizes, although 35 mm is by far the most common, with 2 x 2 in. (5 x 5 cm) being the standard mount.

  • Gedescope

    c. 1930
    For a cardboard viewer sold by George Dreyfus of Paris.

    Gedescope

    c. 1930
    For a cardboard viewer sold by George Dreyfus of Paris.

    Gedescope

    c. 1930
    For a cardboard viewer sold by George Dreyfus of Paris.

    Gedescope

    c. 1930
    For a cardboard viewer sold by George Dreyfus of Paris.

    Gedescope

    c. 1930
    For a cardboard viewer sold by George Dreyfus of Paris.
  • 35 mm (135)

    1932–present
    By far the most common size.

    35 mm (135)

    1932–present
    By far the most common size.

    35 mm (135)

    1932–present
    By far the most common size.

    35 mm (135)

    1932–present
    By far the most common size.

    35 mm (135)

    1932–present
    By far the most common size.
  • 120

    1935–2010
    From a 6-cm-wide film roll. Also known as medium format.

    120

    1935–2010
    From a 6-cm-wide film roll. Also known as medium format.

    120

    1935–2010
    From a 6-cm-wide film roll. Also known as medium format.

    120

    1935–2010
    From a 6-cm-wide film roll. Also known as medium format.

    120

    1935–2010
    From a 6-cm-wide film roll. Also known as medium format.
  • Half-Frame 35 mm (135)

    1950s–1960s
    Two frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Half-Frame 35 mm (135)

    1950s–1960s
    Two frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Half-Frame 35 mm (135)

    1950s–1960s
    Two frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Half-Frame 35 mm (135)

    1950s–1960s
    Two frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.

    Half-Frame 35 mm (135)

    1950s–1960s
    Two frames in the space of one 35 mm frame.
  • Super 127

    1912–present
    The film is 46 mm wide. Sometimes called a "Superslide".

    Super 127

    1912–present
    The film is 46 mm wide. Sometimes called a "Superslide".

    Super 127

    1912–present
    The film is 46 mm wide. Sometimes called a "Superslide".

    Super 127

    1912–present
    The film is 46 mm wide. Sometimes called a "Superslide".

    Super 127

    1912–present
    The film is 46 mm wide. Sometimes called a "Superslide".
  • Super 35 mm (135)

    1960s
    35 mm film, but with an image height of 28 mm (as opposed to 24 mm).

    Super 35 mm (135)

    1960s
    35 mm film, but with an image height of 28 mm (as opposed to 24 mm).

    Super 35 mm (135)

    1960s
    35 mm film, but with an image height of 28 mm (as opposed to 24 mm).

    Super 35 mm (135)

    1960s
    35 mm film, but with an image height of 28 mm (as opposed to 24 mm).

    Super 35 mm (135)

    1960s
    35 mm film, but with an image height of 28 mm (as opposed to 24 mm).
  • 126

    1963–1999
    Introduced by Kodak for the Instamatic point-and-shoot camera.

    126

    1963–1999
    Introduced by Kodak for the Instamatic point-and-shoot camera.

    126

    1963–1999
    Introduced by Kodak for the Instamatic point-and-shoot camera.

    126

    1963–1999
    Introduced by Kodak for the Instamatic point-and-shoot camera.

    126

    1963–1999
    Introduced by Kodak for the Instamatic point-and-shoot camera.
  • Telop

    1949–1970s
    A still image used for TV advertisements, announcements and ads for upcoming shows.

    Telop

    1949–1970s
    A still image used for TV advertisements, announcements and ads for upcoming shows.

    Telop

    1949–1970s
    A still image used for TV advertisements, announcements and ads for upcoming shows.

    Telop

    1949–1970s
    A still image used for TV advertisements, announcements and ads for upcoming shows.

    Telop

    1949–1970s
    A still image used for TV advertisements, announcements and ads for upcoming shows.
  • 110

    1972–present
    16 mm cartridge-loaded film for Kodak's Pocket Instamatic.

    110

    1972–present
    16 mm cartridge-loaded film for Kodak's Pocket Instamatic.

    110

    1972–present
    16 mm cartridge-loaded film for Kodak's Pocket Instamatic.

    110

    1972–present
    16 mm cartridge-loaded film for Kodak's Pocket Instamatic.

    110

    1972–present
    16 mm cartridge-loaded film for Kodak's Pocket Instamatic.
  • Minox

    1936–present
    Subminiature camera using unperforated 9.2 mm film.

    Minox

    1936–present
    Subminiature camera using unperforated 9.2 mm film.

    Minox

    1936–present
    Subminiature camera using unperforated 9.2 mm film.

    Minox

    1936–present
    Subminiature camera using unperforated 9.2 mm film.

    Minox

    1936–present
    Subminiature camera using unperforated 9.2 mm film.
  • Stori-View Play Scope

    1950s–1960s
    Non-stereo Stori-View slide

    Stori-View Play Scope

    1950s–1960s
    Non-stereo Stori-View slide

    Stori-View Play Scope

    1950s–1960s
    Non-stereo Stori-View slide

    Stori-View Play Scope

    1950s–1960s
    Non-stereo Stori-View slide

    Stori-View Play Scope

    1950s–1960s
    Non-stereo Stori-View slide
  • Postcard

    1966
    An unusual Communist-era Czech souvenir postcard with attached slides.

    Postcard

    1966
    An unusual Communist-era Czech souvenir postcard with attached slides.

    Postcard

    1966
    An unusual Communist-era Czech souvenir postcard with attached slides.

    Postcard

    1966
    An unusual Communist-era Czech souvenir postcard with attached slides.

    Postcard

    1966
    An unusual Communist-era Czech souvenir postcard with attached slides.
  • Photorama Lumiére

    1900
    360 degree photograph to be projected as a panorama around an audience at the Paris International Exposition in 1900

    Photorama Lumiére

    1900
    360 degree photograph to be projected as a panorama around an audience at the Paris International Exposition in 1900

    Photorama Lumiére

    1900
    360 degree photograph to be projected as a panorama around an audience at the Paris International Exposition in 1900

    Photorama Lumiére

    1900
    360 degree photograph to be projected as a panorama around an audience at the Paris International Exposition in 1900

    Photorama Lumiére

    1900
    360 degree photograph to be projected as a panorama around an audience at the Paris International Exposition in 1900

Slide Strip

A slide strip consists of multiple images in a single mount. Typically these are called slides or filmstrips, but I've adopted this term to differentiate them from "slides," which consist of a single frame in a mount and "filmstrips," which are unmounted.

  • Sawyers Story Card

    early 1960s
    From Sawyer's, better know for their 3D View-Master discs.

    Sawyers Story Card

    early 1960s
    From Sawyer's, better know for their 3D View-Master discs.

    Sawyers Story Card

    early 1960s
    From Sawyer's, better know for their 3D View-Master discs.

    Sawyers Story Card

    early 1960s
    From Sawyer's, better know for their 3D View-Master discs.

    Sawyers Story Card

    early 1960s
    From Sawyer's, better know for their 3D View-Master discs.
  • Movie Frames

    1910s–1920s
    Frames cut out from silent films and placed in a metal mount. Use unclear.

    Movie Frames

    1910s–1920s
    Frames cut out from silent films and placed in a metal mount. Use unclear.

    Movie Frames

    1910s–1920s
    Frames cut out from silent films and placed in a metal mount. Use unclear.

    Movie Frames

    1910s–1920s
    Frames cut out from silent films and placed in a metal mount. Use unclear.

    Movie Frames

    1910s–1920s
    Frames cut out from silent films and placed in a metal mount. Use unclear.
  • Babycolor

    early 1960s
    Bruguière, better known for their stereo slides, made these for their monoscopic Baby Clic viewer.

    Babycolor

    early 1960s
    Bruguière, better known for their stereo slides, made these for their monoscopic Baby Clic viewer.

    Babycolor

    early 1960s
    Bruguière, better known for their stereo slides, made these for their monoscopic Baby Clic viewer.

    Babycolor

    early 1960s
    Bruguière, better known for their stereo slides, made these for their monoscopic Baby Clic viewer.

    Babycolor

    early 1960s
    Bruguière, better known for their stereo slides, made these for their monoscopic Baby Clic viewer.
  • Panorama Colorslide

    1960–c. 1962
    Accompanied a book and a vinyl record with voice over.

    Panorama Colorslide

    1960–c. 1962
    Accompanied a book and a vinyl record with voice over.

    Panorama Colorslide

    1960–c. 1962
    Accompanied a book and a vinyl record with voice over.

    Panorama Colorslide

    1960–c. 1962
    Accompanied a book and a vinyl record with voice over.

    Panorama Colorslide

    1960–c. 1962
    Accompanied a book and a vinyl record with voice over.
  • Show'N Tell Picturesound

    1964–late 1970s
    Came with a vinyl record. Viewed on a record player with a built-in rear projection screen.

    Show'N Tell Picturesound

    1964–late 1970s
    Came with a vinyl record. Viewed on a record player with a built-in rear projection screen.

    Show'N Tell Picturesound

    1964–late 1970s
    Came with a vinyl record. Viewed on a record player with a built-in rear projection screen.

    Show'N Tell Picturesound

    1964–late 1970s
    Came with a vinyl record. Viewed on a record player with a built-in rear projection screen.

    Show'N Tell Picturesound

    1964–late 1970s
    Came with a vinyl record. Viewed on a record player with a built-in rear projection screen.
  • Glass Slide Chain

    early to mid-20th century
    A metal chain holding celluloid frames between cover glasses.

    Glass Slide Chain

    early to mid-20th century
    A metal chain holding celluloid frames between cover glasses.

    Glass Slide Chain

    early to mid-20th century
    A metal chain holding celluloid frames between cover glasses.

    Glass Slide Chain

    early to mid-20th century
    A metal chain holding celluloid frames between cover glasses.

    Glass Slide Chain

    early to mid-20th century
    A metal chain holding celluloid frames between cover glasses.
  • Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel

    mid- to late 1950s
    Slide for Mattel's Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector. Slides were accompanied by 5 in. records.

    Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel

    mid- to late 1950s
    Slide for Mattel's Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector. Slides were accompanied by 5 in. records.

    Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel

    mid- to late 1950s
    Slide for Mattel's Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector. Slides were accompanied by 5 in. records.

    Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel

    mid- to late 1950s
    Slide for Mattel's Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector. Slides were accompanied by 5 in. records.

    Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel

    mid- to late 1950s
    Slide for Mattel's Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector. Slides were accompanied by 5 in. records.
  • Taylor-Merchant Sell-O-Vue

    early 1960s
    The accordion-style lens holder could be squeezed at the top and bottom to focus the image.

    Taylor-Merchant Sell-O-Vue

    early 1960s
    The accordion-style lens holder could be squeezed at the top and bottom to focus the image.

    Taylor-Merchant Sell-O-Vue

    early 1960s
    The accordion-style lens holder could be squeezed at the top and bottom to focus the image.

    Taylor-Merchant Sell-O-Vue

    early 1960s
    The accordion-style lens holder could be squeezed at the top and bottom to focus the image.

    Taylor-Merchant Sell-O-Vue

    early 1960s
    The accordion-style lens holder could be squeezed at the top and bottom to focus the image.

Slide Disc

A sequence of photographic images mounted on a disc for projection or viewing through a hand-held viewer.

  • Tom Mix TV Viewer

    1949
    For a plastic TV viewer

    Tom Mix TV Viewer

    1949
    For a plastic TV viewer

    Tom Mix TV Viewer

    1949
    For a plastic TV viewer

    Tom Mix TV Viewer

    1949
    For a plastic TV viewer

    Tom Mix TV Viewer

    1949
    For a plastic TV viewer
  • Rudolph Projector

    early 1950s
    Color slide disc for toy projector

    Rudolph Projector

    early 1950s
    Color slide disc for toy projector

    Rudolph Projector

    early 1950s
    Color slide disc for toy projector

    Rudolph Projector

    early 1950s
    Color slide disc for toy projector

    Rudolph Projector

    early 1950s
    Color slide disc for toy projector
  • Vistomat

    1959
    Removable disc for plastic souvenir TV viewer

    Vistomat

    1959
    Removable disc for plastic souvenir TV viewer

    Vistomat

    1959
    Removable disc for plastic souvenir TV viewer

    Vistomat

    1959
    Removable disc for plastic souvenir TV viewer

    Vistomat

    1959
    Removable disc for plastic souvenir TV viewer
  • Disney World Photo Viewer

    1980s
    Slide discs mounted in plastic cartridges for Mickey Mouse viewer

    Disney World Photo Viewer

    1980s
    Slide discs mounted in plastic cartridges for Mickey Mouse viewer

    Disney World Photo Viewer

    1980s
    Slide discs mounted in plastic cartridges for Mickey Mouse viewer

    Disney World Photo Viewer

    1980s
    Slide discs mounted in plastic cartridges for Mickey Mouse viewer

    Disney World Photo Viewer

    1980s
    Slide discs mounted in plastic cartridges for Mickey Mouse viewer
  • View-Master Keychain

    1997
    A small non-3D View-Master viewer and reel with 7 cartoon images

    View-Master Keychain

    1997
    A small non-3D View-Master viewer and reel with 7 cartoon images

    View-Master Keychain

    1997
    A small non-3D View-Master viewer and reel with 7 cartoon images

    View-Master Keychain

    1997
    A small non-3D View-Master viewer and reel with 7 cartoon images

    View-Master Keychain

    1997
    A small non-3D View-Master viewer and reel with 7 cartoon images
  • Disney Princess Movie Theater

    2013–present
    Comes in a set with a storybook and projector

    Disney Princess Movie Theater

    2013–present
    Comes in a set with a storybook and projector

    Disney Princess Movie Theater

    2013–present
    Comes in a set with a storybook and projector

    Disney Princess Movie Theater

    2013–present
    Comes in a set with a storybook and projector

    Disney Princess Movie Theater

    2013–present
    Comes in a set with a storybook and projector
  • Discovery Star Planetarium

    c. 2015–present
    Images for a planetarium toy

    Discovery Star Planetarium

    c. 2015–present
    Images for a planetarium toy

    Discovery Star Planetarium

    c. 2015–present
    Images for a planetarium toy

    Discovery Star Planetarium

    c. 2015–present
    Images for a planetarium toy

    Discovery Star Planetarium

    c. 2015–present
    Images for a planetarium toy
  • Omnitrix Projector Watch

    2017–present
    For the Ben 10 role playing watch/projector

    Omnitrix Projector Watch

    2017–present
    For the Ben 10 role playing watch/projector

    Omnitrix Projector Watch

    2017–present
    For the Ben 10 role playing watch/projector

    Omnitrix Projector Watch

    2017–present
    For the Ben 10 role playing watch/projector

    Omnitrix Projector Watch

    2017–present
    For the Ben 10 role playing watch/projector
  • Moonlite

    2018–present
    Disc goes into projector held up against a smartphone in flashlight mode

    Moonlite

    2018–present
    Disc goes into projector held up against a smartphone in flashlight mode

    Moonlite

    2018–present
    Disc goes into projector held up against a smartphone in flashlight mode

    Moonlite

    2018–present
    Disc goes into projector held up against a smartphone in flashlight mode

    Moonlite

    2018–present
    Disc goes into projector held up against a smartphone in flashlight mode

Magazine

  • Kodak Carousel 550

    1962–2004

    Kodak Carousel 550

    1962–2004

    Kodak Carousel 550

    1962–2004

    Kodak Carousel 550

    1962–2004

    Kodak Carousel 550

    1962–2004
  • Minox Tray


    Minox Tray


    Minox Tray


    Minox Tray


    Minox Tray


Filmstrip

A filmstrip is a sequence of photographic stills on unmounted celluloid film—typically 35 mm or 16 mm with sprocket holes. The images are from life or from artwork that includes text, cartoons or illustrations. The first filmstrips were produced on 55 mm film around 1918 by the Underwoods of New York. Production was soon taken over by the Stillfilm Company. The familiar 35 mm filmstrip emerged in the mid-1920s.

  • Still Film

    1918

    Still Film

    1918

    Still Film

    1918

    Still Film

    1918

    Still Film

    1918
  • Rollfilm


    35 mm horizontal pull

    Rollfilm


    35 mm horizontal pull

    Rollfilm


    35 mm horizontal pull

    Rollfilm


    35 mm horizontal pull

    Rollfilm


    35 mm horizontal pull
  • Dux Kino

    1935–1960s
    2-frame animation on 35 mm film

    Dux Kino

    1935–1960s
    2-frame animation on 35 mm film

    Dux Kino

    1935–1960s
    2-frame animation on 35 mm film

    Dux Kino

    1935–1960s
    2-frame animation on 35 mm film

    Dux Kino

    1935–1960s
    2-frame animation on 35 mm film
  • Girl Comic


    For Minicine projector

    Girl Comic


    For Minicine projector

    Girl Comic


    For Minicine projector

    Girl Comic


    For Minicine projector

    Girl Comic


    For Minicine projector
  • Minicine

    1948–1958

    Minicine

    1948–1958

    Minicine

    1948–1958

    Minicine

    1948–1958

    Minicine

    1948–1958
  • Kinderkino Liliput

    c. 1950
    2-frame animation on 35 mm filmstrip

    Kinderkino Liliput

    c. 1950
    2-frame animation on 35 mm filmstrip

    Kinderkino Liliput

    c. 1950
    2-frame animation on 35 mm filmstrip

    Kinderkino Liliput

    c. 1950
    2-frame animation on 35 mm filmstrip

    Kinderkino Liliput

    c. 1950
    2-frame animation on 35 mm filmstrip
  • Walt Disney


    Color 16 mm horizontal-pull filmstrip dated 1933

    Walt Disney


    Color 16 mm horizontal-pull filmstrip dated 1933

    Walt Disney


    Color 16 mm horizontal-pull filmstrip dated 1933

    Walt Disney


    Color 16 mm horizontal-pull filmstrip dated 1933

    Walt Disney


    Color 16 mm horizontal-pull filmstrip dated 1933
  • Mirafilm

    mid-1960s
    16 mm, sprocket-less Spanish filmstrip

    Mirafilm

    mid-1960s
    16 mm, sprocket-less Spanish filmstrip

    Mirafilm

    mid-1960s
    16 mm, sprocket-less Spanish filmstrip

    Mirafilm

    mid-1960s
    16 mm, sprocket-less Spanish filmstrip

    Mirafilm

    mid-1960s
    16 mm, sprocket-less Spanish filmstrip
  • Didactor Coding System

    late 1960s
    Programmed instruction

    Didactor Coding System

    late 1960s
    Programmed instruction

    Didactor Coding System

    late 1960s
    Programmed instruction

    Didactor Coding System

    late 1960s
    Programmed instruction

    Didactor Coding System

    late 1960s
    Programmed instruction
  • 35 mm

    early 1920s–c. 2000
    French filmstrip from the 1930s

    35 mm

    early 1920s–c. 2000
    French filmstrip from the 1930s

    35 mm

    early 1920s–c. 2000
    French filmstrip from the 1930s

    35 mm

    early 1920s–c. 2000
    French filmstrip from the 1930s

    35 mm

    early 1920s–c. 2000
    French filmstrip from the 1930s
  • Pathéorama

    1922–c. 1940s
    35 mm, stencil-colored with sprocket holes cut off on one side

    Pathéorama

    1922–c. 1940s
    35 mm, stencil-colored with sprocket holes cut off on one side

    Pathéorama

    1922–c. 1940s
    35 mm, stencil-colored with sprocket holes cut off on one side

    Pathéorama

    1922–c. 1940s
    35 mm, stencil-colored with sprocket holes cut off on one side

    Pathéorama

    1922–c. 1940s
    35 mm, stencil-colored with sprocket holes cut off on one side
  • 35 mm Sound

    1940s–c. 2000
    Training for Coca-Cola salesmen with audio on LP record

    35 mm Sound

    1940s–c. 2000
    Training for Coca-Cola salesmen with audio on LP record

    35 mm Sound

    1940s–c. 2000
    Training for Coca-Cola salesmen with audio on LP record

    35 mm Sound

    1940s–c. 2000
    Training for Coca-Cola salesmen with audio on LP record

    35 mm Sound

    1940s–c. 2000
    Training for Coca-Cola salesmen with audio on LP record
  • Cine Vue

    1930s–1950s
    16 mm filmstrip and viewer made by Pathegrams

    Cine Vue

    1930s–1950s
    16 mm filmstrip and viewer made by Pathegrams

    Cine Vue

    1930s–1950s
    16 mm filmstrip and viewer made by Pathegrams

    Cine Vue

    1930s–1950s
    16 mm filmstrip and viewer made by Pathegrams

    Cine Vue

    1930s–1950s
    16 mm filmstrip and viewer made by Pathegrams
  • Figure Studies

    1930s–1950s
    A "course" in photographic lighting using nude models

    Figure Studies

    1930s–1950s
    A "course" in photographic lighting using nude models

    Figure Studies

    1930s–1950s
    A "course" in photographic lighting using nude models

    Figure Studies

    1930s–1950s
    A "course" in photographic lighting using nude models

    Figure Studies

    1930s–1950s
    A "course" in photographic lighting using nude models
  • Famous Komics

    1934–1950s
    Characters licensed from Famous Artists Syndicate

    Famous Komics

    1934–1950s
    Characters licensed from Famous Artists Syndicate

    Famous Komics

    1934–1950s
    Characters licensed from Famous Artists Syndicate

    Famous Komics

    1934–1950s
    Characters licensed from Famous Artists Syndicate

    Famous Komics

    1934–1950s
    Characters licensed from Famous Artists Syndicate
  • Film Stip

    1950–1960s
    Frames from the film Rocketship XM

    Film Stip

    1950–1960s
    Frames from the film Rocketship XM

    Film Stip

    1950–1960s
    Frames from the film Rocketship XM

    Film Stip

    1950–1960s
    Frames from the film Rocketship XM

    Film Stip

    1950–1960s
    Frames from the film Rocketship XM
  • Seliscope

    c. 1955
    For French toy projector.

    Seliscope

    c. 1955
    For French toy projector.

    Seliscope

    c. 1955
    For French toy projector.

    Seliscope

    c. 1955
    For French toy projector.

    Seliscope

    c. 1955
    For French toy projector.
  • S. E. L. Ace Projector

    1950s
    16 mm filmstrip loop for toy projector

    S. E. L. Ace Projector

    1950s
    16 mm filmstrip loop for toy projector

    S. E. L. Ace Projector

    1950s
    16 mm filmstrip loop for toy projector

    S. E. L. Ace Projector

    1950s
    16 mm filmstrip loop for toy projector

    S. E. L. Ace Projector

    1950s
    16 mm filmstrip loop for toy projector
  • Mast Teaching Machine

    1960s
    Microfilm cassette for programmed learning

    Mast Teaching Machine

    1960s
    Microfilm cassette for programmed learning

    Mast Teaching Machine

    1960s
    Microfilm cassette for programmed learning

    Mast Teaching Machine

    1960s
    Microfilm cassette for programmed learning

    Mast Teaching Machine

    1960s
    Microfilm cassette for programmed learning
  • La Belle Courier

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm filmstrip synchronized with built-in audio cassette

    La Belle Courier

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm filmstrip synchronized with built-in audio cassette

    La Belle Courier

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm filmstrip synchronized with built-in audio cassette

    La Belle Courier

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm filmstrip synchronized with built-in audio cassette

    La Belle Courier

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm filmstrip synchronized with built-in audio cassette
  • Dukane Commander

    1970s
    Cartridge holding 35 mm filmstrip with audio on cassette tape

    Dukane Commander

    1970s
    Cartridge holding 35 mm filmstrip with audio on cassette tape

    Dukane Commander

    1970s
    Cartridge holding 35 mm filmstrip with audio on cassette tape

    Dukane Commander

    1970s
    Cartridge holding 35 mm filmstrip with audio on cassette tape

    Dukane Commander

    1970s
    Cartridge holding 35 mm filmstrip with audio on cassette tape
  • Pocket Full O' Fun

    1979
    10 mm filmstrip cassette

    Pocket Full O' Fun

    1979
    10 mm filmstrip cassette

    Pocket Full O' Fun

    1979
    10 mm filmstrip cassette

    Pocket Full O' Fun

    1979
    10 mm filmstrip cassette

    Pocket Full O' Fun

    1979
    10 mm filmstrip cassette

Microform

In 1853, J. B. Dancer, an English optician and microscopist, used the newly-invented wet collodion process to create photographs mounted on slides for viewing under a microscope. They were popular as curiosities and sold well. The broader potential of microphotography was first demonstrated in 1870 when a French microphotographer named Rene Dagron used it to send messages by carrier pigeon into Paris while it was under siege during the Franco-Prussian War. In the twentieth century, microphotography, in the form of microfilm and microfiche, became a standard way of archiving magazines, newspapers and other documents. It also found use in the military and espionage during World War II and the cold war.

  • Dancer Microphotograph

    early 1850s–early 1900s
    Wet collodion negative reduced 1:160 during printing

    Dancer Microphotograph

    early 1850s–early 1900s
    Wet collodion negative reduced 1:160 during printing

    Dancer Microphotograph

    early 1850s–early 1900s
    Wet collodion negative reduced 1:160 during printing

    Dancer Microphotograph

    early 1850s–early 1900s
    Wet collodion negative reduced 1:160 during printing

    Dancer Microphotograph

    early 1850s–early 1900s
    Wet collodion negative reduced 1:160 during printing
  • Micrograph

    late 1870s–late 1880s
    10 small portraits on glass slide for the Micrograph

    Micrograph

    late 1870s–late 1880s
    10 small portraits on glass slide for the Micrograph

    Micrograph

    late 1870s–late 1880s
    10 small portraits on glass slide for the Micrograph

    Micrograph

    late 1870s–late 1880s
    10 small portraits on glass slide for the Micrograph

    Micrograph

    late 1870s–late 1880s
    10 small portraits on glass slide for the Micrograph
  • Microdot

    1920s–present
    Reproduction of a Soviet microdot discovered in a hollow nickel

    Microdot

    1920s–present
    Reproduction of a Soviet microdot discovered in a hollow nickel

    Microdot

    1920s–present
    Reproduction of a Soviet microdot discovered in a hollow nickel

    Microdot

    1920s–present
    Reproduction of a Soviet microdot discovered in a hollow nickel

    Microdot

    1920s–present
    Reproduction of a Soviet microdot discovered in a hollow nickel
  • 35 mm Recordak

    1920s–1990s
    Magazine on unperforated 35 mm microfilm

    35 mm Recordak

    1920s–1990s
    Magazine on unperforated 35 mm microfilm

    35 mm Recordak

    1920s–1990s
    Magazine on unperforated 35 mm microfilm

    35 mm Recordak

    1920s–1990s
    Magazine on unperforated 35 mm microfilm

    35 mm Recordak

    1920s–1990s
    Magazine on unperforated 35 mm microfilm
  • 16 mm Microfilm

    1930s–1990s

    16 mm Microfilm

    1930s–1990s

    16 mm Microfilm

    1930s–1990s

    16 mm Microfilm

    1930s–1990s

    16 mm Microfilm

    1930s–1990s
  • Aperture Card

    1943–present
    An 80-column card with a cutout to hold a 35 mm microfilm image.

    Aperture Card

    1943–present
    An 80-column card with a cutout to hold a 35 mm microfilm image.

    Aperture Card

    1943–present
    An 80-column card with a cutout to hold a 35 mm microfilm image.

    Aperture Card

    1943–present
    An 80-column card with a cutout to hold a 35 mm microfilm image.

    Aperture Card

    1943–present
    An 80-column card with a cutout to hold a 35 mm microfilm image.
  • M-Type Cartridge

    1950s–present
    16 mm microfilm in a plastic cartridge.

    M-Type Cartridge

    1950s–present
    16 mm microfilm in a plastic cartridge.

    M-Type Cartridge

    1950s–present
    16 mm microfilm in a plastic cartridge.

    M-Type Cartridge

    1950s–present
    16 mm microfilm in a plastic cartridge.

    M-Type Cartridge

    1950s–present
    16 mm microfilm in a plastic cartridge.
  • Cassette

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm microfilm in plastic cassette

    Cassette

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm microfilm in plastic cassette

    Cassette

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm microfilm in plastic cassette

    Cassette

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm microfilm in plastic cassette

    Cassette

    1960s–1970s
    16 mm microfilm in plastic cassette
  • Microfiche

    1930s–present
    105 x 148 mm

    Microfiche

    1930s–present
    105 x 148 mm

    Microfiche

    1930s–present
    105 x 148 mm

    Microfiche

    1930s–present
    105 x 148 mm

    Microfiche

    1930s–present
    105 x 148 mm
  • Ultrafiche

    1930s–present
    A microfiche with images reduced by a factor of 100 or more.

    Ultrafiche

    1930s–present
    A microfiche with images reduced by a factor of 100 or more.

    Ultrafiche

    1930s–present
    A microfiche with images reduced by a factor of 100 or more.

    Ultrafiche

    1930s–present
    A microfiche with images reduced by a factor of 100 or more.

    Ultrafiche

    1930s–present
    A microfiche with images reduced by a factor of 100 or more.
  • Microfilm Jacket

    1930s–present

    Microfilm Jacket

    1930s–present

    Microfilm Jacket

    1930s–present

    Microfilm Jacket

    1930s–present

    Microfilm Jacket

    1930s–present
  • Ultrafiche

    1960s–1970s
    Complete Bible (1245 pages) reduced by a factor of 1:250.

    Ultrafiche

    1960s–1970s
    Complete Bible (1245 pages) reduced by a factor of 1:250.

    Ultrafiche

    1960s–1970s
    Complete Bible (1245 pages) reduced by a factor of 1:250.

    Ultrafiche

    1960s–1970s
    Complete Bible (1245 pages) reduced by a factor of 1:250.

    Ultrafiche

    1960s–1970s
    Complete Bible (1245 pages) reduced by a factor of 1:250.
  • Computer Output Microfiche

    1960s–present
    Microfiche generated directly by computer.

    Computer Output Microfiche

    1960s–present
    Microfiche generated directly by computer.

    Computer Output Microfiche

    1960s–present
    Microfiche generated directly by computer.

    Computer Output Microfiche

    1960s–present
    Microfiche generated directly by computer.

    Computer Output Microfiche

    1960s–present
    Microfiche generated directly by computer.
  • Color Microfiche

    1970s—present

    Color Microfiche

    1970s—present

    Color Microfiche

    1970s—present

    Color Microfiche

    1970s—present

    Color Microfiche

    1970s—present
  • Microcard

    1940s–1960s
    Printed photographically on photo paper.

    Microcard

    1940s–1960s
    Printed photographically on photo paper.

    Microcard

    1940s–1960s
    Printed photographically on photo paper.

    Microcard

    1940s–1960s
    Printed photographically on photo paper.

    Microcard

    1940s–1960s
    Printed photographically on photo paper.
  • Microprint

    c. 1940–unknown

    Microprint

    c. 1940–unknown

    Microprint

    c. 1940–unknown

    Microprint

    c. 1940–unknown

    Microprint

    c. 1940–unknown

Print

In addition to a transparency, a photograph can be reproduced as a print: an opaque image reproduced from a negative on photopaper.

  • Telop Print


    Telop Print


    Telop Print


    Telop Print


    Telop Print


Phototypesetting

Phototypesetting emerged in the early 1950s. At the time, most typesetting was done with linotype machines, a technique known as hot type. Linotype machines were large, highly complex machines in which type was cast on the fly from a lead alloy. Phototypesetting, or cold type, took an entirely different approach. The shapes of characters for a particular font were stored photographically as negative images on a transparent disc or plate. Characters on the disc were exposed to light one at a time by positioning the negative image over photosensitive paper.

  • Berthold Diatype

    1958–early 1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk

    Berthold Diatype

    1958–early 1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk

    Berthold Diatype

    1958–early 1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk

    Berthold Diatype

    1958–early 1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk

    Berthold Diatype

    1958–early 1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk
  • Berthold Diatext

    c. 1980
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatext

    c. 1980
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatext

    c. 1980
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatext

    c. 1980
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatext

    c. 1980
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book
  • Varityper Comp/Set 500

    early 1980s
    Highland/Megaron Bold

    Varityper Comp/Set 500

    early 1980s
    Highland/Megaron Bold

    Varityper Comp/Set 500

    early 1980s
    Highland/Megaron Bold

    Varityper Comp/Set 500

    early 1980s
    Highland/Megaron Bold

    Varityper Comp/Set 500

    early 1980s
    Highland/Megaron Bold
  • Berthold Diatronic

    1967–1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatronic

    1967–1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatronic

    1967–1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatronic

    1967–1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book

    Berthold Diatronic

    1967–1980s
    Akzidenz-Grotesk Book
  • Harris-Intertype Fototronic

    late 1950s–mid-1980s
    10Pt. Concorde Italic

    Harris-Intertype Fototronic

    late 1950s–mid-1980s
    10Pt. Concorde Italic

    Harris-Intertype Fototronic

    late 1950s–mid-1980s
    10Pt. Concorde Italic

    Harris-Intertype Fototronic

    late 1950s–mid-1980s
    10Pt. Concorde Italic

    Harris-Intertype Fototronic

    late 1950s–mid-1980s
    10Pt. Concorde Italic
  • Varityper Headliner

    1960s–1970s

    Varityper Headliner

    1960s–1970s

    Varityper Headliner

    1960s–1970s

    Varityper Headliner

    1960s–1970s

    Varityper Headliner

    1960s–1970s
  • Compugraphic Font Strip

    1970s
    Stymie Medium Italic

    Compugraphic Font Strip

    1970s
    Stymie Medium Italic

    Compugraphic Font Strip

    1970s
    Stymie Medium Italic

    Compugraphic Font Strip

    1970s
    Stymie Medium Italic

    Compugraphic Font Strip

    1970s
    Stymie Medium Italic

Optical Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the first talkie (a film with spoken dialog), The Jazz Singer in 1927, was stored on a 16 inch, 33⅓ RPM record, a technology known as sound-on-disc. Sound-on-disc systems were used in theaters for several years, but synchronization was an issue and the records wore out quickly. Editing a film when the soundtrack was on a shellac record was also extremely difficult. A competing approach, sound-on-film, stored the sound on the film itself as an optical waveform—almost literally a picture of the sound. The waveform was recorded photographically using either light reflected by a vibrating mirror or light from a source whose intensity varied with the sound. The audio was played back by shining a light through the soundtrack onto a light sensitive vacuum tube (originally developed for an optical signaling system used by the U.S. Navy). The sound was thus inherently synchronized and editing the film simultaneously edited the soundtrack. Although audio recording was eventually separated from film recording, particularly with the introduction of magnetic tape recording, an optical soundtrack is still added when films are printed today.

  • Variable Density

    1919–1950s

    Variable Density

    1919–1950s

    Variable Density

    1919–1950s

    Variable Density

    1919–1950s

    Variable Density

    1919–1950s
  • Unilateral Variable-Area

    1930s–1940s

    Unilateral Variable-Area

    1930s–1940s

    Unilateral Variable-Area

    1930s–1940s

    Unilateral Variable-Area

    1930s–1940s

    Unilateral Variable-Area

    1930s–1940s
  • Dual Unilateral

    1930s–1950s

    Dual Unilateral

    1930s–1950s

    Dual Unilateral

    1930s–1950s

    Dual Unilateral

    1930s–1950s

    Dual Unilateral

    1930s–1950s
  • Bilateral Variable Area


    Bilateral Variable Area


    Bilateral Variable Area


    Bilateral Variable Area


    Bilateral Variable Area


  • Dual Bilateral Variable Area

    Late 1950s–1970s

    Dual Bilateral Variable Area

    Late 1950s–1970s

    Dual Bilateral Variable Area

    Late 1950s–1970s

    Dual Bilateral Variable Area

    Late 1950s–1970s

    Dual Bilateral Variable Area

    Late 1950s–1970s
  • Stereo Dual-Bilateral Variable-Area

    1970s–present

    Stereo Dual-Bilateral Variable-Area

    1970s–present

    Stereo Dual-Bilateral Variable-Area

    1970s–present

    Stereo Dual-Bilateral Variable-Area

    1970s–present

    Stereo Dual-Bilateral Variable-Area

    1970s–present
  • Dolby Digital

    1992–present
    Blocks of digital information are placed in between the sprocket holes .

    Dolby Digital

    1992–present
    Blocks of digital information are placed in between the sprocket holes .

    Dolby Digital

    1992–present
    Blocks of digital information are placed in between the sprocket holes .

    Dolby Digital

    1992–present
    Blocks of digital information are placed in between the sprocket holes .

    Dolby Digital

    1992–present
    Blocks of digital information are placed in between the sprocket holes .
  • SDDS

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
    1993–early 2000s

    SDDS

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
    1993–early 2000s

    SDDS

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
    1993–early 2000s

    SDDS

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
    1993–early 2000s

    SDDS

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
    1993–early 2000s
  • Maurer

    early 1930s–1950s
    6 mono tracks.

    Maurer

    early 1930s–1950s
    6 mono tracks.

    Maurer

    early 1930s–1950s
    6 mono tracks.

    Maurer

    early 1930s–1950s
    6 mono tracks.

    Maurer

    early 1930s–1950s
    6 mono tracks.

Tonewheel

Before digital synthesizers, optical organs like the Optigan stored analog waveforms photographically. The concept was the same as an optical sound track for a movie, except that the waveforms were stored as circular tracks on celluloid discs, with each track storing a different pitch. The sound wasn't great and the mechanisms weren't that robust. As a result, optical organs weren't very successful, although they are still sometimes used by recording artists in search of unusual or retro sounds. They've also lived on, ironically, in the form of digital samples for synthesizers.

  • Optigan

    1971–1976

    Optigan

    1971–1976

    Optigan

    1971–1976

    Optigan

    1971–1976

    Optigan

    1971–1976
  • Chilton Talentmaker

    1973–1976
    A somewhat more refined version of the Optigan.

    Chilton Talentmaker

    1973–1976
    A somewhat more refined version of the Optigan.

    Chilton Talentmaker

    1973–1976
    A somewhat more refined version of the Optigan.

    Chilton Talentmaker

    1973–1976
    A somewhat more refined version of the Optigan.

    Chilton Talentmaker

    1973–1976
    A somewhat more refined version of the Optigan.
  • Vako Orchestron

    1975–c. 1978
    A prototype disc for the Ochestron, an Optigan for professionals.

    Vako Orchestron

    1975–c. 1978
    A prototype disc for the Ochestron, an Optigan for professionals.

    Vako Orchestron

    1975–c. 1978
    A prototype disc for the Ochestron, an Optigan for professionals.

    Vako Orchestron

    1975–c. 1978
    A prototype disc for the Ochestron, an Optigan for professionals.

    Vako Orchestron

    1975–c. 1978
    A prototype disc for the Ochestron, an Optigan for professionals.

Optical Memory Card

Developed in the late 1980s by the Drexler Corp., the LaserCard could store 2.6 megabytes of data. A photosensitive strip is bonded to the card is exposed to ultraviolet light passing through transparent areas in a master. When developed, the exposed spots, which are darker than the unexposed areas of the strip, can be read by reflected laser light. Originally intended to hold medical data, the technology, now marketed by HID Global, is apparently still in use in multiple countries for government ID cards.

  • LaserCard

    c. 1987–present
    Write-once media written and read by laser.

    LaserCard

    c. 1987–present
    Write-once media written and read by laser.

    LaserCard

    c. 1987–present
    Write-once media written and read by laser.

    LaserCard

    c. 1987–present
    Write-once media written and read by laser.

    LaserCard

    c. 1987–present
    Write-once media written and read by laser.
  • CliniCard

    1989–c. 1996
    Licensed from Drexler Technology (LaserCard) to hold personal medical data.

    CliniCard

    1989–c. 1996
    Licensed from Drexler Technology (LaserCard) to hold personal medical data.

    CliniCard

    1989–c. 1996
    Licensed from Drexler Technology (LaserCard) to hold personal medical data.

    CliniCard

    1989–c. 1996
    Licensed from Drexler Technology (LaserCard) to hold personal medical data.

    CliniCard

    1989–c. 1996
    Licensed from Drexler Technology (LaserCard) to hold personal medical data.

Thermal Processes

Certain dyes become opaque when heated by a laser or through direct contact with a heating element. The dye can be applied to a variety of substrates, including plastic, metal or paper. The process is irreversable, limiting it to applications like write-once optical discs and thermal printing.

Optical Disc

Standard CDs and DVDs are manufactured by injection molding and are thus inherently read-only. The high quality of prerecorded audio and video they offered, at least relative to tape, played a large part of in their rapid ascendence. But cassette audio and video tape had accustomed consumers to recording their own music and video. You couldn't make a mixtape with a CD. You couldn't record a television show on a DVD to watch later. In the case of data applications like backup or scientific instrumentation, the capacity, speed of access and durability of optical media was attractive, but, again, the ability to record was the missing piece. This began to change in the mid-1980s with the introduction of recordable CDs.

The discs in this section are Write Once Read Multiple (WORM). WORM discs consist of a metal layer, a layer of organic dye, and the usual protective plastic. Data is written to a blank disc using a laser at a high enough power to heat the dye layer and cause a chemical change that makes the dye opaque in selected spots—the origin of the phrase to "burn a CD". During reading, the laser, at a lower power, directs light at the dye layer. Where it's still transparent, the light passes through and is reflected back by the metal layer. Where the dye is opaque, light is absorbed. The chemical change is permanent, which means the disc can only be written once. For many applications, such as recording, backup and data collection, this limitation is no problem. Discs that can be written multiple times use a different technology (see Phase).

  • Recordable Laser Videodisc

    1984–mid-1990s

    Recordable Laser Videodisc

    1984–mid-1990s

    Recordable Laser Videodisc

    1984–mid-1990s

    Recordable Laser Videodisc

    1984–mid-1990s

    Recordable Laser Videodisc

    1984–mid-1990s
  • Sony CRVdisc

    c. 1985–mid 1990s
    A Write Once laser disc, used mainly in professional settings for data backup.\

    Sony CRVdisc

    c. 1985–mid 1990s
    A Write Once laser disc, used mainly in professional settings for data backup.\

    Sony CRVdisc

    c. 1985–mid 1990s
    A Write Once laser disc, used mainly in professional settings for data backup.\

    Sony CRVdisc

    c. 1985–mid 1990s
    A Write Once laser disc, used mainly in professional settings for data backup.\

    Sony CRVdisc

    c. 1985–mid 1990s
    A Write Once laser disc, used mainly in professional settings for data backup.\
  • CD-R

    1991–present
    A write-once version of the compact disc

    CD-R

    1991–present
    A write-once version of the compact disc

    CD-R

    1991–present
    A write-once version of the compact disc

    CD-R

    1991–present
    A write-once version of the compact disc

    CD-R

    1991–present
    A write-once version of the compact disc
  • Yamaha Disklavier

    2002–present
    MIDI data on one track, vocal on the other

    Yamaha Disklavier

    2002–present
    MIDI data on one track, vocal on the other

    Yamaha Disklavier

    2002–present
    MIDI data on one track, vocal on the other

    Yamaha Disklavier

    2002–present
    MIDI data on one track, vocal on the other

    Yamaha Disklavier

    2002–present
    MIDI data on one track, vocal on the other
  • Mini CD-R

    1991–2004
    3.1 in. (80 mm) compact disc

    Mini CD-R

    1991–2004
    3.1 in. (80 mm) compact disc

    Mini CD-R

    1991–2004
    3.1 in. (80 mm) compact disc

    Mini CD-R

    1991–2004
    3.1 in. (80 mm) compact disc

    Mini CD-R

    1991–2004
    3.1 in. (80 mm) compact disc
  • CD-R Audio

    1997–2010s
    Can be used to record music on a consumer recorder

    CD-R Audio

    1997–2010s
    Can be used to record music on a consumer recorder

    CD-R Audio

    1997–2010s
    Can be used to record music on a consumer recorder

    CD-R Audio

    1997–2010s
    Can be used to record music on a consumer recorder

    CD-R Audio

    1997–2010s
    Can be used to record music on a consumer recorder
  • DVD-R

    1997–present
    A WORM disc with the same capacity as a DVD

    DVD-R

    1997–present
    A WORM disc with the same capacity as a DVD

    DVD-R

    1997–present
    A WORM disc with the same capacity as a DVD

    DVD-R

    1997–present
    A WORM disc with the same capacity as a DVD

    DVD-R

    1997–present
    A WORM disc with the same capacity as a DVD
  • CD Business Card

    ca. 1999–present
    Shaped CD-R made to fit into a wallet.

    CD Business Card

    ca. 1999–present
    Shaped CD-R made to fit into a wallet.

    CD Business Card

    ca. 1999–present
    Shaped CD-R made to fit into a wallet.

    CD Business Card

    ca. 1999–present
    Shaped CD-R made to fit into a wallet.

    CD Business Card

    ca. 1999–present
    Shaped CD-R made to fit into a wallet.
  • Double Layer DVD+R

    2003–present

    Double Layer DVD+R

    2003–present

    Double Layer DVD+R

    2003–present

    Double Layer DVD+R

    2003–present

    Double Layer DVD+R

    2003–present
  • Fuji PhotoDisc CD-R

    2004–
    A more stable version of CD-R for archival storage

    Fuji PhotoDisc CD-R

    2004–
    A more stable version of CD-R for archival storage

    Fuji PhotoDisc CD-R

    2004–
    A more stable version of CD-R for archival storage

    Fuji PhotoDisc CD-R

    2004–
    A more stable version of CD-R for archival storage

    Fuji PhotoDisc CD-R

    2004–
    A more stable version of CD-R for archival storage
  • HD-DVD R

    2006–2008
    Write-once version of the failed HD-DVD format

    HD-DVD R

    2006–2008
    Write-once version of the failed HD-DVD format

    HD-DVD R

    2006–2008
    Write-once version of the failed HD-DVD format

    HD-DVD R

    2006–2008
    Write-once version of the failed HD-DVD format

    HD-DVD R

    2006–2008
    Write-once version of the failed HD-DVD format
  • BD-R

    2006–present
    Blue-Ray Disc Recordable, with a capacity of 25 GB

    BD-R

    2006–present
    Blue-Ray Disc Recordable, with a capacity of 25 GB

    BD-R

    2006–present
    Blue-Ray Disc Recordable, with a capacity of 25 GB

    BD-R

    2006–present
    Blue-Ray Disc Recordable, with a capacity of 25 GB

    BD-R

    2006–present
    Blue-Ray Disc Recordable, with a capacity of 25 GB

Optical Card

In 1981, British Telecom introduced a prepaid phonecard that used thermal marking to track usage. The card was read by reflected infrared light. The reflective coating was burned away by a heating element as the card was used, allowing the phone to determine how much time was left.

  • British Telecom Phonecard

    1981–1996
    Time remaining tracked by burning spots in reflective strip

    British Telecom Phonecard

    1981–1996
    Time remaining tracked by burning spots in reflective strip

    British Telecom Phonecard

    1981–1996
    Time remaining tracked by burning spots in reflective strip

    British Telecom Phonecard

    1981–1996
    Time remaining tracked by burning spots in reflective strip

    British Telecom Phonecard

    1981–1996
    Time remaining tracked by burning spots in reflective strip

Barcode

Barcodes and mailing labels are often printed using direct thermal printing. In direct thermal printing, the print head contains heating elements that cause a chemical change that blackens a specially coated paper. Unlike thermal transfer printing, a direct thermal printer uses no ink or ribbon.

  • Maxicode / Code 128


    Barcodes frequently used on shipping labels.

    Maxicode / Code 128


    Barcodes frequently used on shipping labels.

    Maxicode / Code 128


    Barcodes frequently used on shipping labels.

    Maxicode / Code 128


    Barcodes frequently used on shipping labels.

    Maxicode / Code 128


    Barcodes frequently used on shipping labels.