ILFORD Chronology


To move straight to my chronology listing, click here.
Otherwise, read below some introductory information on the formation of Ilford, Limited (now ILFORD Photo) and scroll down further to view some of the early trade-mark images.

Introduction:

The photographic company that was to become Ilford Ltd, started in 1879 in Ilford, Essex, north east London, UK, when Mr Alfred Hugh Harman (b 1848) set up a business in the basement of his house on the corner of Cranbrook Road and Park Avenue (where the Cranbrook pub' is now). His business expanded and in 1880 it moved to Roden St, trading as the Britannia Works Company, later called Ilford, Limited. Wikipedia says:
"Their (Ilford's) headquarters were based in Roden Street but these were demolished during the early 1980's to make way for a new one-way traffic system to help with the town's traffic problem. A Sainsbury's supermarket now stands on the former site".
The Technical Service Department building, managed by Jack H Coote (see 1952, below), used to be situated in the space which is now Sainsbury's car park (see the 1976 entry, below).

By the 1970s, Ilford's administrative address was 29-37 Roden Street, Ilford IG1 2AB; Tel. 01 478 3000; Telegrams PLATESILFORD. The lower Left Hand corner of this map shows Roden St, and what is presumably the Sainsbury's Super Store. The Park Avenue intersection with Cranbrook Road can be seen towards the upper Left Hand corner of the same map.

The current ILFORD Photo (since 2005, née Iford Imaging; Town Lane, Mobberley, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 7JL, England) is situated on part of the old Rajar factory site at Mobberley, which became the manufacturing premises for Ilford (then Ilford Anitec) in 1996. The original Rajar buildings, which retained the Rajar name long after Ilford acquired the premises in 1928/29 (for details, see the chronology below) were demolished in 2004 and the land sold to Barratt Homes for the construction of around 90 houses, some of which were occupied by March 2007. Ilford retained its newer buildings at the rear of the site.

Tony Usher's website shows some views of the original Ilford buildings, the demolition phase and of a special Rajar building that now survives as a village community facility. This building was preserved, renovated & presented to Mobberley as part of an agreement with Ilford in exchange for the Parish Council supporting Ilford's planning application for housing on the site. Tony Usher worked for Ilford for 40years, the last 18years before retiring being in "Quality Services", the largest of Ilford's quality control facilities. This facility tested film and paper for Production and R&D departments using a huge range of equipment and techniques. Tony was the Technical Manager of QS and he ensured that all the data generated during testing was consistently accurate. His website is well worth a look - scroll down to see the old buildings. The original Rajar Ltd stone plaque can be seen. The preservation of this plaque was also part of the deal with Ilford. Barratts were appraised of the situation at a meeting when they bought the site and Ken Trotman, with Councillor Frank Williamson, ensured the stone was removed to a safe location. Barratts were then badgered to ensure the stone was re-placed.

There is an active Mobberley Village Society with an aim, written into it’s constitution, which "requires the members to seek out any and all facts, and artefacts, relating to the long history of Mobberley and to reinstate all treasures found within the public domain". This Society, through Roger Gittins and Terry Mitchell, has been helpful in supplying various pieces of information and pictures to my Photomemorabilia website. These can be viewed here.



Trade-Mark Images:
In 1886 Alfred Harman introduced his 'paddle-steamer' trade mark. This continued in use (slightly modified) for almost 60years.
My thanks to Doug McKee for noting detail differences in these images - also thanks to the authors of the book 'Silver by the Ton' (see below).

Richard W Holzman has traced the original formal application for registration of this paddle steamer trade mark as it appeared in the 'Trade Mark's Journal'. The application is dated 6th October 1897. This date conflicts with the date reported above (1886), though its quite possible the paddle steamer drawing was in use on Alfred Harman's products for some years before he applied for his drawing to become his expanding company's formal trade mark.

The application was reported in 'The Photographic Dealer' magazine for January 1898. To see the full page image from that magazine, click here.

Alongside is the specific text, extracted and enhanced by Richard.


Original version, 1886.
Similar to that in the application, above.
The name 'Ilford' appears in the 1886 version of Harman's trade mark, even though his company name was still (then) Britannia Works Company. The explanation appears on p19 of 'Silver by the Ton'.

"By 1883, only four years after its foundation, the business had expanded so well that a special factory was built on the Clyde Estate for plate manufacture. Two years later, Harman quarrelled with Marion and Co. and terminated their agreement. In 1886, he tried to obtain an injunction to prevent their using the name 'Britannia'. Harman lost his case: Mr Justice Chitty ruled that, as Marion and Co. had registered the mark, they were entitled to use it. Harman reacted to the decision by changing the name of his plates from 'Britannia' to 'Ilford' and the name Britannia Works to the Britannia Works Company. He also introduced the paddle steamer trademark and reduced his prices. For example, the price of one dozen Ordinary quarter-plates (3¼in x 4¼in) was reduced from 2s to 1s".


1901- an unusual version. It seemingly pre-dates the requirement for Britannia Works to specify their new name as ILFORD, Limited. (see chronology, below)


From 1907 BJPA
But why does the flag not read ILFORD, Limited ?


1908


From 1911 BJPA


1913

The above 3 images all show ILFORD, LIMITED on the pennant flag, as required by Ilford Urban District Council post-1901


1930-1945
By this date, Ilford, Limited had reverted to just using the name ILFORD.

Subsequent to WW2 Ilford dropped the paddle steamer trade-mark and adopted an advertising slogan: "Ilford Films for Faces & Places".
Ilford incorporated this slogan into their camera design. The Ilford Envoy box camera, in the mid-1950s, had its focussing marked: 'Push-In for Places ~ Pull-Out for Faces'.

Tony Cunnane (see 1946 entry below) recalls a seemingly earlier slogan: "Focus right then gently press: Ilford Selo spells success"

Ilford introduced their 'sunburst' symbol in 1965, (see itemised chronology, below), the first graphic company symbol since the 'paddle steamer'.


Selo film dispenser
South Kensington Science Museum (perhaps now at the Bradford Media Museum?).

Dates from a time when size 20 ie 120 film, cost 1/- per roll, probably early 1930s.


'Selo Soldier'
Picture by courtesy of David Gardner.



The 'Selo Soldier',
images used by Ilford during the 1930s to promote 'Selo' brand films.
The left hand one is on display at
Bradford Media museum.

Alongside, and below, are scans of various Ilford print wallets (envelopes), provided to customers from chemists shops after the shop (or its agent) had developed and printed the customer's roll film (spool).

The print wallet to the left appears to be the earliest shown here. It has come from Colin Frankland, and perhaps dates from the early 1930's. Notice how each print cost a mere 1d (an old penny = 0.4p) as the order was for 2 prints from each of 16 negatives, so 32 prints in all costing 2s 8d = 32d (old pence).

Film developing cost 6d (6 old pence = 2.5p).

   

My thanks to Anthony Smout for sending me the scans of the Selo Films print envelope, above.
Considering the range of Selo films advertised, its likely that the envelope dates from 1937 or thereabouts. The envelope claims "Three new films of special grain fineness for use in Leica, Contax and similar cameras."
   

The above print envelope images (outside and inside) have been sent to me by Nita Fenton. Since they refer to F.P.2 and H.P.2, they are likely to date from around 1940. Below are more images from Nita, possibly dating from the early 1950s. The customer for the snaps below must have worked at a local Clarks shoe shop, which was familiar enough for the person in the chemists shop taking the order, not to have to insert a name. The slogan reads "Make a letter better, Send Snaps on ILFORD films".

   

Christine Ellis (ex-Sussex, now living in Sydney, Australia) has sent the above views of an Ilford print envelope. As Christine points out, strangely enough it is from a Margate d&p chemist, as is the previous Selo envelope from Anthony Smout. This envelope is believed to date to about 1952 as Christine's husbands' family had moved to Ramsgate in 1948 and then migrated to Australia in 1953 after her husbands' father "did a recce in 1952". Hence, the hand-written capital letter notation on the back cover, reading "Australian snaps" is probably correct.

The three films illustrated are Selochrome ortho, HP3 and FP3, all in 120 roll film format.

   

The above print envelope images are more provided by Nita Fenton. Since the inside cover mentions the very fast emulsion Ilford HPS, the envelope most likely dates to the mid or late 1950s. Interestingly, the term 'en-print' is first appearing and is explained thus:
"When you take a roll or cassette of exposed film to your photographic dealer or your chemist, ask him to give you en-prints. (En-print or enprint is an abbreviation of enlarged print.) These en-prints are markedly larger than the standard 'contact' print you normally have. So ask for en-prints - they're your best buy !"
   


These pictures of Ilford FP3 (828 Bantam size), HPS and HP3 (120 size) sent to me by Charlie Kamerman
http://www.KodakCollector.com

   


Scan by courtesy of Chris B.
shown on his flickr page


Selo poster (lithograph in colours, backed on linen, 30"x20")
offered as part of a sale of ski posters at Christies, January 2007
   

This wonderful and well preserved enamel advertising sign (left) is owned by James Lobley.

He says that he found the sign "in the loft of one of my father's chemist shops. I was probably no more than 14 years old when I came across it clearing out that roof space which had been untouched for decades. I've always been quite a strong athletic person, even as a child, so my dad always found good use for my energy and enthusiasm by giving me the tough dirty jobs nobody else wanted! It's now been in my possession for 20 years. He sold his chain almost a decade ago and it's really the only thing I have to remind me of the shops, so sentimental value is quite high".

"You may add it to your site. After spending so many years hidden away under soot and cobwebs I think it deserves it" !

The age of the sign is uncertain, but likely dates to the 1930s. Selo film was being marketed by Ilford from at least September 1930 (see below) and possibly earlier. By 1935 a range of Selo films was being marketed and its possibly significant that the sign refers to the plural 'Selo Films'.

Recently (March 2014) a lady named Saru has sent me a picture of a near identical sign, in apparently perfect condition.

   

A glass fronted shop cabinet advertising Selochrome Film, British Made by Ilford Limited, Ilford, England.

An image sent to me by Chris Eccles who lives in Canada.

   
A Selo poster, measuring "a little over 6ins x 28ins" (150mm x 710mm). The picture shown here was kindly sent by Kiki Werth. Available to purchase (March 2010) in her Ebay shop, priced £25. It probably dates from the latter 1930s.
 

A neon illuminated Selo film advertising sign. The image is by courtesy of Doug McKee. Doug says the side with the neon is actually yellow with red letters but the neon light (colour temperature) affects the result.

I've tried to 'tweak' the colours in the result shown here (left), in line with Doug's description.

   

 

This picture of a lorry operated by Ilford Limited was sent to me by John Smailes. The vehicle has the registration plate, F.697, which helps to date the vehicle.

Wikipedia informs us that before 1932, the letter indicated the local authority in whose area the vehicle was registered. In 2008, the registration plate F.1 was sold by Essex County Council, who had held the plate since it was first issued in 1904, when the County became a licensing authority. This conveniently fits with Ilford's ownership of F.697, since Ilford (the town and original base of Ilford Limited) is in the County of Essex, UK.

According to the Essex Record Office, F 697 was registered between 1904 and 1906. The lorry is steam driven; the two men would have been the driver and the fireman. In front of them is the boiler with what appears to be a steam pressure gauge in front of the smoke stack.

Doug McKee has noticed this (but not quite the same) picture appears in the book 'Silver by the Ton' (see below and my 1979 chronology entry), where it is said to be the earliest vehicle used by the Company - a Foden steam wagon.



Film Name Derivations:

There seems no acknowledged derivation of the word 'Selo', originally coined in 1920 and which Ilford retained in their 'popular' amateur film 'Selochrome' until c1968. One theory, based upon a phrase within a 1930s book 'How It Is Made', which includes a chapter on film making, is that 'Selo' is an abbreviation for 'Sensitised Celluloid', though a simpler suggestion has been made that it is merely an abbreviation / corruption of the word Celluloid.

Of course, 'Selo' means (postal) stamp in Portugese. Could this be of any significance ? The picture alongside is of a postage stamp dispenser, outside the main Post Office in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

 

'FP' was originally an abbreviation for Fine (grain) Panchromatic (film) and 'HP' for Hypersensitive Panchromatic (film). Hence, strictly grammatically, these film names should be abbreviated to F.P. and H.P., as in the film carton of H.P.2 shown immediately below. As this film carton is dated September 1942, it must be from some of the last batches of H.P.2 film produced (carton images from Charlie Kamerman). Interestingly, this 127 size roll film carton was original intended for Selo Ortho(chromatic) Film and has a sticker relabelling the carton as Hypersensitive Panchromatic film.

In Amateur Photographer magazine for November 1946 there is an Ilford advertisement which refers to Ilford Selo H.P.3 (note the full stops after the H and P, confirming the intention of name abbreviations). By the 29th October 1947 edition, the word Selo has been dropped, but the film is still H.P.3. Then, in a January 1951 AP, the advertisement is for HP3 (no full stops), i.e Ilford have decided to make HP3 a name, not an abbreviation.


Film Speed Changes:

At several points in the chronology (below) reference is made to black & white film speeds changing (doubling) in 1960. This arose when American Standard PH2.5-1960 made a change to the previous American Standards Association (ASA) method of speed rating black & white film emulsions by removing an exposure safety factor that had previously been applied. The result was an apparent doubling of flim speeds.

With the greater use, by 1960, of colour films that needed accurate exposure measurement, and therefore greater use of accurate exposure metering systems, the ASA decided there was no longer need for black & white emulsions to retain their previous exposure safety margin.

This link gives access to a short article entitled "The Jump in Film Speeds", by Andrew Matheson. It is extracted from 'PhotoGuide Magazine', Vol.11, No.8, August 1960, pages 662-665.

The American (ASA) speed change, leading to a doubling of black & white film speeds (no change to the actual emulsions) was anticipated would eventually apply in the UK also, and indeed new, increased, film speeds appeared on film packaging during 1960, leading to confusion for some amateurs. One such amateur, Mr Geoffrey Perry, requested clarification about the apparent doubling of black & white film speeds in the readers write "Mailbag" content of the December 1960 issue of "35mm and Sub-Miniature Photography" magazine. The magazine enquired of Ilford Ltd, who gave a Technical Services Note reply, which can be read here. However, the new British Standard that would formally ratify this doubling of film speed was said to still be "expected almost daily" in Amateur Photographer magazine's editorial paragraphs (page 943) as late as 21st June 1961. In fact, AP may have had to wait longer than they anticipated, since the relevant BS 1380 didn't finally arrive until 1963.

Flash exposures were advised to best still be based on the lower (old) film speed rating (ref: Amateur Photographer 'Readers Ask', 11th Jan.1961). Also, the change did NOT apply to colour films, neither negative nor transparency (reversal) films, where no exposure safety margin had ever been incorporated into their speed rating. Colour film always give best results when exposed accurately to the true emulsion speed.


Ilford Chronology:

The original basis for the following 'Ilford chronology' was the Ilford Imaging (before ILFORD Photo) web site, but I have expanded that source considerably and am constantly adding to it through my own research and the contributions of the many people who e-mail me. Information relating to Cibachrome development and the 'CIL' products emanating from Ciba Lumière (see the entry for 1963, below) come from Andy Holliman (whose further contribution can be seen on the Sportsman History page). I'm also indebted to Martin Reed of SilverPrint who provided me with some of the facts relating to the years 1975 thr' 1999 which I have incorporated into my own. Items marked (Ref: D.M) have been provided to me by Doug McKee. Some of the booklets and leaflets that are illustrated belong to David Muggleton; others belong to Paul Godfrey who has been generous in sharing his items, often backed-up by information based upon his professional experiences.

There is always uncertainty about the accuracy of historical information so do e-mail if you can improve on the information contained below.

The list of Ilford plates, flat film and roll film in the following table is abridged. A full list can be found in the book 'Silver by the Ton - A History of Ilford Limited 1879-1979' by RJ Hercock and GA Jones, two distinguished Ilford employees. The publishers are McGraw-Hill Book Co (UK) Ltd, Shoppenhangers Rd, Maidenhead, Berks, SL6 2QL; 176 pages illustrated in black & white. The ISBN is 0-07-084525-5. In August 1979 it was priced at £9.95 in hardback

ILFORD Photo's own chronology 'Why Ilford? - History' can be viewed at http://www.ilfordphoto.com/aboutilford/page.asp?n=1


1879
Alfred Hugh Harman begins making Gelatine Dry Plates in the basement of his house in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex.
His business was named 'Britannia Works'.

1880
Harman moved to Roden Street, trading as the Britannia Works Company

1884
Introduction of Bromide & 'ALPHA' paper

1885
Introduction of 'ORDINARY' Plate (4.5ASA)

1886
Britannia Works is now Britannia Works Co.
Prices of dry plates reduced to penalise the Marion plate company after a dispute with them.
Renaming of products to 'Ilford' Dry Plates "known prior to February 1886 as 'Britannia'."

1889

September 1889, a monthly news sheet was introduced called 'Photographic Scraps'. Doug Mckee has copies from No.35, July 1893 to No.50, October 1893. He also has a copy dated March 1899. The July 1893 issue No.47 shown alongside has the foreword "The monthly issue is now over 29,000 and copies can be had from photographic stock dealers throughout the world, from China to Peru. Any dealer who does not get a sufficient supply, should drop us a postcard stating his wants." By June 1908, the circulation had reached 40,000 monthly, see bottom of p8 of the pdf here.

A web page devoted to 'Photographic Scraps', where copies can be downloaded as pdf files, is available by clicking here.

"Photographic Scraps" ceased publication in 1914 and didn't restart after World War 1.

1890
'The Ilford Manual of Photography', originally 'The Manual of Photography', was first published in 1890. Mr C H Bothamley was the principal writer of the the Manual and it was published by the Britannia Works Co., Limited. It continued until the 5th edition in 1958 (see below). This book was not (despite what the title might suggest) about Ilford equipment, but was a generic description of how to use cameras, process film and make prints. The Focal Press website shows examples of pages from the 1890 copy, http://books.elsevier.com/companions/0240515749/ but the title page seems to belong to a later edition (Ref: D.M) as it refers to Ilford, Ltd; which suggests it was published post-1902.

1891

The company (still privately owned) was registered as 'Britannia Works Co. Ltd' on 17th December. First Board Meeting was held on 2nd December.

Kodak began manufacturing in Harrow, Middlesex, UK around mid-1891, future competitors to the Britannia Works Co. and Ilford. Kodak's Managing Director was Mr.W.H.Walker. "The evergrowing popularity of transparent rollable film, the improvements made in the Kodak (camera) and the enormous sale of bromide paper necessitated manufacturing in the UK."

1892

In 'Photographic Scraps' for 1st August 1892, there is an announcement of 'The ILFORD Year Book, Diary, and Register of Exposures'.
"Full particulars, specimen pages, and woodcut next month; 180 pages, bound in French morocco, 1/-. The issue for 1893 (must have been the first issue) will be ready on 1st November next (i.e.1892), and it is proposed to make it an annual volume. To ensure prompt publication it is now in the printer's hands, and export orders will be executed on and after the 1st October next."

Ron May owns an 1895 copy of 'The ILFORD Year Book' (the title seems to have been abbreviated since the 1892 announcement, above) and has provided scans of its cover and a few of its 180 pages. To view these, click here.
Page 169 announces that 32,000 copies of 'The Ilford Manual of Photography' had been sold by the time this 1895 Year Book had been published (around November 1894).

1895

Introduction of 'EMPRESS' (9ASA) Plates, see here.

Introduction of SPECIAL RAPID (13ASA) Plates, see here.

Introduction of PROCESS (0.55ASA) Plates.

1897

Introduction of 'CHROMATIC' Plate (4.5ASA)

In 1897 and again in 1903, Eastman Kodak approached the company with a view to a take-over or an amalgamation, but nothing came of these proposals.

Bromide Platinomatt Surface paper – (‘PMS’ paper) introduced. See packet cover image alongside, courtesy of Michael Talbert. See here.

1898
10th March; meeting to dicsuss going public.
17th May; first Board meeting of Britannia Works Co.(1898) Ltd.
7th June; Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held. A vote re: 'Going Public' was put to shareholders and 'carried'.
14th Sept; the (private) company 'Britannia Works Co.Ltd ceased to exist and the (public) 'Britannia Works Co.(1898) Ltd. came into being with a
nominal share capital of £380,000. The reference to 1898 in the company title was soon dropped. Alfred Harman (then aged 50) retired from active control of the company at this time but continued to provide his expertise and experience for several more years.

1899
Platona printing paper introduced. Still in production in 1908. See pdf of a Platona instruction leaflet here.

A Platona 'ILFORD Platinum Paper' tin, used by the Britannia Works Co. Ltd, Iford, London, for the supply of Platona paper around 1899. This tin measure some 170mm in length and 65mm diameter. The lid has an air tight seal ring which seals against the body of the tin when the lid is securely screwed on. The paper has to retain a trace of moisture in order for the development process to work, so presumably the air-tight lid prevented the paper from completely drying out. To see closer views of this tin, plus a smaller tin (in better condition), click on the image alongside or here.

1900
In October, the company made representations to change their name to Ilford Ltd, but the Ilford Urban District Council objected.

1901
The Ilford Urban District Council finally approved the name change from Britannia Works Co. Ltd. to 'Ilford Ltd' provided there was a comma inserted after the name 'Ilford' and Ltd was spelt in full i.e. Ilford, Limited. The comma continued in use, officially at least, until 1951 (maybe there was a 50year agreement with the Council?) but in practice it was dropped from advertising literature around 1935 (possibly the result of the area becoming the 'Municipal Borough of Ilford' in 1933 ?). (Ref: D.M)

A box of Ilford Special Lantern Plates, photographed by Rab Egerton (photographer).
Click here, or on the image to see an enlarged view.
The box is marked H1 = August 1901, around the time that The Britannia Works Co. Ltd first became officially known as ILFORD, LIMITED (see address near bottom of the box).

1902

Ilford market their first camera, the Falling Plate magazine cut film camera (though records suggest it was in the process of being commercialised from 1899). This quarter plate magazine 'box' camera was advertised as able to be loaded in less than a minute with sufficient cut film to take 40 exposures before reloading. Ilford manufactured their own special film with a cardboard backing. The illustrated camera is within the collection of the National Museum of Science & Industry, Bradford & London, inventory number 1976-537 (now the National Media Museum).

The 1903 & 1904 BJPA gives the price of the camera as £5 with the Bausch & Lomb Rapid Rectilinear f8 lens in Unicum Shutter (T,B, 1-1/100s; as in the NMSI collection) or £8.8s (£8.40p) for the Ross Symmetric Anastigmat lens in Lopa Shutter. Ilford Special Rapid Films, in boxes of 20, cost 3s/4d (16.5p) postage extra. A camera price of £5 is equivalent to around £350 in 2005 money, based upon a comparison of the retail price index.

1903
Ilford 'MONARCH' Plate (3.5ASA ~ or maybe 35ASA as is stated in "Silver by the Ton" for Monarch Flat Film introduced in 1906).

1907
Ilford X-Ray Plate

1908

The 'Photographic Scraps' monthly news sheet (now "post free for 12 months for 6d" - 2.5p) which started in August 1889 (see above) was still in circulation and had reached a monthly circulation of 40,000, see bottom half of p8 of the pdf here. It finally ceased publication in 1914.

See pdf here for a 1908 (F.8) leaflet that includes Platona, Bromide paper & rolls of the time, Plates & films, Kalona self-toning paper, GasLight paper, P.O.P, Bromona & announcement of the 205th thousandth Ilford Manual of Photography.

1912
Ilford 'KING'S OWN' Plate (20ASA)

1913
Alfred Hugh Harman died in the 2nd quarter of 1913. The death was registered in the district of Hambledon (which spans the boundaries of the counties of Surrey and Sussex) and appears in the General Register Office (GRO) Index as Page 211, Volume 2a.

1914-18
Information from Harman Technology, emailed to me by Brett Killington, is that the following 19 Ilford employees lost their lives serving their country during the 1st World War.
"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn".
H.G.Bailey; T.Bell ; H.W.Bones; W.W.J.Christmas; J. Cook; J.A.Cornish; J.T.Cornwell (V.C); F.J.Coyle; A.W.Dyson;
R.T.Elliott; H.Green; H.Hickmott; J.Hyde; W.Knight; B.C.Munday; F.E.Savill; H.C.Trow; A.H.White; W.Wright.

1915
Ilford daylight loading Roll Film first introduced

1919

Ilford Special Rapid Panchromatic Plates (16ASA at the time but equivalent to 32ASA in the rating system post-1960).
The pack illustrated holds 1 dozen (12) 5" by 4" plates.
Sensitive to all colours, the plates needed to be handled & processed in total darkness.
For a close view of the box (left) and of the processsing instructions on the back of a March 1926 pack (26), click on the image or here. The scan of the instructions was emailed by "David".
For similar from Simon Spaans, click here.

"Imperial Handbook for 1919", produced by The Imperial Plate Co. Ltd, Cricklewood, London, NW2.
Scanned and sent by Paul Godfrey. To see the booklet as a PDF file, click the image or here. A small part of the overall text is written on the inside of the front and back, red, covers and is difficult to read, but can be deciphered by zooming the PDF image to around 200%.

Imperial was already under Ilford Limited influence by 1919, and was possibly already owned by Ilford Ltd. (see the chronology 1928-1930 'slot' below). Paul tells me, based upon information from the book "Silver By The Ton" (see text under 'Ilford Chronology' above), that Imperial produced one of these books each year until 1927. Thereafter, it may have been deemed (by Ilford Ltd) time to let this book lapse and incorporate its information into the Ilford Manual of Photography.

1920 - 21

The 'Selo' company was formed with the purpose of carrying out the joint R&D and sensitising of roll films, for all of the companies now falling under the Ilford company "umbrella". Ilford at this time imported its film base material, first from the Celluloid Corporation (USA) and later from Gevaert (Belgium).
Selo was initially formed by an amalgamated group consisting of Ilford, Imperial and Gem plus (in 1928) a consortium of four other UK manufacturers that had originally (in 1921) combined (with three others) under the name of APM (Amalgamated Photograhic Manufacturers Ltd; London).
APM was formed in 1921 (as APM 1921) and at that time consisted of the seven British companies, viz: Kershaw Optical Co Ltd; A Kershaw & Son Ltd; Marion & Foulgar Ltd; Rotary Photographic Co Ltd; Rajar Ltd; Paget Prize Plate Co. Ltd. and Marion & Co Ltd. In 1928, four of these seven i.e.Rotary Photographic Co Ltd; Rajar Ltd; Paget Prize Plate Co. Ltd and Marion & Co. Ltd, all being the ones who made sensitised materials, became APeM Ltd (Amalgamated Photographic Equipment Manufacturers) and subsequently became part of Ilford, Ltd (though Rotary had already joined with Rajar in 1917).
The remaining three i.e. Kershaw Optical Co Ltd, A Kershaw & Son Ltd and Marion & Foulgar Ltd, then became Kershaw-Soho Ltd. They later became part of the J Arthur Rank Organisation.

Selo films were sold by these companies under their own labels. The 'Selo' company was situated in Woodman Road, Warley, Brentwood, Essex. Although the name 'Selo' was officially dropped in 1946 (see below) the Brentwood factory continued to be known as 'The Selo Factory' until it was sold and the site subsequently levelled in the early 1980s.

Sharon Ellis has sent me a picture showing her Great Uncle, James Charles Emberson, as a member of a 'gang' of workers constructing (or extending) the Selo Factory in May 1921.
Below that picture is another sent by Sharon, of Selo employees in the 1960s and, especially, Sydney Bourdon, the father of a friend of Sharon.

What is the derivation of the name 'Selo' ?? No one seems to know. Could it stand for 'Sensitised Celluloid' film? Or maybe it just refers to its purpose to 'Sensitise Roll Films'.

1923

Ilford Cinematograph Film

Iso-Zenith plates, speed 700 HD originally, or 50ASA in the post-1960 speed rating system. The text on the box gives the formula and development times for the recommended ID-2 Metol-Hydroquinone (M.Q) developer and ID-11 M.Q Borax developer. Also, a formula for the recommended fixing bath. BUT, the illustrated pack is dated post-1930 and hence the information on the rear of an original 1923 pack of Iso-Zenith plates may well have been different to that shown here.

In this respect, I'm indebted to Edwin Garcia for pointing out that Kodak's D-76 developer, identical to Ilford's ID-11, is believed to pre-date ID-11 and to have been devised by a gentleman named Capstaff in 1926. Unless, therefore, ID-11 actually predates D-76 by three years, the original 1923 Iso-Zenith pack couldn't have shown mention of ID-11. Since my 1934 booklet "Ilford Plates and Films" (see below) omits mention of the ID-11 formula, and also doesn't use the ID naming system, it seems more likely that Kodak's D-76 actually predates ID-11, as is commonly supposed. My 1937 booklet "Ilford Book of Formulae" (see below) does use the ID naming system, so perhaps the use of the ID naming system was introduced between 1934 and 1937.

1924
Ilford 'UNIVERSAL' Film.
In June, George Herbert Leigh Mallory of Mobberley, Cheshire (subsequently home to ILFORD Imaging UK and now ILFORD Photo), and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine, set out to conquer Everest. Both men were lost and it remains a mystery whether they reached the summit
.

1928

First attempt at manufacturing a subtractive type of negative-positive colour 'tri-pak' roll film in conjunction with a small concern called Colour Snaps Ltd. The process proved difficult and was wound up in 1930.

Introduction of Ilford Soft Graduation Panchromatic Plates, 28ASA - would have been 56ASA in 1960 revision - reflected in the plates having an Ilford speed rating Group E. To see a close up of a similar box image, plus others provided by Simon Spaans, click here.

Also, Ilford Ultra-rapid Roll Film, 28ASA.

1928
to
1930

There is no doubt there were significant mergers between various of the smaller UK photographic companies and Ilford, Limited, at this time. The exact chronology and commercial details are somewhat obscure and the following should only be taken as a simplified guide to events.

Ilford acquired the Mobberley site (owned by Rajar Ltd since 1903), in the take-over of the various companies within the Selo organisation formed in 1920. APM, a part of Selo from 1921, was split and a new organisation formed, called APeM (Amalgamated Photographic Equipment Manufacturers ). APeM subsequently (maybe by 1929) became part of Ilford, consisting of Rotary Photographic Co Ltd; Rajar Ltd; Paget Prize Plate Co. Ltd (see picture, courtesy of John Wyllie), and Marion & Co Ltd. The other part of APM (camera manufacturers Kershaw Optical Co Ltd; A Kershaw & Son Ltd. and Marion & Foulgar Ltd) became Soho Ltd.

Wellington & Ward (based at Elstree, near London) joined Ilford by 1930. Ilford had already (by 1920) some commercial involvement with other old-established UK photographic businesses, viz: The Imperial Dry Plate Co.Ltd; Thomas Illingworth & Co.Ltd and The Gem Dry Plate Co.Ltd, but possibly the merger with APeM lead to Ilford exercising more direct control over all these previously small independents. Click on the above links to see some original advertising logos used by these companies. Some of the scans by courtesy of an email correspondent "David".

Quoting from a Supplement to 'Ilford News' Series 1, Number 6 (see 1939 below) "The effect of this great merger was a unique pooling of experience, knowledge and craftsmanship. The best brains of the companies concerned became at once concentrated in the research and production of one company's products, with the result that many important new products were produced and improvements effected in various existing grades."

Between 1918 and 1939 Ilford acquired directly or through subsidiaries some dozen businesses engaged in the manufacture of photographic goods of various descriptions. During the 1930s a number of distribution centres were set up in different parts of the country and factories or branches were established in five European countries and in India and Australia.

During the next 30 years, Ilford's Mobberley site began to concentrate on the manufacture of photographic paper. The large rolls of paper were transported to the Essex factory for cutting, packing and distribution.

1929-30 

This 8-page leaflet of Ilford products has been extracted from the 1930 BJPA Almanac. Although dated 1930, the Almanac was presents information on goods and events from the previous year, so represents products from Ilford that were on sale in 1929 (see footnote). Click here, or the image, to download the leaflet as a pdf file. Made available by David Muggleton.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Selo products at this time. Ilford roll film is still named, simply, Ilford Roll Film, speed H&D350 suitable for "Snapshots, all subjects all weathers." The H&D350 speed is equivalent to around 25ASA (ISO) on the post-1960 rating basis.

The marketing name Selo, for roll films, must have first appeared in 1930 (see below).

 1930

The Selo company had effectively already come under Ilford control by 1925 but it seems that the name 'Selo' was not adopted by Ilford as their film brand name until 1930 (see above).

Once in use, the name Selo survived in the film name 'Selochrome' until around 1968. Click here, or the adverts alongside, to see how Selo film was being advertised in September 1930.

The 1930 AP advert shows that Ilford size No.20 'Selo' film cost 1/- for 8 exposures.

Ilford Panchromatic Film (32ASA) introduced.

Ilford's advert suggests "Still Time for Daylight Printing - Finish off those Summer Prints with INTONA, the Ilford Self-Toning P.O.P (printing out paper). It prints right out so that progress may be watched. The paper with the minimum trouble and the most artistic results. Tones ranging from beautiful browns to photographic purple, obtained at will with Hypo (fixer) only. No other chemical required."
P.O.P paper was used in contacting printing frames to produce positive images merely by the action of light through the negative; it required no developer. When the image looked to have reached the desired density, it just required to be fixed to be made permanent. P.O.P was the fore-runner to 'gaslight' paper that later became known as 'contact' paper. These latter papers did require development as well as fixing but were much 'faster' than P.O.P so needed to be exposed to strong light for just a few seconds before development. P.O.P was very slow and required an exposure of several minutes to daylight - hence Ilford suggesting, in their September advert (click here for an enlarged image), that there was still time for Daylight Printing.

An early 116 size (6 exposures each 2½"x4¼") roll of Selo Orthochromatic film, dated "Develop Before July 1933".

This roll was presumably exported to the continent as it's labelled "Importe d'Angleterre" (French for "Made in England").

Image from Charlie Kamerman.

1931
Debut of Hypersensitive Panchromatic (initially for Plates), later to become known as HP (as in HP3 etc)

1932
Ilford Infra-Red Plate

1933
An interesting e-mail (August 2005) from Frank Philipse in the Netherlands, gives extracts from the diary of his relative, Lidy Haremaker (1905-1984), who became a teacher of English in the Netherlands. Lidy was Dutch and lived in the Hague, but she visited Ilford's Selo factory in early 1933 while on a trip to London. Lidy was an intelligent women with broad interests, including photography. On Saturday 7th January she writes "I wandered a little about Mansion House and came into Cheapside where are many shops, and I saw the newest kind of film to make photographs in the evening." She visited the "factory in Brentwood, which the Ilford people had arranged for me. I had rung up Mr Davidson, manager of Selo Ltd. - Woodman Road - Warley - Brentwood, Essex (tel. 631)." Lidy visited Selo on Thursday 12th January 1933 ,"I was back in London by three and went to Cheapside to buy the new kind of film." Lidy is clearly referring to a higher speed film than had previously been available.
An entry in the book 'Silver by the Ton' on page 119, describes Ilford's decision at that time 'to attack' the amateur market seriously. It reads "Roll films had been sold for some years under a variety of labels, but in 1932 Selochrome film was produced with higher speed, good orthochromatic sensitivity, anti-curl and anti-halo characteristics."
This film caught on well in the UK and the continent and grew to considerable proportions. Hence, "It was decided ... to produce a Selo panchromatic film. This led to Hypersensitive Panchromatic films."
It seems likely that the higher speed Selochrome film, which was eventually (1935, see below) called Hypersensitive Panchromatic film, was the new film Lidy was excited to try out.
Ilford Clorona paper introduced in 1933 (?). Scan sent by "David". To see an enlarged version of the illustration, click on the thumbnail or here.
Michael Talbert reports that warm tones on Ilford “Clorona” paper were popular in the 1930s. The Ilford Manual for 1935 gives two print developers, ID-23 and ID-24, suitable for producing warm-black to sepia to red tones on Clorona paper. The Ilford Manual also states that Clorona paper required a negative of “Fair contrast” when brown-sepia to red tones were desired. As the tone of the print changed from brown-black to sepia and finally to red, the visual contrast decreased, so a negative of fairly high contrast usually gave the best results. This is exactly what Michael found in the 1960s using Kodak's equivalent, Royal Bromesko paper.

1934

This red & black covered 36 page booklet is entitled "ILFORD Plates and Films" and bears Ilford's steamer logo above the words "Ilford Limited, Ilford London". It is presumed to date to February 1934 from the B34 footnote on the back cover.

It describes the various plates, flat film and roll films available at that time, with useful information relating to their H&D speed rating, exposure and development (tank and dish). It concludes by considering negative defects and describes reduction and intensification techniques, plus how to avoid dichroic fog, 'frilling', halation and coloured patches.

Selo panchromatic (see entry above) is rated at H&D (Hurter & Driffield) 1,200; perhaps 100ASA, barely medium speed by modern standards. Possibly it was this film which was improved and became Hypersensitive Panchromatic (HP) - see below.

The Ilford Courier, No.3 Volume 2, for June 1934. The front cover shows the Selo soldier leading a Selo girl riding a beach donkey. Click the image or here to download a pdf copy.

The Courier was a 215mm by 135mm, 14 page, marketing booklet to convey ilford company strategy to the trade. It was particularly concernbed with encouraging good marketing by the trade in the direct contact with customers. This particular issue was wishing the trade to offer the new Selo Rayon printing paper, with 3½"x2½" prints costing 'only' ½d (old pence) more, at 2½d (1p) per print, instead of 2d for the long established glossy paper. Selo costumes, to imitate the Selo girl and the Selo soldier, were available on hire to the trade free of charge and carriage paid, "use them for your local hospital carniivals, fetes etc".

(See 1939, below, for another issue of the Courier, celebrating 60years of Ilford).

Alongside is an Ilford advert for Selochrome roll film from the rear cover of a June 20th, 1934 issue of the UK magazine "The Amateur Photographer & Cinematographer" which subsequently became Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine, still on weekly UK sale in 2008.

The scan was sent to me by Marc Akemann, a US member of the APUG internet forum.

Click here or on the thumbnail to see a larger image.

1935

Ilford Hypersensitive Panchromatic (HP) 160ASA and Fine Grain Panchromatic (FP) 28ASA roll films introduced.

These HP and FP roll films were the fore-runners to the famous HP and FP roll and 35mm film series which culminated in HP5+ (1989) and FP4+ (1990).

Ilford Ltd acquired an interest in Dufay-Chromex Ltd. (14-16 Cockspur Street, London; later Dufay Ltd.) for whom it started to manufacture a reversal colour film of the additive type under the brand name Dufaycolor. Dufaycolor had previously (from 1932) been available in England only as 16mm & 9.5mm ciné film, but Ilford's expertise and finance enabled it to be marketed for still photography in 35mm, roll, sheet and film pack forms. Although processing was relatively simple (and instructions were published), Ilford offered a service for roll films.
A 120 size roll film, for 6 exposures, cost 3s/4d (16.5p), over three times the cost of an 8 exposure b&w film (see 1936, below) and developing (to colour transparencies) cost another 1s/6d (7.5p). Hence, 6 Dufaycolor transparencies cost a total of 4/10d (24p), more than £10 in 2005 money.
See some Dufaycolor examples taken about 1936 by John Daly's father, Melvin.
The Dufaycolor film had a speed rating of around 10ASA (some sources say 8ASA, 21Sch), a third of a conventional b&w film of the day. (Ref: Brian Coe, "Colour Photography, The first hundred years 1840-1940", page 72).
Accessories for Viewing Dufaycolor roll film transparencies were available - see the 1938 leaflet sent to me by Brian Wilkinson.

Ilford came under the control of the Ministry of Aircraft Production at the outbreak of war in 1939 and post-1945 it didn't resume an interest in additive colour (prior to WW2, Ilford had already started R&D into subtractive colour). However, Dufay Ltd survived into the 1950s and Dufaycolor film was still being disposed through Amateur Photographer 'small ads' in the early 1960s; viz. a 100ft 35mm bulk roll is priced at £1 and a 50ft roll at 12/6d (62.5p). Processing kits for four films are priced at 12/6d (62.5p) or processing vouchers (presumably for one film) at 6/- (30p).

To watch a 9minute Dufaycolor film featuring the Selo Film Laboratory, at Brentwood, Essex, click here (catalogue No.6947 of the East Anglian Film Archive within the University of East Anglia ~ UEA)

Other films relationg to the Selo Factory, viewable at the East Aglian Film Archive, are:
Catalogue No.2843, being a 19minute film made by well-known amateur cinephotographer George Sewell, featuring 16mm film processing (developing and subsequent printing to a positive) of Ilford’s Selo amateur film stock.
Printing the 16mm negative film to a positive for projection was done using a Schustek printer, that is reported was also capable of reducing 35mm film size down to a 16mm positive.
Catalogue No.7980, being an 8minute film showing aerial footage of the Selo factory and the nearby town of Brentwood and surrounding areas.

This 32 page 180mm by 120mm booklet explains techniques for making lantern slides from existing negatives, by contact or reduction printing. "Of all the fascinating bypaths of photography it is doubtful whether any gives such complete satisfaction and permanent pleasure as the making and exhibition of lantern slides. ...it enables the photographer to see his pictures at their very best, and to share his pleasure with a large or small circle of friends. The amateur photographer with scientific or artistic inclinations.....can producer lantern lectures of the utmost educational value."

Recommended Ilford lantern plates are 'Special' for brilliant black tone, 'Warm Black' for warm image tone, 'Alpha' for slide making by contact and 'Gaslight', which can be handled in subdued artificial light and especially suitable for weak negatives. The rear page shows the booklet to be printed in England with a J35 footnote, indicating October 1935.

Amateur films are listed as Selochrome, the extra fast roll film for fine grain, Selo Fine Grain Panchromatic roll film, fully colour corrected and of extreme speed and fine grain, and Selo Hypersensitive Panchromatic Roll Film, "the fastest panchromatic roll film made".

A photograph of an attractive young lady whose dress is bedecked with many Selochrome film boxes.
Sent by Paul Knudsen of Phoenix, Arizona, USA but the picture was actually found by a lady named Angel Burke from Prescott Arizona who procured it in an estate sale. It had been pasted in a scrap book at one time.
Paul writes that he is not sure whether its an Ilford advertisement or more likely it was a models print as it has a pebble surface not suitable for print reproduction.
I have dated the picture by (possibly) identifying the camera the lady is holding - a Kodak Junior 620 of 1935 vintage.
Click here, or on the thumbnail image, to see an enlarged version.

Selochrome 'Super Speed' film pack, containing 12 flat films size 4¼" x 3¼" (Size No.18).
Introduced in 1935, with a speed rating (ref: Silver by the Ton) of 50ASA (using the post-1960 speed rating standard).
"Highly ortho, anti halo, multi coated."
The pack illustrated bears a 'develop before September 1939' instruction and is Batch No.75C6B-F876.

The instruction leaflet with this film pack was printed in April 1934 (D34) but is presumably an instruction leaflet appropriate to all contemporary Ilford Film Packs so may not have been printed for this specific film. 'Silver by the Ton' lists the Selochrome 'Super Speed' film pack's first appearance to 1935.

A cardboard box that originally contained 16 quarter plate size (3¼"x4¼") Ilford Process Plates.

I believe their use was in high contrast copying. The recommended developer was ID13, which was Ilford's developer for 'photomechanical work' resulting in 'screen' or 'line' negatives or positives. After the plates were developed & fixed the resulting image could be cleared (using Farmer's reducer which increases contrast) or bleached and intensified.

All the relevant formulae appear on the front of the box, beneath the title 'ILFORD PROCESS PLATES', and the box has the footnote D35, indicating its selling date was probably April 1935.

An Ilford Limited souvenir book for the George V Silver Jubilee on 6th May 1935 is known to exist, presumably of similar format to that of the 12th May 1937 (see below) souvenir booklet produced by Ilford Ltd for the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen mother to Elizabeth II). One YouTube video of the Jubilee event is viewable here.

1936
An Ilford Selo print envelope shows that developing a Selo film cost 6d (2.5p) and each print cost 2½d (1p). Around this same time in the UK a loaf of bread cost 1.4p, a pint of milk cost 1.3p and the average cost of a house was £515.
With Ilford size No.20 'Selo' b&w film costing 1/- (5p), taking 8 exposures and having the film developed and printed would have cost around 3/2d (16p), or the equivalent of £7 in 2005. In 2009 a pint of milk cost around 45p and a loaf of bread 65p, all around a 40x increase over the mid-1930s.
But house prices are up over 300x.

A copy of "The Ilford Message" magazine [volume 1 number 3] was auctioned through ebay January 2006. I've no information on this publication, so anyone who recognises it, I'd be interested to learn more. The ebay vendor described it as being supplied FREE by Ilford to various photographic shops & distributors, to promote Ilford products. This particular edition contains a centre spread on the 'new' Dufaycolor film (probably an announcement relating to Ilford's involvement in this technology which began in 1935, see above).

1937
Ilford FP1, FP2 (125ASA) and HP2 Plates introduced.

In July 1937 Ilford stopped marketing Dufaycolor (announcement in Miniature Camera Magazine) and the responsibility reverted to Dufay-Chromex Ltd of Elstree, Hertfordshire (could this be the previous Wellington & Ward premises ?). At that time, Mr George H Sewell, ARPS (a well known amateur cinephotographer and author) was Sales Manager at Dufay. This change possibly coincided with the start of Ilford's R&D into its own subtractive colour film process. Despite this, there is an Ilford 4-page colour advertisement promoting Dufaycolor in the British Journal Photographic Almanac (BJPA) for 1937.
Ilford Selochrome Plates, speed rating Ilford E = 64ASA pre-1960 speed revision. Afterwards 125ASA.

A 28 page booklet entitled "ILFORD book of Formulae", footnote A37, hence presumed January 1937.

It lists formulae for Ilford Developer (ID) 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11 (i.e. the famous ID-11, same as Kodak's D-76), 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 33, 34, 35, and 36, and advises on their specific uses. There is also much other chemical information on toning prints, hypo eliminator, emulsion hardening, rapid drying, desensitization, intensifiers and reducers, fixing baths, developer stain removing etc etc.

Cezar Popescu has kindly provided me with a scanned version of this booklet, which he has made word searchable by using OCR software. Click the image to download it as a 5MB pdf file.

A twin pack of Selo films for the Compass Camera. I believe the miniature Compass Camera was introduced in spring 1937, designed by Noel Pemberton-Billing (see Readers Write, AP, 9Sep64). It was originally intended for plates but by September, the manufacturers, Compass Cameras Ltd, 57 Berners Street, London W.1 introduced a roll film back. Negatives were the same size as 35mm, but were placed transversely on unperforated film of width 1.5" (38mm). Each spool enabled the taking of 6 pictures on a film 9.25" long, with a 7" paper leader and a 4" paper trailing length. Hence, the film did not have full length paper backing. This saved on spool thickness, a similar idea to 220 roll film introduced by Kodak around 1966.
The Compass camera went out of production during the 2nd World War.
In celebration of the 12th May 1937 Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Ilford Limited produced a souvenir book of photographs taken by photographers working for Newspapers and Press Agencies. All original negatives were on Ilford Hypersensitive Panchromatic Plates and Ilford Double-X-Press Plates.
Click here or on the image to download a pdf of the book. Be patient as it is a 10MB file.
Book made available by courtesy of David Muggleton.

The 22nd edition of 'Panchromatism', price 6d (2.5p) by ILFORD Ltd. Pictures courtesy of Roy Hammans. A letter from Ilford (letter heading shown 1940, below) was contained within the book when Roy purchased it. The letter was in response to questions about information in the book. The book has no date and so it has been assumed to date to 1937, as the 23rd edition (see below) is known to date to May 1938.

The book contains the separate Ilford 'colour' test chart, illustrated alongside.
The text below the colour test chart can be read here. "If a photograph (of the chart) is taken using a (b&w) panchromatic plate and a filter giving full (colour) correction, the two halves of the test chart should approx. match.

This copy of 'Night Photography ~ Picture making at night - indoors and out', was owned by Charles Read, ARPS, who was a founder member of the Great Yarmouth & District Photographic Society and collected items of photographic nostalgia. Unfortunately Charles died in August 2008, whereupon some GYDPS members were given the task of sorting out his collection.

Paul Godfrey, who was a member of the GYDPS in his youth (he left in 1968) keeps in touch with friends who are still members. It was through that connection that Paul was able to send me the scan of the cover of the booklet and also a pdf file of the book's contents. Click here or on the thumbnail of the cover (left) to download the pdf. It extols the virtues of Selo Hypersensitive Panchromatic roll film and plates (35mm users had to wait until 1938 for the release of HP2).

Paul points out the similarity between this booklet (dated November 1937; K37) with the booklet 'Winter and Night Photography ~ Indoors and Out' which is shown below in the (August) 1938 'slot'. The difference seems to be that the 1938 booklet includes mention of HP2 film for the 35mm user.

My thanks to Alan Murray-Rust for sending me the following link, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3071805, which shows a wall painted advertisement for Selo and Selochrome films. Presumably the wall was once part of a chemist's shop, when chemists were the normal source of photographic films, equipment, chemicals and developing&printing. Its exact date is unknown, but is believed to date before WW2. Although defaced by time and building modifications, it can be clearly seen to say "SELO FILMS. GET YOUR SELO AND SELOCHROME FILMS HERE. THE FILMS FOR BEST RESULTS." Then underneath it advertises "DEVELOPING & PRINTING". Notice that the background colour appears to be the usual Ilford yellow (ochre), used on their film packaging until the mid-1960s. For an example of this yellow, see the Selo film packaging in my 1930 'slot', above.

1938

Ilford started the free distribution of an 8 page News Sheet called 'Ilford News - for Photographic Societies' to subscribing photographic clubs. The issue alongside (Series 1 No 2) carries the information:

"We should indeed be ungrateful did we not publicly express our thanks for the many hundreds of congratulatory letters which we have received on the first number of "Ilford News" and also for the many excellent suggestions sent us. We shall endeavour to make use of these suggestions as it is our desire to make this journal of the utmost use to all society and club members. It has been made clear to us from your letters that "Ilford News" has received a spontaneous welcome and we shall spare no effort to maintain the standard of the first number for all issues of the journal."

Issue 2 must have been published in December 1938 as it carries the holly framed message "A Happy Christmas to all Photographers; Ilford Limited".

Ilford Anti-Halo Fine Grain Ordinary Flat Film. Speed rating unknown.

Ilford Ordinary Plates introduced. Very slow speed, Ilford Group A, Weston 3; equivalent to maybe 8ASA / ISO in the modern speed rating system.
The film pack image shown here courtesy of Bernard Rose.
Although 'Ordinary' plates were first marketed in 1938, this package must date from much later - compare it with the earlier packaging of Fine Grain Flat Plates, shown above. Since it does not bear the paddle steamer trade mark, it likely dates from post-WW2. Ordinary Plates were still being sold in 1950.

A leaflet scanned by Paul Godfrey describing the use of Selo 'GasLight' paper, though ILFORD write in the leaflet "we prefer to call it the paper for perfect print-making by artificial Iight, since any form of artificial light may be used although electric light, gaslight, or the light of oil and pressure spirit lamps are preferable. This independence of daylight and the comfort of printing in normal surroundings renders printing on Selo Paper a very pleasant, and companionable evening occupation for the winter".
Click here on on the cover image alongside, to view the complete leaflet as a PDF file.

23rd edition of the 44 page Ilford Ltd booklet entitled 'Panchromatism', price 6d (2.5p) and dated May 1938, illustrated courtesy of David Muggleton.

As with the 22nd edition (see 1937 above) it deals with the needs of getting a truly correct rendering of all colours in terms of their grey scale brightness, set against a colour scale (see 1937 for a picture of that scale).

Apart from any pictorial or scientific requirement, an accurate 'colour' balance of subjects recorded on black and white film was necessary for the production of colour 'separation' negatives as a step towards producing additive colour slides or subtractive process prints e.g. by the trichrome carbro process.

A 40 page booklet produced by Ilford Ltd and dated August 1938 (H38 - illustrated courtesy of David Muggleton) entitled 'Winter and Night Photography ~ Indoors and Out'. Ilford used this booklet to appeal to amateur photographers who might otherwise put their camera away from October to April, expecting the winter light to be too dull for picture-making. Ilford stressed that this reason was now made obsolete with the introduction of Selo Hypersensitive Panchromatic roll film and Hypersensitive Fine Grain Panchromatic (H.P.2) film for 35mm users. In both cases the film speed had recently been increased to H&D 3,500; 31° Scheiner (maybe 200ASA in modern terms).

The Selo films 'family' at the time consisted of Selo Ortho (26°), Selo Chrome (29°), Selo F.P (27°) and Selo H.P. (31°), all being roll films, and Selo Chrome (27°), Selo F.P (24°) and Selo H.P.2 (31°) for 35mm cameras.

Roll film H.P.2 and F.P.2 were introduced in 1939, see entry below.

A cassette of 35mm 36 exposure Selo H.P.2 fim for "Leica etc". Speed rating = Ilford Group F = 32 DIN. Thus, the film was rated at 125ASA (equivalent to a 250ASA emulsion after the 1960 'universal' speed rating revision, (see notes above the top of this chronology table).

1939

Series 1 Volume 6 of 'Ilford News' (see above) carries a Supplement with the heading "Sixty Years of Progress".

"Sixty years of applied research and strenuous work in the service of photography is the proud record of Ilford Limited whose Diamond Jubilee is celebrated this year."

Apart from the Chairman (see left) Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps, K.C.B; D.S.O, others named are Mr F.F.Renwick (research dept); Dr.Olaf Bloch (photographic emulsions); Dr.Kendall (sensitizing dyes in the Rodenside laboratory - see the 1940 entry for his contribution to replacing the developing agent Metol with Phenidone); Dr.G.B.Harrison & Dr.S.O.Rawling (Selo Laboratories).

The Ilford Courier, Vol.8 No.2 for June 1939. (see above, 1934, for an earlier copy). Click here, or the image, to download a copy as a pdf file.

As in Ilford News (above) the Chairman Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps authored a 3 page account of the company's technology progress since it started 60 years previously.

An interesting article on the exposure latitude of Selo film, where the film was subjected to exposures of the same sunny outdoors subject over an exposure range of 3,000:1, and claiming all negatives gave acceptable prints. From ten times under-exposed to 300 times over-exposed. Such latuitude was claimed to be good for film sales as snapshot success was virtually guaranteed.

Ilford launched it's 'PLASTIKA' photographic paper (warm black image colour and wide exposure latitude - 9 paper surfaces) and a range of films.
H.P.2 (100ASA, equivalent to 200ASA post-1960) replaced the original Hypersensitive Panchromatic rollfilm (see 1935, above)
F.P.2 (40ASA, equivalent to 80ASA post-1960), Selo brand roll film launched.

Booklet produced in June 1939 detailing the production of Lantern Slides from negatives. "Of all the fascinating bypaths of photography, it is doubtful whether any gives such complete satisfaction and permanent pleasure as the making and exhibition of lantern slides".
Special Lantern plates in 3 degrees of contrast for slide making by contact or reduction methods. Warm Black Lantern plates yield beautiful warm black tones.
Alpha Lantern plates for slide maiing by contact, give a wonderful variety of colour by varying exposure and development. Gaslight Lantern plates for use in subdued artificial light. Specially suitable for making slides from weak negatives.

For similar, see 1935. Thanks to David Muggleton for the loan of this booklet.

Another Ilford booklet, courtesy of David Muggleton.

Dated H39, so August 1939, this booklet encourages the taking of pictures by artifical light, Photofloods and flash powder, so that photography can continue throughout the winter months.

To view the complete booklet as a pdf, click the image or here.

A 9.5mm metal cine film spool, clearly embossed with the brand name SELO.

It is owned by Christine Ellis and interestingly is of the less common 9.5mm format. Christine says "...taken in Warwickshire...The Selo reel is about 1939 (maybe 1940) as it contains film of my husband and his older brother ......."

Also embossed onto the film spool are the words "FOR PROJECTOR USE ONLY".

1940
Ilford launched the world's first true 'MULTIGRADE' photographic paper, but it wasn't an immediate success. The time was not yet right. Users were not equipped with filter-drawer enlargers and the print quality was insufficiently consistent. It was withdrawn by the end of the war. An entry in the British Journal Photographic Almanac (BJPA) for 1941 reads "The revolutionary new Ilford Development Paper 'Multigrade' is, as is now fairly generally known, a material on which the contrast of the print can be varied at will by altering the colour of the printing light."
For further Multigrade history, click here.

'Phenidone', Ilford's trademark for l-Phenyl-3-Pyrazolidone, was first prepared in 1890, however it was not until 1940 that Dr.J.D.Kendall, in the laboratories of Ilford Limited, discovered the photographic reducing properties of this chemical as an alternative to 'Metol'.

A packet Selo Gas Light contact printing paper, sent to me by Michael Talbert. To see a larger version of this image, click here or on the image.

Michael believes the packet dates to about 1940.

He says: It’s got a code on the back “S31P” meaning Selo, (grade) 3, 1 (glossy), P (single weight).

1941

Ilford Micro Neg Microfilm.

Ilford HP3 Roll & 35mm Film first appeared. Initially 125ASA (250ASA post-1960). Around 1952-53 it became 200ASA (post 1960 the 200ASA emulsion was revised to 400ASA but there was no actual speed increase, it was in recognition that with better exposure determination methods at that time, there was no longer need for all film manufacturers to include an exposure safety margin. This 2x speed increase applied to all black&white films of all makes).

Orion Bromide paper, sold in a hermetically sealed metal tube, possibly for war-time use in tropical countries.
This example was an e-bay purchase by Leon Bren, in Australia.
He found the tin still had its original seal intact. When opened (in his darkroom) he found the paper was still able to produce very acceptable images after 71 years of uncertain 'storage'.
Click the image to see more pictures and to read comment by Leon.

1942

 

Ilford launched FP3 and HP3 plates, the latter 200ASA (400ASA equivalent, post 1960) which was higher than the first release of HP3 films.

The pictures are believed to show the early and later packaging colours. For other HP3 plate & cut film packaging, between these two versions, view here.

Selochrome roll film with a 1942 expiry date.

During the war years Ilford were proud of their Lecture Team 'which carried on'.
"Throughout the war many photographic societies carried on as usual and the Ilford team of lecturers kept their dates and fulfilled their obligations. This is a service Ilford maintained throughout the war to foster and maintain enthusiasm."

Lancelot Vining, FRPS (Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and Member of the Council), FIBP (Fellow of the Institute of British Photographers), was one of the Ilford Team of Lecturers. Mr Vining was still providing this Ilford service to photographic clubs in 1952/53, together with Donald Allen, Karl Pollak and D S Moran.
Lancelot Vining worked as a Daily Mirror press photographer before the First World War. Called up in 1916 he joined what was then The Royal Flying Corp. They sent him to Farnborough Photographic School where he was given the rank of Wing Photographic Officer and based at Netherhaven (information from John Coathup, PCCGB).
Lancelot Vining spent 40 years in Fleet St as Art Editor and Press Photographer. He was also author of the famous book 'My Way with a Miniature', first published in 1941 and reprinted in 1942, '43 and '44. He had a regular column in Amateur Photographer from 1941 entitled 'Miniature Camera Gossip' to do with all things 35mm. He was a 'prickly' character who spoke his mind !

Another member of the Ilford lecture team throughout the war and afterwards, was Henry G. Russell A.R.P.S. F.R.S.A. Known as Harry to his family and friends. Anthony (Tony) Russell, his son, provided me with this insight.

Henry Russell wrote a feature called "Between Ourselves" under the pseudonym "Minicam" in Miniature Camera Magazine (MCM) from (almost) its inception until the mid-1950s. MCM first appeared around December 1936 and Henry's first contribution (6 pages) appeared in the October 1937 edition (Vol.1 No.11). The photograph is from the 'banner' at the top of the early editions. He ran his own company, handling advertising for Ilford, Photax and Johnsons. From 1938, until he died in 1960, Henry was responsible for 80% of Ilford's advertising copy. He also authored a considerable number of books on "miniature" photography. He was a respected Exhibition Judge and wrote articles under his own name for the monthly magazine 'Camera World' during the mid-1950s.

1943
HP3 Flat Film and HP3 Cine & Aerial Film.

1944

Red Seal Acetate Medical & Dental X-Ray Film.

The image alongside, sent by Mike Ratcliff, is believed to illustrate the type of box used to supply this product. Click here, or on the image, for an enlarged view.
See also (1976 chronology 'slot') images of further X-Ray materials (1956-1977) sent by Bob Chaffee.

An Ilford Limited letterhead, dated January 1944 (thanks to Roy Hammans). It shows its war time heritage by saying ILFORD LONDON 'Contractors to His Majestys Government'.

The 'Paddle Steamer' trademark is on the LHS and the SELO trademark is on the RHS.
Beneath the Paddle Steamer it says 'Manufacturers of Ilford and Selo Photographic Materials'.

John Alexander has emailed with recollections of working in the original Ilford factory site at Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, when he was a teenager.
Click here to read his account of those times.
Stan Scholes has e-mailed to say "My first job after leaving school in 1944 was at Dufay Chromex, Borehamwood, near Elstree, Hertfordshire., as a lab assistant earning £1 17s 6d. (£1.88p). .........of the 2 or 3 years I was at Borehamwood, I can only remember the name of my boss, Dr Walters. As laboratory assistant I was mainly involved in trying various dyes to find their stability to light and their colour spectrum for better cut off, ie blue that would not transmit any red etc. They had some of the processing tanks etc in some of the buildings but these were standing empty. The site at Borehamwood is now the Boulevard Shopping Centre." (Theobald Street, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 4PR).

1945

The paddle-steamer trademark, used since 1886, was dropped and the new advertising slogan "Ilford films, for Faces and Places" was coined.

Ilford's Lecture Service, which operated throughout the War (see 1942 above) announced "Today, with calm restored, we are more eager then ever to provide the services of our qualified team of lecturers, so if you have a vacant date, drop a line to the Ilford Lecture Service, Ilford Ltd, London."

In AP for 5th September 1945, John Milner, the Hon. Sec. Petersfield Photographic Society writes "I feel the time has come to thank Messrs. Ilford, Ltd, publicly and wholeheartedly for the wonderful way in which they have helped photographic societies to carry on during the alst five or six war years, by sending their lecturers and demonstrators all over the country, and at no cost whatever to the societies concerned. The Petersfield Photographic Society acknowledges that it owes this fine firm a great debt, and it is to be hoped that clubs and their members will bear in mind that the products of this company are second to none, when the market becomes flooded with foreign merchandise."

A V-2 rocket landed on Ilford's original Roden Street factory one day (this site, suggests 20th February 1945). The emulsion laboratories were in an old building with the windows permanently blocked out. The explosion blew the windows in so that light could enter, and this interrupted manufacturing. See the end of this web page for more details.
Also, see the following paragraph for the more serious consequences of this air attack.

Thanks to David Mittelstadt for pointing the following out to me, and to Martin Reed of Silverprint for its source.
A leaflet (here in pdf format) entitled "The Remarkable Achievements of Photography in the War ~ A Story of the War Effort of ILFORD, Ltd, Ilford, London". It records that in the above V-2 rocket attack, 3 emloyeees were killed and 12 wounded.

1946
Ilford FP3 Fine Grain Panchromatic Safety Film introduced, initially with a speed of 40ASA (Ilford speed group D), but around 1951 it became Weston Meter (ASA) 64, Ilford Meter 29º and Ilford Speed Group E. In 1960 the same emulsion speed was revised to 125ASA.
The film box illustrated contains an 8 exposure roll of FP3 on an 828 spool. The 828 'Bantam' format was introduced by Kodak in 1935, giving negatives 28mm x 40mm (30% bigger than 35mm). It was a cheap alternative to 35mm for the masses.This particular roll of film passed its expiry date in February 1960. The diminutive 828 film box is only some ²/
3 the size of a 120 in all dimensions and is noticeably smaller even than 127 film.

Before the war Ilford imported all its requirements of film base, first from the Celluloid Corporation (USA) and later from Gevaert (Belgium). Imports continued during the war, mainly from Du Pont (USA). In 1946, at the suggestion of the Government, Ilford and B.X. Plastics Ltd. set up a jointly owned company, Bexford Ltd., at Lawford, near Manningtree, Essex, to manufacture cellulose acetate film base. By 1955 Ilford had ceased to import film base and relied wholly on Bexford for its requirements of this material. The B.X. Plastics factory in Manningtree was known locally as "the BX" and their most famous product was the Bex Bissell Carpet Shampooer. BX also made hard rubber 3 gallon tanks like the Kodak ones but were branded as Ilford and were slightly narrower and would not take Kodak racks. Following her graduation, Margaret Thatcher worked for a short time as a research chemist for BX Plastics in the late 1940s. The company was acquired by Xylonite in the 1980s. Paul Godfrey reports that the BX factory complex is/was right beside the Norwich–London Liverpool Street railway and viewing from the train its possible to see that demolition contractors have nearly flattened the factory (Aug 2009). The site is now up for re-development.

6 exposure Selochrome film with an August 1946 expiry date.

Ilford speed rating 'E', B.S.I. Scheiner 29°. Equivalent to ASA 64 (same speed as the FP3 film above).

An Ilford Selochrome print of the entrance to the newly opened HMP Falfield, later to become Leyhill Prison in Tortworth Court, between Gloucester and Bristol. It was taken by a (then) 10 year old Tony Cunnane whose father was a prison officer. Tony has an extensive web site describing his life and RAF career, including 11 years as the Red Arrows Public Relations Officer.

Tony quotes the Ilford advertising slogan "Focus right then gently press: Ilford Selo spells success". It was widely used in newspaper and magazine adverts of the time and certainly during the latter years of the war. He recalls it was often associated with an attractive girl posing provocatively, a camera to her eye, taking a ‘snap’ of her boy friend or scenic view.

1947
Ilford announce their second camera, the sophisticated 35mm interchangeable lens rangefinder camera called the "Witness", but it was slow to reach the market for various reasons, including a shortage of high quality lenses (see 1950 & 1953). The Witness was conceived by Werner Rothschild, who had worked in the German camera industry during the 1930s and, after the war, started the UK photographic company Daroth (an abbreviation in part derived from the surname Rothschild) and similarly used Daron as a lens name. Robert Sternberg was a working colleague of Rothschild who played the major role in designing the Witness (see 1991).
Manufacture of the Witness was later taken over by Peto Scott Electrical Instruments.
Please contact Andy Holliman for a substantial account of the story of the 'Witness' including information about Rothschild, Sternberg, derivation of the name Daroth, and the connection with Peto Scott.

A 42 page booklet, priced at 2s/6d (12.5p), describing the use of Ilford contact and enlargement print materials through all stages of their use including choice of developers, print toning, presentation & choice of border and finally titling the finished exhibition print. A footnote on the last page shows PE/C.47, presumably meaning it was published in March 1947. The printers are Lund Humphries who give a number 18677.3.47, which again indicates March 1947.

A small pocket in the rear cover of the booklet contains "Specimen Surfaces of Ilford Bromide, Plastika and Contact papers".

1948
ILFORD launched its first Colour Film "D" 10 ASA. (and in 1956 Type "F" for clear flashbulbs) This was (unusually) a non-substantive reversal film, as was Kodachrome.
To read a full account of Ilford's attempts over the following 20 years to move into the field of colour film photography, click here.

Work started on a silver dye-bleach process for making prints directly from colour transparancies, pioneered by Dr Bela Gaspar in the 1930s but mainly used for motion pictures (Gaspar based his work on that started by Austrian, Karl Schnitzel, in 1905). The process, which eventually became Cibachrome (see 1963), produced the first successful prints around 1949. This work lead to the launch, in 1953, of a service to provide colour prints from transparencies

Take a look at THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA site where there is a page devoted to Alf Pyner, who joined Ilford after his time in the RAF during WW2 and had a long association with Ilford’s experiments to develop colour materials.

Pan F b&w film first appeared, initially as 35mm and a short time later as 16mm cine film stock. At that time it was rated at the lower (than later Pan F) film speed of 23° Scheiner (Ilford Exposure Meter C; ASA 16).
In November 1956 (ref: Camera World magazine) Pan F speed was increased to Scheiner 25°, ASA 25 (ASA 16 in tungsten light). Post-1960 Pan F became 50ASA in daylight, when the same emulsion was re-rated in speed (as were all b&w films at that time).
The Borough of Ilford presented Princess Elizabeth with a specially commissioned ILFORD Advocate Camera, costing £340.
The camera was stolen, but later recovered, when it was sent to be repaired.

1949

General release of 'Advocate' Series 1 camera with 35mm f4.5 Dallmeyer bloomed lens, shutter 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200 and B. £22.11s.6d (£22.58p).

Ilford Colour Film Type "A" introduced. Amateur Photographer magazine for 30th November has a Wallace Heaton advert which prices 35mm Ilford daylight Type 'D' colour film in 18 (half length) exposure cassettes at 16s/4d (82p) and 20 exposure Type 'A' cassettes at 18s/6d (92.5p), including processing. Postage extra 4d (1.5p). By 1955 both films were sold in 20 exposure cassettes for 21s/6d (£1.8p), inclusive of processing.

The 1949 BJPA (p239) carries an announcement of 'Ilford Sellotape'. "Sellotape is a self-adhesive, clear cellulose tape which adheres firmly to almost any surface. It is strong and pliable, and thus suitable for many sealing purposes, and other darkroom and studio uses. Sellotape is supplied in rolls, 8½yds in length by 5/8inch wide, in a metal dispenser which can be carried in the pocket and into which refill rolls can easily be loaded. The top of this container allows the required length of Sellotape to be torn off with either a straight or a saw toothed edge. The price of the dispenser, complete with a roll of Sellotape, is 2s.(10p), plus purchase tax; refill rolls cost 1s.(5p) each, plus purchase tax."
My thanks to D.M for pointing out this entry.

Release of the Ilford 'Craftsman', a simple 120 or 620 roll film reflex finder roll film camera, with 1/25th, 1/75th sec & 'B' shutter + f9 & f18 apertures. Focusses down to 4ft. Price £7.10s.6d (£7.53p), case £2.1s.3d (£2.06p).

The Craftsman was assembled in the same factory, Northern Scientific Equipment Ltd; Bark Street, Bolton, as the Witness.

The Ilford Photo-Electric exposure meter Model C
Calibrated in both the Ilford Speed Group lettering system (A - G) and Scheiner degrees. Ilford's speed group lettering was later extended to cover a range A -H in order to include newer, higher speed, emulsions e.g HPS in 1952.
"One operation determines camera exposure".
To view a large colour image of an Ilford Meter Model C and read the 1950 BJPA report, click here or the image.
Colour picture Courtesy of David Muggleton.

1950
There is some uncertainty, but it is possible that a prototype of the Ilford 'Witness' (see 1947) was first exhibited in late 1949 or 1950.

1951


The Ilford 'Prentice' first appeared, a basic 120 Roll Film folding camera very similar to the Kershaw Penguin.

The Prentice cost £3.13s.6d plus £1.11s.1d purchase tax (£5.23p).
At this time, a 120 roll film cost around 2s/7d (13p).

'Picture Beautiful Britain' leaflet describing the Ilford Film range in the run up to the 'Festival of Britain' May to September 1951. Recommended films were HP3, FP3 and PanF for 35mm cameras (125, 64 and 16ASA respectively) and Selochrome orthochromatic roll film (80ASA).

"This year, when more people than ever will be taking photographs of places visited and of the friends with whom they will share the enjoyment of the Festival celebration, increasing numbers of discriminating amateur photographers will be putting their trust in Ilford films."
"Pageantry, in which this country excels, will play an important part in the Festival of Britain celebrations and will provide a photographic story of tremendous interest."

In 1951, Ilford Australia Pty Ltd, was set up in West Melbourne, Australia, originally with a staff of about 10.
By 1955 (see below) the company had expanded and was relocated to a site 3 or 4 miles from Mount Waverley called Notting Hill. The Notting Hill factory was occupied until 2003.

1952

This 20 page booklet entitled Ilford Colour Films was published by Ilford Limited, Ilford, London, around February 1952 (?, based upon the rear cover printer's number ICF/B52/PLH). It describes the principles of additive and subtractive colour processes and determination of exposure under daylight & artificial light for the 10ASA Ilford Colour Films type D and A.

The text predates the 1953 announcement of an Ilford service to provide colour prints from transparancies as the end-note in italics says "Ilford Ltd does not undertake the preparation of colour prints or black & white prints from transparencies, or the preparation of duplicate transparencies." To view a PDF scan of a leaflet describing Colour Films A & D, see the 1956 chronology 'slot'.

In 1952 Ilford and Geigy set up Gyl Chemicals Ltd to manufacture Hydroquinone.

Ilford introduce high speed HPS plates (400 ASA - post-1960 re-rated at 800ASA) in time for press work during the 1953 Coronation Year.

The box of 12 off 4" x 5" HPS plates illustrated alongside probably dates from after 1956 because the three speed ratings are
Ilford Meter 37°, Ilford Speed Group H, Weston meter 400. These three speeds are compatible with the speed of 400ASA, but prior to 1956 the Weston meter calibration was not the same as ASA; it would have been 320 Weston (see here). The box shows 400 Weston which indicates the package dates post-1956, after Weston came into line with ASA (now ISO).

Jack H.Coote, Hon.FRPS, FIIP, joined Ilford Limited. Mr Coote was involved in photography from 1937. He started by working in commercial and industrial fields and then spent some time in the motion-picture and photofinishing industries before joining Ilford Limited to establish a colour processing laboratory. Subsequently he became Head of Technical Services for the Ilford Group and then Technical Advisor to the Head of Marketing. He authored 'The Focal Guide to Colour Printing from Negatives & Slides', 'Colour Prints', 'Focal Guide to Cibachrome' and 'Monochrome Darkroom Practice', as well as being an occasional contributor to Amateur Photographer magazine. Paul Godfrey tells me Jack also authored 'The Illustrated History of Colour Photography' in 1994, a good read which describes various processes including Autochrome and Dufay and continuing through Agfa, Kodak and Ilford.


Ilford Photographic Materials General Catalogue. Contents are arranged as a series of booklet sections, in a loose-leaf binder cover, enabling the indivdual sections to be replaced and updated. Probably for use by dealers, as in the back are pages entitled "Terms of business in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland".

Apparently produced regularly during the 1950s and into the 1960s for trade distribution (e.g see 1955). Thanks to David Muggleton for the loan of this copy.

1953
The Ilford 'Witness' camera finally reaches the mass market, but only some 350 are ever produced. It failed against competition from the newly released Leica M3 and its own mass production problems. In April 1953 the Witness was priced at £121.16s.8d (£121.83p) with a f1.9 lens.

Ilford PIM (Photographic Instrument Manufacturers) Monorail professional plate camera with a triangular-section rail marketed by Ilford Ltd (see picture).

Coming from the work started in 1948, the year of 1953 saw the launch of a service to provide colour prints from transparencies, both from Ilford's Colour "D" transparency film (launched in 1948) and also from Kodachrome. Alan Waller tells me "This was the operation that Jack Coote had been hired to manage (see 1952 'slot', above) and was based in Richmond (Surrey, UK). Ciba independently chose to use the same process to formulate the eventual industry leading Cibachrome process". Cibachrome enabled professionals and home workers to make excellent colour prints directly from colour transparencies.

Based upon a reversal process yielding a positive print direct from a positive transparency, print production quickly rose to more than a million prints per annum. The service was only available to 35mm slide film users. Prints 5½"x3¾" with a white border. Price per print was 2/6d (12.5p) with a minimum order of four prints from one or more transparencies.

Release of Envoy Box, Series 1 (?not sure of this year date?)
Release of Ilford 'Advocate' camera Series 2, with 35mm f3.5 Dallmeyer bloomed lens and flash synchronised, priced at £26.17s.6d (£26.88p). In this Coronation Year of Princess Elizabeth as Queen Elizabeth II, Mount Everest was finally conquered. The exploration team used Advocate cameras to record their climb, a ready made scoop for Ilford's advertising department.

'Multigrade' variable contrast printing paper re-introduced May 1953.
This second generation Multigrade started with 3 filters, all yellow, but moved on to have 5-filters (see left) before being withdrawn from sale by spring 1969. Two paper sufaces, glossy and velvet stipple.

Dated March 1953 but perhaps not printed until Nov 1953 (K53 on end page), this 68 page Ilford textbook was the 14th Edition of the "Ilford formulae book", presumably following the tradition set by the 1937 example, shown above. This version was titled "Formulae & Packed Chemicals" to reflect the change from photographers mixing their own solutions from basic chemicals to the use of pre-packaged chemical mixtures, merely requiring to be dissolved into stock, or working strength, solutions before use.
Phenidone (see 1940 entry above), "a remarkable new developing agent produced in the Ilford research laboratories, is mentioned in the book for the first time." Although first prepared in 1890 and its developing properties discovered in 1940, large scale manufacturing of the compound did not become feasible until 1951.

Developers are now ID-1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 19, 20 (Phenidone & Metol versions), 22, 33, 34, 36 (Phenidone and Metol versions), 42, 46, 47, 48, 55, 60, 61, 62 & 66. Pre-packaged developers include Contrast FF, Document paper (ID-55), Formalith, PFP (ID-62) and PQ Universal. Book also describes various fixers, hardeners, stop-baths, reducers, intensifiers, toners and packed chemicals.

To view the first 25 pages, which cover the Ilford Developers, click here or on the image. Booklet owned by David Muggleton.

Booklet similar to that shown in the 1955 'slot' (below) but unlike the later booklet, this one is clearly identifiable as November 1953 by the normal Ilford dating system on the back cover (J53).

Intended for use by retailers to show the general public the range of Ilford items available. Each booklet would bear the name of the dealer and no doubt dealers would give copies away to regular customers for them to browse at home. Packed with information within its 74 illustrated pages. Note the cover has the Ilford text logo of the time "for faces and places".

My thanks to David Muggleton for this copy.

1954

Ilford HPS roll film (120 size) and 35mm film introduced "the fastest film in the world" (plates had been introduced in 1952).
Fast panchromatic, 400ASA in daylight, 320ASA in tungsten light. The speed revision of 1960 raised the speed to 800ASA.
Price; 127 film 3s/1d (15.5p), 120 & 620 film 3s/5d (17p) & 36exp 35mm cassette 9s/2d (46p). Multiply these costs by around 20 to get 2008 equivalents, so the 35mm cassette of monochrome HPS would cost £9.20p and a 120 roll film £3.40p.

HPS was still available as conventional still camera film stock (roll & 35mm) up to the late-1960s. Processing details for roll and 35mm versions last appear in the Johnsons Year Book for 1969. After 1969, HPS only appears in the Johnson Year Book as 'narrow gauge cine film'. It continues to appear as cine film up to 1971, when the Year Book was last sold.
Kodak's equivalent 'no compromise fast film' Royal X Pan, was available (in the UK) from 1958 (speed up to 1600ASA) as 120 roll film. It was still available retail into the early 1970s. This site shows a roll of Royal X Pan with an expiry date of 1976, suggesting it was still being made in, say, 1972-73. In 1970 it was priced around 6s.9d (34p) per roll, nearly double the price in 1958.

Thanks to Roger Gittins for directing me to a copy of the Ilford House Magazine for May 1954.
It was found on Martin Reed's Silverprint website.

The picture illustrates the type of card slide mount used by Ilford for their Colour D transparency film in 1954. Plain white on the reverse.
The picture was taken on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare in the summer of 1954.

BJPA publishing arrangements: In Amateur Photographer magazine for 24th March 1954 there is an announcement, within the advertisement by R.G.Lewis Ltd. (125 Strand, London, W.C.2.), saying:
"Every year, the B.J.Almanac is published in a limited edition and it contains in its 600 pages interesting articles by renowned experts, descriptions of new methods, materials, processes, formulae etc. In both professional and amateur photographic circles it is regarded as the book of the year. Every page, even the coloured advertisements, is covered with useful information that sooner or later needs to be referred to. Publication is expected at the end of this month and in view of the usual heavy demand we shall be glad to reserve your copy now, upon receipt of remittance. Linson Board Covers, 5/- (25p); Cloth Bound, 7/6d (37.5p). Postage 8d. (3p) each."
This indicates that (in 1954 at least) publication was in early spring, but it contained information relevant to the previous 12 months. Hence, the 1954 B.J.P.A held information relevant to 1953.

1955

Ilford Witness with f1.9 Super-Six lens, and E.R.Case, secondhand for £70 at Sheffield Photo Co Ltd (Modern Camera Magazine; June 1955).

Type 'A' & 'D' colour transparency films sold in 20 exposure cassettes for 21s/6d (£1.8p), inclusive of processing (see 1949 entry for earlier prices). A scan of a June 1955 Ilford leaflet describing their "colour prints from transparencies" service is available here (courtesy of Paul Godfrey). It predates the black and white negative service and duplicate slide service.

Ilford Photographic Materials General Catalogue; a substantial 233mm x 157mm hard backed 328 page book, apparently produced regularly during the 1950s and into the 1960s for trade distribution. Doug McKee tells me that his 1956 copy has 336 pages.

Around 1955 (see AP Jan 1956, article by J.Rufus), HP3 film speed increased to 200ASA (post-1960 to 400ASA). This speed increase was fortunate because in 1955 the famous Kodak Tri-X roll film appeared - first on the Continent, later in the UK. It subsequently also became available as 35mm.
"Tri-X was once one of the most popular films used by photojournalists and many amateurs."

In 1955, Ilford Australia Pty Ltd was relocated to a site called Notting Hill. This factory was occupied until 2003. The site may have been purchased around 1953 (see p81: Silver by the Ton).
Notting Hill is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 19 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district.
Alexander Paterson Downie was the Managing Director of Ilford Australia Pty Ltd from early in the formation of the Notting Hill laboratory site (perhaps from 1955) until his retirement in 1966 (my thanks to Alex Downie's daughter, Mary Hildebrandt, for this information). After Alex Downie retired, it is possible the Managing Director was W.J.Kemp (ref: p83; "Silver by the Ton").

Mary Hildebrandt tells me:
"Notting Hill is not far away from Mount Waverley (about 3 or 4 miles). The area where the factory was located, on the corner of Forsters and Ferntree Gully Roads was appropriately opposite a local icon “The Notting Hill Hotel”, run by the wonderful Kath Byer. This meant it was an excellent situation to build a factory of any sort. Monash University is very nearby and “the Nott” has been part of the academia of that university for a long time. They walked across a paddock to get to the bar. Old Charlie Forster owned a lot of land in the area and was a successful orchardist. He and Dad (Alex Downie) were great friends and some of Charlie’s staff worked at Ilford for many years. He would be amazed if he knew how much that land is worth now, millions !!!"

David J Arnold, who works for the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), located on a site adjacent to where Ilford, Notting Hill, used to be situated, has sent me some pictures of the Ilford site dating back to the time when Ilford first began to operate from there, through to the site's demolition in 2006.

Marc Payet, who used to be National Sales Manager of the Australian ILFORD subsidiary, has told me it actually closed in 2005 and a distributor was appointed - CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd.
Marc now (2014) works as National Sales Manager for CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd at 300 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne 3207, Victoria, Australia.

A 2nd edition version of the Printing and Enlarging booklet shown previously (see 1947). This version includes mention of Multigrade paper. Multigrade had been temporarily withdrawn from sale before the time of the 1947 booklet but was marketed again from 1953, in time to appear in this 1955 booklet.

As with the 1947 version, there is enclosed within the rear cover fold, a separate sample 'book' of paper surfaces from the Bromide, Plastika, Contact and Multigrade paper ranges.

Interestingly, the price charged for this 1955 booklet (now slightly larger at 52 pages) remained at 2s/6d (13.5p).
The booklet has been donated to me by Cezar Popescu, who lives in Romania. Thanks to Cezar for sending me the booklet and also for making available a pdf of all its contents; Click the image or here.

This 96 page 120mm x 185mm booklet entitled Ilford Photographic Materials & Accessories 'for faces & places', is undated, but is believed relates to late 1955 (maybe early 1956) as it predates the release of Colour Film Type F in 1956, but post-dates the release of HPS roll & 35mm film in 1954.

It was perhaps aimed more at the amateur market than the hard back General Catalogue illustrated above. The back cover has a space for a retailer to stamp his shop's name & address (though the example shown bears no such stamp) and such a retailer might have given copies to regular customers to encourage them to browse at home and select further purchases from his shop.

The name FP4 first appeared as a plate emulsion (a name not used for roll & 35mm film until 1968).

The box alongside (date unknown) has a price of 14s.4d for 12 off 3½"x2½" (means 6p each).

FP4 plates had a pre-1960 speed rating of 80ASA (at this time, FP3 film was 64ASA).

1956

Ilford Advocate Series 1 (f4.5 lens) on sale secondhand for £11 at Theodore Pyke, Eden St; Kingston-on-Thames (AP Magazine, 26th Dec 1956). The Advocate Series 2 since 1953 offered flash synchronisation and a larger aperture lens, f3.5 instead of f4.5.

Late 1956 saw the Introduction of Colour Film Type "F" for use with clear flashbulbs. "...thus reducing the cost of colour shots and saving the trouble of keeping two kinds of flashbulbs" (i.e. blue for colour and clear for b&w). Twice the speed of Ilfords Type "D" film, so around 20ASA.

Introduction of a colour transparency duplication service, 4/- each (20p). Black & white negatives from colour transparencies, 2/6d each (12.5p).

A spring 1956 Ilford leaflet describing the use of Ilford transparency 35mm films Types A & D, is available as a PDF file (courtesy of Paul Godfrey) by clicking here. 20 exposure cassettes of either Type D or Type A cost 21s.6d (£1 & 7.5p) inclusive of processing.
"Prints, which are on a white plastic base, are made to one standard size, 3&13/16 x 5½in., which includes a 3/16 in. white margin. Each print includes the whole of the transparency. Prints cannot be made from a selected part. Colour Prints cost 2/6d. each, with a minimum order of four from one or more transparencies". The leaflet also shows the potential of flash synchronisation with the Advocate Series 2.

Another leaflet scan from Paul Godfrey is this one, from October 1956, extolling the low light virtues of HP3 and HPS films. Paul says "This has some very dated photographs in it but I do like the street scene with the Jowett Javelin complete with radiator muff. When I was a child I really liked these cars". Before the days of electric thermostatically controlled radiator fans, when fans were directly driven by the engine, it was usual to place some sort of insulating muff in front of a car's radiator in winter to try to prevent over-cooling of the engine and improve the interior heater's performance.

Pan F film speed raised (autumn 1956) from its 1948 introduction speed of 16ASA (daylight) 10ASA (tungsten) to 25ASA & 16ASA respectively.The price of 36 exposure cassettes was 8s.3d (41p) and darkroom loading refills were 4s.8d (23p).

Around April time, Ilford announced the availability of HPS in the additional roll film sizes of 127 and 620, at the same prices as their equivalent panchromatic roill films.

1957


Ilford 'Sportsman' camera range introduced, see my index page for details of all the Sportsman camera 'family'.

In early 1957 Ilford announced an extension to their 1953 'prints from transparencies' service to include making duplicates and prints from any make of colour transparency from 35mm film and smaller. The full size 35mm transparencies were printed 5½"x3¾" with smaller transparencies printed in proportion. Monochrome negatives from 35mm transparencies could also be supplied at 2s/6d each (12.5p).

The Basildon factory, which was built by the company, was completed in 1957. It became the factory for processing Ilford's colour films. Other activities eventually (by 1964) included the making of colour prints, colour printing from transparencies and the manufacture of chemicals and equipment.

FP3 no longer available in roll film sizes 116 & 616 (only 120, 620,127 & 828). HP3 was still available in all sizes incl. 116 & 616.

1958

For a short period during the 1950's, ICI marketed a negative-positive colour film for use by professional photographers. At this time ICI took some preliminary steps towards entering the amateur market. However, in 1958 ICI acquired 32% of Ilford's shares and an agreement was concluded which gave Ilford access to ICI's colour film research in the negative-positive field and provided for further research on colour photographic products and processes to be undertaken by ICI on behalf of Ilford.

New Ilford office block completed (reported in 'Photography' magazine, March 1958).
Also, in Camera World for Feb 1958; "Ilford's new Ramsden Laboratory at Brentwood, Essex (see left; named after Colonel Ramsden, a late director of the company) is the latest and most impressive development in the firm's expansion scheme. The building covers 30,000square feet on two floors, and houses three sections devoted to physics, chemistry and testing. Even distilled water is on tap !"
A large paper finishing and distribution department was built at Mobberley. The whole paper manufacturing process was now at Mobberley and there was a large increase in the workforce.

The Kennedy Instruments Ltd (KI) Monobar 35mm camera was produced, having a film back with a resemblance to the Advocate camera. It was made during the period 1958-65 and provided the range of lens panel movements normally associated with a large plate 'field' camera. By 1967 the remaining KI Monobars were being sold solely by the goods clearance company Marston & Heard for £60, against a (claimed) list price of £180 (see AP magazine for 6_9_67).
Kennedy Instruments Ltd were a wholly owned subsidiary of Ilford Ltd. (Ref: D.M, photo' courtesy of D.M)

The 5th and final edition of 'The Ilford Manual of Photography' was published in May 1958 (see 1890 entry for first edition). This edition was reprinted in 1959, 1960, 1962, twice in 1963 and again in 1966. Additional material was included in appendices. The 7th reprint appeared in May 1967 with its appendices including information on split-image rangefinders, new types of film base, modern film speed systems, monobaths (one solution combined developer and fixer), high definition developers etc. The price 'remianed' at £2.2s (£2.10p). It was reprinted once more before its eventual demise (possibly in 1969 when Ciba took over sole ownership of Ilford, Ltd ?) Presumably the Rights to the book's content and its publication were sold to Focal Press. Focal Press published a 6th edition in 1971, though without the name 'Ilford' in the title i.e. it became 'The Manual of Photography'. It is currently in its 9th edition, published 20th September 2000; ISBN: 0240515749 (Ref: D.M).

1959

On August 4th 1959; Ilford introduced a modified cardboard transparency mount carrying the date of processing, the frame number and a black spot to aid correct orientation when being placed into a slide projector (as specified in British Standard No.1917:1952; the spot is seen at the lower left hand corner of the mount when the picture is viewed as it is to appear on the screen; hence to the top right hand corner when placed into a projector's slide carrier). The design was also claimed, in conjunction with the physical characetristics of the film itself, to reduce film 'buckle' through heat and also the tendency for images to 'pop' out of focus during projection.

In October 1959, 35mm FP3 film became FP3 Series II. Ilford claimed "The new FP3 emulsion closely approaches ILFORD Pan F for fineness of grain - yet its speed is maintained at 64 Weston!" A 20exp. cassette cost 5s/1d (25.5p)and a 36exp. cassette cost 6s/10d (34p). Darkroom loading refills, 36exp. cost 3s/11d (19.5p) and unspooled lengths of 5m and 17m cost 10s/6d (52.5p) and 31s/11d (£1.60p) respectively.
Michael Talbert suggests that Ilford had dropped the “Series 2” label by 1964 and the film reverted back to being called just "FP3".

Ilford have sites at (ref: PCCGB Tailboard magazine, Sept '06) Britannia Works - Essex, Basildon (filters), Bexford at Manningtree, Essex (filmbase), Brentwood (Selo) Works, Looe - Cornwall (processing), Margate (boxes), Mobberley - Cheshire (paper), Watford (gelatine). They are also supplying materials to Johnsons of Hendon.

In 1959 the Focal Press Ltd (31, Fitzroy Square, London, W.1) published this small (120mm x 160mm; 48 pages) booklet entitled "All about Colour with ILFORD COLOUR". This is Focal Guide No.84, printed by Fletcher & Sons Ltd, Harford Works, Norwich, UK.

Written by George Ashton, it deals with Ilford colour transparency films Types D and F.
Type D was introduced in 1948 and Type A in 1949, but the latter (I presume) was replaced by Type F in 1956. Ilford Colour also became available in the 'Bantam' 828 roll film size in early 1959 (ref: PhotoGuide Mag.Oct59; see 1946 slot for further about 828).

The basic advised exposure for Type D on a sunny day was 1/50th sec at f 6.3, corresponding to the film speed of 10ASA.

Ilford Selochrome roll film only (orthochromatic) replaced by Selochrome Panchromatic; no speed change. This film box is a 120 roll of SP (Selochrome Panchromatic) 80ASA, 30ºBSI & Scheiner, 20ºDIN film. It passed its expiry date in June 1962. Post-1960, Selochrome Pan was re-rated at 160ASA (no change in the emulsion). Maybe phased out around 1968 ?

Paul Rumbol, a Cliff Richard and Shadows specialist, has kindly sent me several radio adverts for the Sporti camera and Selochrome Film, dating from September 1960. Paul says "I've been transferring some of my old Radio Luxembourg audio recordings and came across this Ilford film ad from September 1960 which appeared weekly in the 'Me and My Shadows' Cliff Richard Show. Ilford sponsored the 13 week series (Thursday 7th July - 29th September at 9.45-10pm) and they also did the voiceover for the opening and closing themes. Cliff returned for more Luxembourg series in 1961 but Ever Ready sponsored the remainder of the shows, not Ilford". Click the links to hear the mp3 files: 1, 2 and 3.

1960
Ilfachrome (10 ASA) daylight balanced transparency film, cost 22/9d (£1.14p) for a 20exposure cassette and 34/1d (£1.70p) for a 36exposure cassette, including processing by Ilford. Transparencies returned in cardboard mounts. Ilford offered a service to provide duplicate transparencies or colour prints in two sizes, 3¾ x 5½ inches or 5½ x 8¼ inches with a 3/16 inch white border. Paul Godfrey has sent me a PDF file of an Ilfachrome leaflet that describes these services. Single duplicates are 3s.0d. (15p) each, 2 to 99 duplicates of a single transparency 2s.0d. (10p) each. The price of black-and-white negatives from 35mm transparencies is 2s.6d. (12.5p) each. The smaller colour prints cost 2s.6d (12.5p) each and the larger prints cost 7s.6d (38p) each. Paul adds "The Ilford Colour Film Duplicates and black and white negatives were produced on an Electronic Tone Masking Printer developed by Dennis M Neale that used a TV image to create the masking negative to control the contrast. This machine was described in a paper presented to the RPS in 1959. The Ilfachrome prints were made on a High Speed Printer that was developed by Walter Kennedy. This used a rotating filter system patented by Jack Coote and Philip Jenkins and was also described in a paper presented to the RPS on the same occasion in 1959".

Following further joint research with ICI, Ilford introduced Ilfacolor (120/620 roll film only, 32 ASA) colour negative film, based upon an ICI patent. Film cost 10/6d (52.5p). Processing (only by Ilford) was 6/6d (32.5p). Enprints at 2/9d each (14p). Tested in Amateur Photographer, 16th November 1960; "Greys are reasonably neutral with only a slight tendency to blueishness. The purple end of the spectrum is quite faithfully reproduced, so are the yellows, but the reds and oranges blur together. There is no really bright 'pillar box' red (but nevertheless the reds are better than some other unmasked processes). Some people found the results acceptable, calling the colours natural or restrained, others did not and described them as degraded and muddy. This is plainly a matter of personal choice..."
The advert alongside is taken from the January 1962 back cover of "Colour Photography' magazine. 'Glorious moment - held for ever ! on ILFACOLOR with flash. Your get balanced colour - believable colour, with ILFACOLOR colour-negative roll film."

Agfa protested at the use of the prefix 'Ilfa' in the film name Ilfacolor and in late 1961 or early 1962 Ilford changed this to 'Ilfo', making their product names Ilfochrome (instead of Ilfachrome) and Ilfocolor.

An envelope used by some unknown d&p processor for returning prints on ILFORD paper. It advertises ILFORD FILMS and on the reverse it says "Every camera is the better for an ILFORD FILM".

The envelope features period youth clothes, c1960. Notice the style of slacks the girl is wearing, possibly called 'Pedal Pushers'. This site says "Capris were a slim line pant that ended just below the knee. Most had a small ' v ' at the hem so you could move easier. Pedal pushers and motor scooter slacks fitted a little looser and usually ended at the calf. They were designed to keep the pant legs from getting torn by being caught in the spokes or the sprocket of a bicycle or a motor scooter".
The advert also seems to include an Ilford Sportsman camera.
Click on the small image or here to see an enlarged version.

Monophen (Phenidone based - see 1940) combined developer and fixer. Speedy & simple film processing using only one solution. Neither time nor temperature critical. Used between 65F and 80F (18C~27C) development and fixing completed in 6 minutes - film only required washing. A longer time had no effect. First commercially available of this type in the UK (Unibath was already available in the US - reviewed by AP on March 9th). Monophen was tested by Neville Maude for AP magazine, 20th April 1960, p609. Read the review as a PDF here. Cost for a 500cc polythene bottle was 8s.9d (44p), sufficient for 12 films. "This may seem a little high at first glance but in fact corresponds quite well to the usual costs of developer plus fixer..." A scan of a Monophen leaflet can be viewed here, courtesy of Paul Godfrey. Monophen is again described in Ilford Summer PhotoNews for June 1960, along with Ilfachrome (successor to ILFORD Colour Film 'D'), the Sporti 4 camera and the Sportilux flashgun.
December 1960 saw the first of a series of Special Amateur Nights, held at Ilford House, 133/135 Oxford Street, London, W.1. Over 1,000 visitors turned up in just over 2hours (5:30pm to 7:30pm). The next was scheduled for 5th January 1961 (first Thursday in the month). with 2 studios, each featuring different decor and different glamour girls. This attracted nearly 3,000 visitors !. February 2nd 1961 was to feature Claudine, a shapely magicienne, with magic tricks and pet dogs. Another set was to be an Oriental theme, featuring Miss Hong Kong, Michele Mok. Another model was Sally Fox, posing in her "teenage den".
Type RX Fine Grain Panchromatic Film. Although not strictly a chronologically correct entry for the year 1960, this 'slot' is a useful place to record the fact that around this time (and maybe +/- a decade) Ilford were marketing a film called RX Recording Film, medium speed fine grain panchromatic. A query about this film was raised by David Mittelstadt on the analogue photography forum site (APUG) in April 2012.
Michael Talbert (see his colour print film research on Kodak & Agfa films, papers & processing) identified the original use for this Type RX film as being for photographing displays on cathode ray oscilloscopes and similar data, as processed on radar displays. Type RX was thinly coated and pre-hardened for high temperature processing. It could be processed in temperatures up to 105°F. Michael found reference in a 1967 Ilford catalogue to an Improved Type RX, presumably a later version of the material found by David Mittlestadt whose purchase was marked "process before 1964".
Sue, of Harman Technology, managed to find a full description of Type RX Recording Film, which can be viewed here.
During this year, all black & white film speeds (of all manufacture) apparently doubled, causing some confusion to users. In fact, the emulsions remained the same and only their advised speed ratings increased. For a full explanation, click here.

1961

Ilford's Amateur Nights, apart from at Ilford House, London (see above) were held "in the provinces" from March 1961. The Lewis Group of Stores held events at Liverpool on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th, repeated by the Lewis Group in Manchester on April 20th, 21st and 22nd, and in leicester during late May and early June.

Having held their last "Amateur Night" in London on April 6th prior to the spring & summer break, Ilford resumed these popular 'first-Thursday-of-each-month' "Amateur Nights", in the autumn of 1961, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at their Showroom & Exhibition Centre at 133/135 Oxford Street, London, W.1. "Full studio facilities; professional type lighting; expert tuition, and beautiful model girls to photograph - all free of charge!"

127 size roll film Ilfacolor (32ASA) was introduced at the start of spring 1961, 10s/7d per roll (53p), processing 6s/6d (32.5p) prints 2s/3d each (11p) sized 3½"x5" from roll films with 8 exposures, 3½"sq from 12 exposures and 3½"x4½" from 16 exposures.

Ilfocolor (note the new spelling - not Ilfacolor) became available in 35mm film, 20exposure cassettes. This may have been late in the year which would explain it being called Ilfocolor rather than Ilfacolor. Negatives were supplied with a contact strip of colour prints.

The previous Ilfochrome colour reversal 35mm film becomes renamed as Ilfochrome, probably late in 1961.

Hyfin developer introduced. Iford claimed "greater sharpness, speed and economy". For use with slow and medium speed films.

Gave a +1stop speed increase & greater sharpness than with ID11. Supplied as five foil satchets of powder in a carton, each satchet to make 600cc of working strength developer. The five satchet carton cost 4s (20p). Each powder satchet had to be dissolved in 600cc of warm water and then used at 20C; Pan F and FP3 series II required 18mins with 5sec agitation every minute.

George Dorman, who joined Ilford Ltd in 1922 and was advertising manager from 1943 to 1961, reliquished his appointment to devote his whole time, until retirement in 1963, to preparation of a revised edition of "Positioning in Radiography", a respected world-wide reference work.

His place was taken by Gilbert Wild (see left), previously with BP where, from 1959, he was Publicity Consultant to BP Italiana. Previously he was Advertising Manager with the National Benzole Co and also served with three leading London advertising agencies. Born in Manchester, he was a night fighter pilot during WW2 and continued with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) after his demobilisation until 1954. when he became Squandron Leader, Information Division, Air Ministry, for public relations, a position he continued to hold.

The Wallace Heaton Blue Book for 1961/62 price HPS 120/620 & 127 roll films at 3s.5d (17p). A 35mm 36exposure cassette cost 6s.11d (35p) and a darkroom refill cost 3s 11d (20p)

1962


Flexi-disc picture from Paul Godfrey.
Click image to see larger.

In 1962 Ilford introduced a range of new colour materials; reversal, print and 8mm cine. Andrew Hewkin, a Broadcast Journalist at BBC Radio Shropshire (PO Box 96, Shropshire SY1 3WW) has sent me a mp3 file from a flexi-disc which was distributed by Ilford to chemists and other photographic dealers, alerting them to a forthcoming cinema-advertising campaign for Ilford's new range of colour materials (see below).
Martin Fenton has confirmed (June 2012) that this cinema-advertising campaign did take place and has sent me a digital copy from his 'print' of the original 16mm colour film entitled "The Ilford Colour Hoe-Down", as used during that campaign. The compressed file, 18.3MB, can be downloaded as a Windows Media File by clicking here. If you require it in another format, please email me (see my home page).
Performers in the film are using original (1961) versions of the Ilford Sportsmaster camera and are correctly using the appropriate shutter button for Group photographs.

The flexi-disc came to Andrew Hewkin in 1978 from his father, who was Branch Manager of Timothy White's in Fleetwood. At the end of the lively musical introduction there is a short commentary from James Mitchell. James Mitchell was Scottish and had worked for Ilford for at least 20years by 1962, having edited the Ilford Manual of Photography in 1942. By the late 1950s, James Mitchell was Head of Amateur Products Division and worked with Albert Holliman, Marketing Manager (Cameras), along with Brian Hopley, Bill Risdon and Bill Smith, on the collaboration with the German company Dacora, which led to the well known Sportsman camera range, sold by Ilford throughout the 1960s. The 1962 Ilford flexi-disc states that James Mitchell was then 'Joint Managing Director' of Ilford Limited. By 1970, possibly as a result of Ilford's decision to end their amateur products range, James Mitchell became Sales Director for Johnsons of Hendon. At this time he was a very good friend of 'Pip' Pippard who was Technical Director.

lford introduce their 32ASA Ilfochrome 32 colour reversal film, cost 28/6d for a 36exp film or 19/6d for a 20 exposure (£1.43p & 98p respectively), including postage and transparency mounting. It was a non-substantive film, as was Kodachrome. To read about Ilford's processing sequence for Ilfochrome, click here.

The illustrated 'Ilford Transparency Viewer' for 2"x2" (35mm or 4x4cm) slides was being marketed by mid-1963. Its plano-convex lens gave a magnification of 1.5x. The box logo shown here has the Ilford 'sunburst' symbol which appeared in 1965, so this example must date to 1965 or later. It cost £1.4s.6d (£1.23p). It worked off 2xUII ('C') batteries (the viewer price included a bulb but excluded the batteries).

The Competition Commission report of 1960-69 provides valuable information about Ilford's move into the field of colour film supply and why Ilfochrome was (unusually) a non-subtantive colour transparency (reversal) film, as was Kodachrome.

Another leaflet scan from Paul Godfrey. Click here, or on the image, to download the leaflet as a pdf file.

Paul says "....coded L1/ZZ/62 so 1962 not sure about the month. There are 8 pages but I opened it out to two pages per scan, so 4 pages. The extra page is an undated flyer that must have been with the leaflet announcing cost cuts on Ilfocolor prints."

The leaflet advertises NEW Ilfocolor 35mm colour negative film with free colour 'contact' prints (also available as 120, 620 and 127 roll film), NEW Ilfochrome 32 for colour transparencies and NEW Ilfochrome 8mm cine. The black & white film range covers Selochrome Pan roll film, Pan F 35mm, FP3 for 35mm & roll film, HP3 for 35mm & roll film and 'really fast' HPS for 35mm & roll film.

The range of cameras covers the low cost roll film Sporti, Super Sporti and Sporti 4. The 35mm range covers the Sportsman Vario, Pronto, Prontor SVS, Rangefinder & (new) Auto Rangefinder, Sportsmaster and (new) Sportsmaster Manumatic.

Ilfochrome 25 ASA 8mm Cine film, costs 23/6d (£1.18p) for a 25ft double run spool (4mins total running time). "Made in England by Ilford Limited". The box of the item shown alongside suggests it (the box) was manufactured in November 1961 (K.61).

The address for processing was: Ilford Limited, Colour Processing Unit, Christopher Martin Road, Basildon, Essex.

The film carton shown here contained a processed film. To see scans of a few frames, click here or on the image.

The 32 ASA negative roll film is now called Ilfocolor, available in 120, 620 and 127 roll-film and 20 exposure 35mm. The picture shows a 120 roll film, price 10/9d (54p) excl. processing, with an expiry date January 1964. En-prints from Ilfocolor cost 1/6d each (7.5p) or 1/3d each (6p) for 2 to 4 prints or 1/- each (5p) for 5 prints or more from the same negative.
A 20exposure 35mm Ilfocolor cost 22s/2d (£1.11p). Negatives are card mounted and colour 'contact' prints (in fact made by projection printing - see letter from Ilford's R.B.Matthews in Colour Photography magazine, May 1963) were supplied with the processed film at no extra charge, to assist with print selection.
To read about Ilford's processing of Ilfocolor, click here. To read general information about Ilford's colour films during the period 1948-1968, click here.

Click on the Ilfocolor print envelope alongside to see an enlarged version and its inside / rear text.

Les Lester, now living in Melbourne, Australia, e-mailed (June 2008) to say that during the period c1960-64 he worked for Ilford Ltd at Bower House (a Georgian mansion near Romford, Essex) where Ilford had a research and development (R&D) centre. The mansion was eventually taken over by another company but Les couldn't recall who (?; In March 2014 this mystery was solved by Catherine Beale, who told me it was taken over by the Ford Motor Company, Ltd, for training purposes associated with their Dagenham works nearby. Catherine is [2014] involved with the architectural refurbishment of Bower House).
During the time Les Lester was at Bower House a new coating plant was built at Brentwood, Essex. Les was involved in the commissioning of that plant and, on completion, R&D was transferred to Brentwood and was combined with the drawing office.

Sharon Ellis has sent me a picture of some of the Selo Factory employees in (she believes) the 1960s.

1963

From the beginning of 1963 Ilford made pre-packed colour processing chemicals and technical assistance generally available to all commercial photo-finishers, and by 1964 a number of independent finishers were processing Ilfocolor roll films.

Ilford reminded photographers that the earlier 10ASA Ilfachrome would only be accepted for processing until December 31st 1963. By that date the last batch made would be 1year over the date of expiry on the carton.

Ilfochrome prints from 35mm transparencies no longer available due to 'heavy demand' for Ilfocolor prints. Prints from Ilfocolor half-frame negatives now (Sept. 1963) available; 3.5" x 5" cost 2s (10p).

CIBA AG, Switzerland, approach Ilford with a buy-out offer. The CIBA group comprised CIBA AG, CIBA Photochemie AG (formerly Tellko AG, research laboratory near Fribourg) a manufacturer of sensitised photographic materials, Lumière SA France (near Lyons, acquired by Ciba in 1962) also a manufacturer of sensitised materials & of colour film (in the 1950s), and Gretag GmbH (Germany) a designer and constructor of equipment and instruments for use in the photographic industry.
There was no take-over by Ciba until 1969 but there began commercial co-operation between Ciba and Ilford to develop Ciba's dye-bleach print material (for making prints directly from colour transparencies). Originally called Cilchrome ('Cil' derived from the names Ciba, Ilford and Lumière) the eventual product name was Cibachrome. Other group products also had 'CIL' at the beginning of the name e.g CILMATIC cameras which had much in common with the Dacora Sportsman range but were only sold in mainland Europe.

CIBA built a new plant at Marly, just outside Fribourg (home of Tellko) to coat Cibachrome (and later ILFOCHROME, being the name given to Cibachrome post-1989 after Ciba sold Ilford to International Paper, see below), and the old Tellko factory in the centre of Fribourg was used as the finishing department.


Another gem of information from Paul Godfrey. An Ilford article from the magazine "The Essex Countryside", Volume 11, No.74, for March 1963 (price 1s.9d = 9p). "The firm that made the name Ilford world-famous". Click here, or on the image (left) to download the article as a pdf file.

Paul says "I am particularly pleased with the photo of the Ilfocolor prints being checked at the Basildon colour laboratories. What a shame there are no pictures of the (automatic) printers. One little scrap in the article is the mention of the British Xylonite (BX) factory at Manningtree which, despite the magazine being about Essex, is actually in Brantham, which is just across the River Stour in Suffolk. You mention the Margaret Thatcher connection with this factory (see 1946, above). My late mother-in-law worked for BX at Brantham in the laboratories when she first left school, before WW2, but had left long before Mrs Thatcher ever worked there."

20 page booklet on Ilford Formolith materials, made available by David Muggleton. It is dated G63, hence July 1963.

Formolith materials were designed for use in Graphic Arts, and provided the highest possible contrast images. They provided "fine, clean and well-defined lines in a dense back-ground". For dimensional stability of the image relative to the original, Formolith was "available on two thicknesses of polyester base and also on glass where the last word in 'size holding' is necessary".

By 1963, Formolith materials were finding an ever increasing application in the manufacture of printed circuits.

Ilford Exposure Guide for black & white films, featuring FP3 at 125ASA, Selochrome Pan at 160ASA, HP3 at 400ASA and HPS at 800ASA. Presumably meant for the less experienced amateur, it omits mention of Pan F at 50ASA. It is dated L63, hence December 1963.

To view the Guide as a pdf file, click here or on the image. Made available by Paul Godfrey.

Ilford Exposure Guide for Ilfocolor 32 print, and Ilfochrome 32 slide, films. It is dated L63, hence December 1963 (same as above). It contains simple information on using flash indoors and outdoors for Sporti camera owners and more complex information on daylight and flash exposures for owners of cameras like the Sportsman.
To view the Guide as a pdf file, click here or on the image. Made available by Paul Godfrey. Paul noticed that, strangely, Ilford advised the use of clear flash bulbs when using Ilfocolor print film indoors, presumably feeling they could correct the resulting warm cast at the printing stage. Why they decided to make printing more difficult, rather than advising the use of the correct colour temperature blue bulbs (as, indeed, they do for Ilfochrome and also Ilfocolor when using flash outdoors) is intriguing.
Click here, to read some anecdotes and view some images supplied by Peter Pearse.
Peter joined Ilford Ltd in 1963, working in the Basildon colour unit before moving into distribution, then export and finally working in the London office under Jeff Vickers (Jeff became Ilford General Manager in 1975).
Peter took early retirement in 1986.

Illustrated alongside is a 1502 Ilfoprint processor, taking paper up to 15" (38cms) wide & working off 240v.
The Ilfoprint system was introduced in late 1963 at the Business Efficiency Exhibition (BEE) at Olympia and, a few weeks later, at the Industrial Photographic and Television Exhibition at Earls Court. Original information relating to Ilfoprint came to me from Norman Lee, who worked for Ilford 1959-1967 at Mobberley and Ilford. More recently (July 2012) Alan Waller has sent in-depth information. Alan worked for ILFORD from 1955 to 2000 and his father also worked there from 1931 to 1972.

Alan says "Ilfoprint was launched at the BEE because it was envisaged that document copying would be a major application. Ilfoprint copy paper consisted of a very slow emulsion coated on a 90 gsm (?) base. It could be handled in subdued tungsten light if you were quick. The Ilfoprinter 950C was a light box attached to a processor. A reflex paper negative was produced which could be contact printed any number of times onto the same paper. For multiple copies it was therefore cheaper than the silver diffusion transfer papers which were very popular at the time. (Gevacopy and Agfa Copyrapid shared this market. I don't think Ilfacopy was ever seriously marketed). Ilfoprint for copying enjoyed little success in what was then a very competitive market."

"The Ilfoprint enlarging papers proved useful in applications where speed of obtaining a print was more important than its permanence. The paper had the developing agent (hydroquinone) in the emulsion. The processor contained an activator - a solution of sodium hydroxide - and a stabiliser. The stabiliser was ammonium thiocyanate which converted the undeveloped silver halide to a light-stable silver complex. Prints lasted for weeks or months but the stabiliser remaining in the unfixed, unwashed print tended to bleach the image. They could be made permanent with a 20min soak in fixer and a 30min wash. Ilfoprint was largely superseded in the darkroom by Ilfospeed which offered fast-enough processing and far superior image quality."

"The most successful and longest-running application for Ilfoprint was Teletransmission Paper which was designed especially for the Muirhead K300 automatic facsimile receiver. This machine was extensively used by newspapers and agencies such as Associated Press. It was primarily for press photographers and delivered a b&w damp dry stabilised print in about 40sec."

1964

Ilford had a number of wholly owned subsidiaries in the UK (incl. Britannia Works Co. Ltd. whose main business was wholesale black and white photo' finishing and the manufacturer of chemicals, including ' hypo') as well as 50% interests in some other companies (incl. Butlins Photographic Services Ltd. which operated photographic services at seven holiday camps, two hotels and a beach outlet).
It had subsidiaries in Australia, Denmark, France, India and the USA and a world-wide distribution organisation. The company had a board of ten directors, two of whom are ICI nominees. Administration and sales are directed from the company's offices at Ilford, Essex and the company has factories at Ilford, Brentwood, Basildon and Mobberley. The supply and processing of colour films accounted for about 4% of Ilford's total trading turnover. Other activities include the manufacture of emulsions used by nuclear physicists, document copying equipment, black and white films of all types, X-ray films, photographic papers, chemicals, magnetic materials and the supply of cameras and other equipment.

Ilford has some 22,000 authorised dealers, including branches of multiples, and some 2,000 dealers' agents.

Produced from 7th Sept 1964, the ILFORD "Colour Book of Flower Decoration" was written by Joan Groves of the Constance Spry Flower School (closed 31st Jan 2008) and contained 54 colour plates all taken on Ilfocolor by James Adams, ARPS. There was also a chapter on flower photography by Kenneth Gaseltine, FIBP, FRPS.
Ilford advertised this book and the RF Style 4 Sportsman full page in Amateur Photographer 9th Sept 1964 (p102) and held a 4 week exhibition of the prints at their Oxford Street gallery.

See 1965 entry below for further information on this series of books.

1965

A new 'sunburst' symbol introduced, the first company identification since the 'paddle steamer' (see top of page). Also, a new style packaging was adopted using a dead-white glazed cardboard for all cartons and boxes.

HP4 roll film first became available alongside HP3 (not replacing it until the end of 1969) in 120 and 127 roll film sizes, cost 4/6d (23p). HP4 in 35mm film size became available during 1966.
The HP4 35mm film illustrated was donated by Luis Loubet.

A 36 page booklet, "Ilford FP3, Film of Many Faces" offered free to applicants sending one empty FP3 carton. Authored by Sandy Brownstone of Ilford's Technical Publications Department (ref: Aug 18th AP magazine).

In May 1965 Ilford introduced a new negative 35mm 20 exposure film, 'Colorprint', rated at 64 ASA, at a price inclusive of processing. At the same time it discontinued production of Ilfocolor. The service whereby 35mm users received a projection printed (not truly 'contact'; see letter from Ilford's R.B.Matthews in Colour Photography magazine, May 1963) contact print strip and card mounted negatives with their processed film, continued, as it had previously with Ilfocolor 35mm. This service was advertised in AP magazine's Colour Numbers (May & July) in 1966 using 2-page full colour spreads.

Colorprint must have subsequently (probably quite soon afterwards) also have become available in roll film sizes, see 1968 entry re:Super Colorprint.

Its possible the contact prints were made on a machine produced by Ilford's subsidiary, Kennedy Instruments (manufacturers of the Advocate camera). It seems Walter Kennedy had been developing a machine for the high speed printing of Ilford Colour transparencies since the late 1950s. Specially made for Ilford Ltd, it was considered too complex to manufacture and distribute to independent photofinishers.
Another Ilford subsidiary company, Kennington and Bourlet, had started to market colour processing and printing equipment from 1964 to independent finishers. However, the Competition Commission Report dated 1966 indicates that Kennington & Bourlet had, by 1966, gone into voluntary liquidation.

Also in May, substantive reversal 35mm film introduced, called 35mm Colorslide rated at 32ASA and 35mm Super Colorslide rated at 64ASA. Slides returned in a plastic pocket 'quick-look viewer'. Iford explained "Now you can see just how good your shots are the minute you get them!."

36exp Colorslide only 28/- (£1.40p) and 20exp for 18/- (90p).
A blue plastic filing folder to hold up to 10 of the 'quick-look viewers', cost 2/9d (14p).

Super Colorslide and Colorprint were also introduced in ' Rapid' cassettes.

My thanks to Steve Slarke for donating "An ILFORD Colour Book of Flower Identification ~ Rock Garden Plants" by Will Ingwersen. Designed and produced by George Rainbird Limited and printed by Jarrold & Sons Limited, Norwich. Copiously illustrated with colour photographs, all taken on Ilfocolor film and printed on Ilfocolor paper. First published 1965 © ILFORD Limited 1965.
This series of books were produced from 7th Sept 1964, starting with the ILFORD "Colour Book of Flower Decoration" (see 1964 entry, above). Other ILFORD Colour Books in this Flower Identification Series are listed as "House Plants", "Cacti and Other Succulents" and "Herbacious Plants 1".

Other books still in planning in 1965 were: "Flowering Bulbs, Corms and Tubers", "Flowering Shrubs and Trees", "Greenhouse Plants", "Herbacious Plants 2", "Annuals and Biennials" and "Roses", with a further volume planned, being "Gardens in Colour".
As late as Feb 1966, AP carried news that Ilford were still exhibiting prints from this series of books at Bentalls, Kingston upon Thames and demonstrating flower photography techniques.

1966
Ciba and ICI acquire all outstanding shares of Ilford

Ilford film available for the first time in the 126 Instant (Instamatic) cartridge system (introduced by Kodak in 1963). Black & white cost 4s/4d for 12exp. (22p), Ilford Super Colorslide "returned in smart plastic mounts and in a free Quick-Look viewer wallet", cost 12s/6d for 12exp (63p) and New Ilford Super Colorprint cost 7s/6d for the film and a further 18/- for processing "prints returned in an attractive pocket album" (see advert alongside). Total price for 12exp was 25s/6d (£1.28p). Processing of the Colorprint film was via a voucher system, available from photographic stores. The film was intended to be returned to Ilford in its original carton, with the pre-payment voucher stuck to the carton, and the whole put into a supplied bag - which had to be separately stamped (weight 35gm). A "a revolutionary new colour processing system which makes colour live like never before" claimed Ilford for their new-process Colorslide and Colorcine.

A year previous, Ilford had started supplying their film in the Agfa Rapid cassette system, for the Sportina Rapid and similar cameras. Agfa had re-released this cassette system to counter Kodak's 126 Instamatic cartridge system and Ilford initially supported Agfa in this 'format war'. But, by Spring 1966, Ilford decided to 'back both horses'. This extract from Camera Magazine for March 1966 (Editor's Notebook) entitled "Rapid Colour" explains:
"Who's putting all their eggs in one basket? Certainly not a famous firm situated somewhere to the east of Forest Gate, London (meaning Ilford). To mix metaphors like a rotary whisk, they have extracted their digits from the egg basket and plunged them firmly into a goodly number of pies. Take, for a start, Rapid. A limited launch of Rapid cameras last year was so encouraging (prophets of gloom about this system notwithstanding) that this year they will be selling Rapid cameras and films on a national scale. Good for Rapid, say I. It's a natty system. And if you are fortunate enough to have a Rapid camera already, you will be able to load it with a new super colour film, from the same firm, that I am picking for stardom in 1966. If you live in the London area, that is probably the only form in which you will be able to get it; outside London, this new colour film will be available in standard 35mm cassettes as well. Tough darts for London livers - they don't always get the goodies first. BUT. Rapid has a rival, dare I say it, in Instamatic. So what does this famous firm do? They produce a film in Instamatic cartridges of course, then sit back and wait to see how well it all goes. Clever! "

HP4 film became available in 35mm cassettes (see also 1965 entry). Normal speed rating 400ASA, DIn 27 (or 650ASA in Ilford's Microphen developer). Recommended prices 5s.10d (29p) for 20 exposures and 7s.7d (38p) for 36 exposures. Also available as cassette refills.
In the book 'Silver by the Ton' (see above, before the start of this chronology) the 1966 Monopolies Commission Report is blamed for having done more harm to the Ilford Company's finances than two World Wars!
In Spring 1966 (Photography Today catalogue), HPS 120 & 620 roll film was priced 4s.10d (24p), while FP3 & HP3 cost 4s 2d (21p). £6exposure 35mm b&w (not HPS but incl. Pan F) all cost 7s.5d (37p).

1967
In May, 7th reprint of the 5th Edition of the 'Ilford Manual of Photography' published (see also, 1958 entry).
From June to August, Ilford were promoting (in a sexist strip-tease type advert) their Hyfin developer (ultra-fine grain, high acutance and increased film speed) by offering a free 300cc trial pack (sufficient to develop one film) with every purchase of the 'new' 20 exposure cassette of Pan F (50ASA but increased by Hyfin to 80ASA). Recommended retail price 5s.10d (29p). The 20 exposure length (40 exposures with half-frame) was recommended as a 'convenient length for the weekend'.
Ilford Ilfobrom Paper introduced and Ilford glossy bromide discontinued. Six evenly spaced grades, same exposure for all grades except Grade 5 which required double the exposure of the other five. Made in a range of surfaces.
In November, Ilford launched their Ilfobrom Tri-Pack, containing 10 sheets of wholeplate paper (6½" x 8½" i.e. 16.5cm x 21.6cm) of each of the three popular grades: 1, 2 & 3. The paper was double weight, with a velevt stipple finish. The Tri-Pack was offered for only a limited period at the special price of 15s.6d (78p) a saving of 3s.3d (16p).
Marston & Heard purchased all the remaining stock of Ilford glossy bromide and were selling it at roughly 30% discount through their 'Amateur Photographer' adverts.


August 1967 (H67), after the introduction of Ilfobrom (see entry above), the 16 page A5 booklet "ILFORD HP4 IN ACTION", was made available, with considerable detail about the use, developing and printing of HP4 35mm, Roll Film and Flat Film.

To view the booklet as a pdf file, click here or on the image alongside. Available by courtesy of David Muggleton.

Film prices were volatile in 1967. In AP for 26th April, Ilford announced that FP3 would now "cost no more than 'ordinary' film", with roll film down in price from 4s.3d (21p) to 3s.10d (19p). FP3 35mm prices (unchanged ?) were 5s.10d for 20exp (29p) and 7s.7d for 36exp (38p). HP3 120, 127 & 620 roll film cost 4s.3d (21p), 35mm 20 exp cost 5s.10d (29p), 36exp cost 7s.7d (38p) and 36exp refills cost 4s.6d (22.5p).
BUT, in AP's 'News of the Week' for 30th August there was an announcement of new prices for other Ilford black & white roll & 35mm films, necessitated by the increased price of silver. Prices were increased by just less than 10%. Selochrome 120 roll film now 4s/3d (21p), 126 Instant cartridge 4s/9d (24p), 36-exp 35mm HP4 cassette 8s/3d (41p). The 10 sheet pack of 8x10inch Ilfobrom single weight paper, formerly costing 7s/5d (37p) now increased to 8s (40p).
Ilford were not alone in needing to adjust film prices. Kodak, Ltd. announced (AP 13th Sept) that, owing to the cost of silver, the price of their b&w films was being increased by around 10% in mid-September, and its general purpose photographic papers would follow suit in mid-November.
Amateur Photographer for 26th April 1967 announced the retirement of Mr Sydney Thomas Ferris, a director of Ilford Ltd "and many subsidiary and associated companies" after 54 years service at the age of 68. "During the whole of his 54 years he was absent only 5 days through illness - 3 days in 1916 and 2 days in 1938.

1968
In February 1968, Ilford announced their spring and summer marketing plans for the year (AP magazine, 21st February; News of the Week). These were:
Following the recommendations of the Monopolies Commission, Ilford colour films to be made available at prices exclusive of processing charges.
The range of colour films to be extended to include 120 and 127 roll film size Super Colorprint, alongside the 35mm and 126 films that became available during early 1967.
The unique 'Pocket Print' return presentation, which proved popular when trialled with 126 Super Colorprint film during 1967, to be offered in an improved form with all sizes of Ilford colour negative film from May.
The processing of all Ilford's colour films, negative and reversal (transparency slide) to be carried out at the Basildon laboratories, Essex.
A new, high quality, general purpose black & white film to be launched (FP4, see below).
A new range of 126 catridge cameras to be launched, including a complete outfit at less than £5.

In May 1968, Ilford FP4 introduced, replacing FP3 roll and 35mm film. "Fine Grain, High Speed, Panchromatic, Backed" (but see 1955 slot above; FP4 was a plate emulsion name 13 years previous, though undoubtedly NOT the same emulsion as in 1968).
FP4 was claimed to give greater acutance with finer grain than FP3 but retaining the same speed of 125ASA (200ASA when developed in Microphen) and the same price. Wide exposure latitude of 6 stops over and 2 stops under, still producing printable results. Sold in the distinctive black & white Ilford cartons but identifiable by a blue band on the end flap. Tested by Pete Cropley for 'Photography' magazine (June edition), he found FP4 to be "the sharpest medium speed film available, and by far the finest grain."

By July, Ilford were offering a free 20 page booklet entitled "Ilford FP4" to amateur photographers "wishing 'to make the best use of the fine qualities of this new emulsion". It was obtainable by writing to Mike Williams, Customer Services, Ilford Ltd, Ilford, Essex. This booklet (see left) updated the booklet "Ilford FP3, Film of Many Faces" offered in 1965. It is dated March 1968. Copy available courtesy of David Muggleton.

Summer time "2 for the price of 1". Ilford Super Colorprint and Ilford Colorslide offered in twin packs of 126, 120, 127 and 20exp 35mm. The Super Colorprint cost 5/- (25p) for the twin pack (processing extra) while the Colorslide cost 8/9d (44p) for the twin pack (processing extra). Even with processing, Ilford calculated that your 40 slides would cost less than 7d (3p) each.
All colour processing now carried out at the company's modern laboratories at Basildon, Essex.

Click here to view a short movie mpg clip of workers at Basildon sorting and posting Colorslide slides. Notice the plastic viewing wallets the slides are inserted into before being posted (see 1965, above). The movie clip is courtesy of John Smailes.

The Ilford Holiday Cine Pack was another summer time offer, being 4 Ilford 8mm daylight balanced Colorcine films for the price of 3. The pack cost 39/9d (£1.99p) plus processing at 33/- (£1.65p), giving a total saving of 24/3d (£1.21p). Colorcine speed was 25ASA = 15DIN.
The four 50ft films were returned spliced together on a 'free' 200ft reel in a dustproof plastic case. To ensure the individual films were spliced in the right order, customers had to return the exposed reels in the original box, with the 1st film in the place numbered 1, the 2nd in the place numbered 2 etc. The illustrated film box has a 'use by' date of March 1969.
From end of June, Ilford began sending a copy of a 16 page magazine called 'Colornews' to all colour film users with their processed films. The magazine was to contain hints & tips relevant to its season of publication, aimed at helping Ilford colour film users get more fun from their hobby. Also to be included was a supplement leaflet 'What's on and Where', providing up to date information on events of photographic interest.
Ilford colour cine film users were to receive a "Movie Supplement", published twice a year - Colorcine News.
To view a pdf of Issue 3 of Colornews, click here or the first image.  To view a pdf of Issue 1 of Colorcine News, click here or the second image. My thanks to Paul Godfrey for these pdfs.

Selochrome roll film believed to have been phased out, the last film to bear the famous Selochrome brand, derived from the 1920s Selo factory name. Or was it? Information has come to me that there may have been a 35mm Selochrome film still being tested in 1969, but it never got to market.

The Selochrome Pan roll film illustrated is a size 620, 160ASA, with an expiry date of April 1971, from or near the last batch.

 The formal change to a white carton design (as above) presumably took place around the time of the sunburst symbol being introduced, in 1965. But the Twin-Pack "Save 6d" (2.5p) Selochrome Pan carton shown here (courtesy of Charlie Kamerman) is dated to be developed before February 1969, suggesting maybe a 1966 manufacturing date. Possibly the stock of old cartons was used up subsequent to 1965 by bundling them in this "Ilford Holiday Twin-Pack, Save 6d" promotion. The speed rating for minimum exposure is given as 160ASA (ISO).

 

 

 A single 127 size roll film of Selochrome Panchromatic, still in the pre-1965 colours. This film is dated for processing before July 1968, suggesting it was made around 1965, perhaps just before the new carton colours and sunburst symbol were unveiled.

At the end of 1968, Ilford were selling the following black & white processing chemicals.
ID 11 ~ The standard fine grain developer...... (the same formula is used in Kodak's D76 and in the May & Baker's developer, '320'; Ref V.Blackman column, AP, 7th August 1968)
Microphen ~ Fine grain and a speed increase.
Hyfin ~ A high acutance developer....
Monophen ~ Combines developing and fixing into one operation....
PQ Universal ~ A paper developer also suitable for developing roll film.
Bromophen ~ Really excellent results with Ilfobrom paper, though also able to develop roll films.
Ilfofix ~ An acid hardening fixer...
Hypam ~ A high-speed fixer for films and paper. Can become a hardening fixer by the addition of Hypam Hardener.

1969
From the start of 1969 (as announced November 1968 - see AP magazine, 20th Nov, News of the Week), Ilford ceased applying their name to amateur colour films. Ilford Ltd changed their policy to only supplying colour films to distributors and organisations able to market the material under their own private label. At this time, 25% of Ilford's colour film output was going to the USA. Ilford intended to continue with colour film R&D but decided on this new marketing policy as their colour film had not returned a healthy profit during the previous 20years (1948 launch of Ilford's first colour film, Colour FIlm D).
Ilford's high speed (800ASA) HPS roll and 35mm film are phased out. Thereafter, HPS is only available as narrow gauge cine film stock - perhaps for the next two years (?).
Ilford believed that HP4, with some push-processing, was capable of replacing HPS as a high speed film (ref: SLR Camera magazine for July 1968, "Letters to the Editor").

Ciba acquires all of ICI's shares in Ilford, becoming sole owner of ILFORD Limited, six years after their initial approach.
Introduction of Cibrachrome colour reversal printing paper and chemistry, a product developed by Ciba Geigy Photochemie of Switzerland, based on the silver-dye-bleach principle originally proposed in 1905 by the Austrian Karl Schnitzel. Over the following years it was further developed by Ciba and Ilford into a world renowned 'industry standard' product for high permanence richly saturated prints from transparencies.

On 31st Dec 1969 Ilford ceased supply of the Ilfomatic 126 cameras and camera outfits, ending the sale of all Ilford's amateur camera products.
Also on 31st December, Ilford discontinued manufacture of HP3 roll film, explaining that the demand for HP4 had risen to a level that required all their existing production capacity. However, Ilford promised to continue manufacturing HP3 in sheet film and 35mm cassettes as long as this was justified by world-wide demand. (Might it have survived until HP5 was launched in 1976 ?)

Ilford FP4 Challenge Cup print competition, judged (late November / early December) by George Hughes (AP Features Editor), Photo-Trade World Editor Roy Mathers and Ilford's Bill Risden.

The Mobberley workforce had grown to around 550.

Two new film developers, tested in Amateur Photographer 21st January 1970; Ilfosol and Perceptol.


Ilfosol, a general purpose 'acutance with fine grain' liquid concentrate 'one-shot' developer to be diluted 1:14 assisted by the graduated bottle cap having internal markings to show volumes of 10cc, 20cc, 30cc & 40cc.
Recommended cost of a 300cc conical ('Dalek' shaped, as AP described it! ) plastic container was 6/- (30p). The bottle shape was subsequently found not to be ideal as the surface area of developer exposed to oxidation increased as the developer was used. So the concentrated developer didn't 'keep' as well as it might have.


Perceptol, supplied in a less convenient powder form (2 packets dissolved to make 600cc of stock solution) but satisfying the perfectionist wanting negatives capable of giant enlargement.
To make 600cc of developer cost 4/-; (25p). Packs to make 1litre were also available.

The 600cc pack illustrated alongside has the date of August 1974 (H.74). It contains two heat sealed polythene satchets, one considerably larger than the other.
The enclosed instructions (though maybe incomplete) only gives development times for Ilford films. At 20°C the advised development times for Pan F = 8.5minutes; FP4 = 8minutes and HP4 = 8.5minutes.
The same instructions (printed J.74) must have been enclosed with ID-11 and Microphen developers as the times for the same films in those developers are also quoted, viz:
ID-11 Pan F = 5.5minutes; FP4 = 6minutes and HP4 = 7minutes.
Microphen Pan F = 3minutes; FP4 = 5.5minutes and HP4 = 5minutes.

"Newsreel" in Practical Photography magazine, August 1969, reports "ILFORD ON THE MOON".
"As with all earlier missions, Ilford film will be on board Apollo 11 when it attempts its moon landing. The film to be used will be Ilford G5 and K2 Nuclear Research emulsions produced at the Research Laboratory of Ilford Limited, Ilford, Essex. The job of the film is to measure the radiation exposure of the three astronauts. The film will then be analysed and the number of particle tracks will give an indication of the total radiation to which each astronaut has been exposed".
On July 20, 1969, lunar module Eagle landed on the Moon, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins orbited above. Armstrong and Aldrin spent a day on the Moon before returning to Earth.

1970
First Queen's Award to Industry (& see 1975)
Ciba merges with JR Geigy becoming Ciba-Geigy.
Ilford's Chief Executive, Dr A J O Axford, announces planned £4m additions to the Brentwood, Essex, factory; a new film manufacturing block, a quality control laboratory, additional film packing areas and general site support services. Expected to be 'on-line' within 2 years. I also understand there was a large R&D department at or near this site, at Warley, Brentwood.
Elmo cine equipment no longer distributed by Ilford. Transferred to C.Z.Scientific Instruments Ltd, 93/97 New Canvendish St, London, W1A 2AR.
Any servicing requirements of previously sold Ilford-Elmo equipment also handled in future by C.Z.Scientific.
All Ilford colour film and paper materials now discontinued except for Cibachrome.
Ilford Witness camera for sale secondhand in the AP magazine for 21st January at Campkins Camera Centre Ltd, New Bond Street, London, priced £27.10s (£27.50p) with f1.9 Dallmeyer & including case; p&p extra.

1971
In April, Focal Press publish the 6th edition of the 'The Ilford Manual of Photography', but called 'The Manual of Photography'. It was reprinted in December '71, September '72, September '73 and November '75. Click the link and / or see entries for the years 1890 and 1958 for the prior history. Also, see year 2000 entry for current edition. (Ref: D.M).

 1971-72
220 film enabled 24 6x6cm pictures on a 120 sized spool; 220 only used a paper leader and trailer - there was no backing paper behind the film. It was introduced in the UK post-July 1966. But Camerapedia says 220 was introduced in 1965, so possibly Kodak introduced the film ealier in its native USA. It was also expected in Germany by Spring 1965, and Rollei TLR camera production at Braunschweig was incorporating the necessary modification.
Ilford 220 FP4 was available in 5 roll professional packs by either December 1971 (date of printing of the leaflet enclosed with the film pack shown left) or more likely March 1972 (the date on the box itself). The film within the box had an expiry date of January 1978, so probably packaged around 1975. By 1982, Ilford 220 film was available both as FP4 and HP5 versions (see below). But 220 film never seemed to 'catch on' to any great extent and by 2009 the availability of 220 film (in the UK at least) seems virtually zero.

1973

Bob Chaffee has sent me a series of images of the Ilford Woodman Road facility in Brentwood, Essex, taken in 1973. Click here to view Bob's images.
Information from David Kilcast, who worked in R&D at Brentwood, is that the Brentwood site was still operating in 1981, but closure plans were then well advanced.

See also, images relating to the Selo Factory during earlier times, as sent to me by Sharon Ellis.

Another picture provided by Bob Chaffee is of the Ilford facility in Paramus, New Jersey, USA, also taken in 1973.

1974
Ilford introduce Ilfospeed range of resin coated (RC) (sometimes known as plastic encapsulated; PE) photographic papers, for speedier processing.

1975
The Queen's Award for Industry presented to Ilford for the 2nd time on 5th September. Ceremony held at the Mobberley site and award received by Chief Executive & Managing Director Mr T W Parton. The Award recognised Ilford's export sales during 1972-75, which increased by over 50%. In 9 years their export sales value had risen from near £7million to £20million (August 1974).
Jeff Vickers becomes Ilford General Manager.
This year saw the last plates coated at the Ilford site.

1976
Ilford launch their new 400 ISO HP5 film at Photokina. Initially there was a world shortage of this admirable product. The first batches of HP5 were exclusively in the 35mm format and were only sold in Germany, a country selected because it was (at that time) the most profitable marketplace.
Cibachrome-A (amateur packs) available in UK from 26th April. Prices quoted in 'Camera User' as 20sheets 10"x8" from £14, 2-litre P-12 chemicals (process 20 off 10"x8") from £11. Photography magazine tested it in their May 1976 issue.

Bob Chaffee worked for Ilford Inc. in the US during 9years from 1971 to 1979 and was involved in X-ray Medical Imaging.
The item shown left as a thumbnail is Volume 14, Number 3, 1976 issue of "X-Ray Focus; Medical Radiology and Radiography".
Bob tells me "It was produced in the UK with copyright 'ILFORD Limited 1976; A Ciba-Geigy company'. Printed by Balding + Mansell Ltd; London & Wisbech. Correspondence was directed to: X-Ray Focus, 27, Tilehouse Road, Surrey, GU4 8AP, England. The editor was Eric Gould".
Bob held onto this issue because it contains an article by Miss R.E.Stapleton, BSc, of the X-Ray Research Division of Ilford Ltd (in charge of research into image physics) on Image Quality in X-ray Systems. She was well known in X-Ray circles. Her facility was located on the 1st floor of the Ramsden Laboratory building, Brentwood (see 1958 chronology 'slot' for picture of the Ramsden building).

Bob Chaffee has sent me series of advertisements for Ilford's X-Ray materials, dating from 1956 through to 1977 (apart from 1971), which appeared in a leading US Medical Imaging Magazine named “Radiology”. As Bob comments "it is interesting to see how advertising evolved over that period". Advertisemenst for 1978 through to 1980 probably exist but are not available 'on-line'. 1980 is the year Ilford stopped distributing Medical Imaging Films in the US and also the year Bob moved on to Agfa Gevaert.
Also, see a (believed) 1944 contribution of X-ray material sent by Mike Ratcliff.

The Ilford Ltd. site in Ilford, Essex, was closed in February 1976 and administrative activities transferred to the Basildon site, previously only used for colour processing, chemicals development and manufacture.
For a 1974 film of Basildon town development, post-WW2, see the UEA Film Archive site, catalogue No.522
The Redbridge Museum in Ilford has a display dedicated to Ilford Ltd memorabilia and notes written by Mary Davis, who left her office in he Roden Street premises for the last time on Friday 13th February 1976.

Bob Chaffee has sent me an aerial view of the Basildon site during an Open Day on June 12th 1976. Click here to view.

Angela Pruss has been in touch to say how this move was a disappointment ("a horror") to her and many of her colleagues. Angela was a secretary to various managers on the old Ilford, Roden Street, site during the early 1970s and has many fond memories. She speaks of providing comment to the technical staff on the image quality in new products – "it was nice to get a break from secretarial work and be involved". "The large rambling site was lovely to walk round at lunchtimes and there were many little huts/darkrooms where you could watch the technicians at work." She did move to Basildon, but it wasn't the same 'atmosphere' and she left after only a few months. Now, when she visits Ilford town, she can't look at the Sainsbury building without fond memories of the Ilford HQ site where she worked.
Angela wonders if anyone else from that era would like to get in touch? If so, drop me an e-mail and I'll try to get you into e-mail contact with her.
Hamesh Taylor e-mailed to say he also took part in the move to Basildon. He worked in the IT department.

Tom Borg has e-mailed to tell me about the break-up of the Ilford site and the relocation of its various facilities. Tom was employed by Ilford from 1964 to 1995, initially as a research technician and ending as a Senior Manager, during which time he led the team which took XP1 from research to manufacture (1980). Tom recalls that the original Ilford site still (1976) had the old cottages where the business started, plus an organic chemistry research building across the road in Roden Street. Some chemists working there specialised in mercaptans which are incredibly smelly and led to complaints from bus passengers when the boffins went home! He also mentions that the Ilford site hosted an early J.Lyons & Co 'Leo' computer, one of the first in the UK, to handle payroll. Tom still has some of the germanium diodes from when the Leo was scrapped and dumped in the carpark.

From 1976:
Basic research, Emulsion research, Organic chemistry research and Physics moved to a new facility at Warley, near Brentwood; a site already occupied by Engineering functions. Emulsion research at this site led to the introduction of microfilm, and the new generation of emulsion for monochrome film though these took some years to bring to production. -
Presumably these moves were made possible by the £4m extension at Warley announced by Ilford's Chief Executive, Dr A J O Axford, in 1970.
Film product development had long been based at the nearby Brentwood site (
presumably the old 1920 Selo Factory which subsequently closed), including Monochrome, X-Ray. Colour and Microfilm development, and this also transferred to the new Warley facility.
David Kilcast, Ilford employee from 1972-1981, confirms Brentwood (the original Selo factory in Woodman Road) & the newer site referred to as Warley, were completely separate sites. Warley was about a mile from Woodman Road, located in a less built up area, close to the Ford European HQ.
Nuclear (the film that accompanied the first moon landing) and other specialised plate products were moved to Mobberley where all Paper research and production was sited.
The Basildon site, previously only used for colour processing, chemicals development and manufacture, became the new Head Office, including Marketing and all supporting functions.
(From 1983, when the Basildon site closed and activities moved to Mobberley, Cheshire, Tom Borg successively ran the Quality Assurance, Emulsion Manufacture, and Distribution departments.)

1977
New HQ formally opened on an industrial estate in Basildon, at Christopher Martin Road, SS14 3ET Tel 0268 27744

1978
In January, Focal Press publish the 7th edition of the "The Manual of Photography", previously "The Ilford Manual of Photography". It was reprinted in (at least) November 1978.
Introduction of Ilford Ilfospeed Multigrade Resin Coated (RC) Paper & Filters at Photokina. This version of Multigrade is much improved on the original (1940) and its successor (1954). Deservedly popular and part of an integrated system including processing chemistry and Multigrade enlarger heads.
Further enhanced as Ilfospeed Multigrade II in spring 1984.
Following the rationalisation of products and facilities by Ciba-Geigy, Ilford become responsible for marketing their Photographic Group worldwide.

1979

Booklet published by Ilford for 1st January 1979 entitled:
'100 years of quality - A history of invention and innovation - 1879 ILFORD 1979'

Near the bottom of the page it reads 'ILFORD Limited, Basildon, England - 1st January 1979'

(My thanks to Roy Hammans for information about this booklet).

The book 'Silver by the Ton - A History of Ilford Limited 1879-1979' was published, authored by RJ Hercock and GA Jones, two distinguished Ilford employees. The publishers were McGraw-Hill Book Co (UK) Ltd, Shoppenhangers Rd, Maidenhead, Berks, SL6 2QL; 176 pages illustrated in black & white. The ISBN is 0-07-084525-5. In August 1979 it was priced at £9.95 in hardback

1980
Ilford XP1 400 Chromogenic Film first appeared at Photokina, in September.
The Ilford Group was restructured due to financial losses related to the price of silver. Practical Photography magazine for May 1980 carried a report on the spiralling cost of silver in their 'Gossip Column'. They wrote that "Ilford is just one of the companies looking for ways of using silver more economically and of recovering silver from scrap films and off-cuts. ......the January 1979 price for silver was £3 an ounce (28.3grams); in January 1980 it was £23 an ounce."
Ilfobrom Galerie paper announced "a new black and white, fibre-based enlarging paper for prints of hitherto unattainable quality."

1981

The illustrated Guide describes the Ilford range of b&w films (Pan F, FP4, HP5 & XP1 400) & recommends developers from the Ilford range (Perceptol, Hyfin, ID-11, Ilfosol 11, Microphen; also the special XP1 chemicals for the new chromogenic XP1 400 film).
Papers are Ilfospeed, Ilfospeed Multigrade, Ilfobrom and Galerie with developers being Ilfospeed, Ilfospeed Multigrade, PQ Universal & Bromophen respectively.

Chromogenic XP1 400 35mm film first goes on sale in the UK. It was originally due to be on sale by March 1981, but was bought forward to January 1981. Ilford claimed the rushed release was due to the "tremendous response" received when the film was shown at Photokina (see above), but the decision may have been influenced by the imminent appearance of a rival chromogenic film, Agfapan Vario-XL Professional. The rival film went on sale shortly after XP1 400. A test report in Photography magazine for May 1981 found "..at this time the Ilford rival seems markedly better, whether in its own chemistry (XP 1) or Kodak's (C41)."

David Kilcast, who worked in R&D at the Brentwood factory site from 1972-81, tells me that the (Selo) Brentwood site was still operating on his departure in 1981, although shutdown plans were then well advanced.
Cibachrome-A 11 (colour prints from colour transparencies) using Process P-30 chemicals replaces previous Cibachrome-A & P-12 chemicals. Paper available as CPSA.1K (de luxe glossy) and CRCA.44M (pearl). Claimed "improved colour reproduction, improved colour saturation and improved contrast control characteristics". Kevin MacDonnell attended the press release at the Tara Hotel in Knightsbride (London). Kevin subsequently did tests and reported "The improvements are very obvious". "The recommended processing temperature is 24°C though by varying the times you can work between 20-29°C. A 3minute development is followed by a 30sec. rinse. The print is then bleached, fixed and washed, each step, like the development, needing 3minutes, making a total processing time of about 12minutes." "...its easy to tell them (old and new versions) apart. If it hasn't got a picture on it (the printing paper packs and bottles of chemicals), its the old material."

An excellent example of the sort of result obtainable from Cibachrome II can be seen on the web page devoted to Ilford memories supplied by Peter Pearse.
HP5 Autowinder kit introduced enabling the processing of a 72 exposure length of film, a frame length suited to cameras with motor drives. The 'HP5 Autowinder' film base was made of thin polyester so that the circa 10feet (3m) 72 exposure film length could be accomodated within a standard 36 exposure cassette.
The kit comprised a special processing tank with a stainless steel reel capable of holding the full length of film, loaded from the centre outwards by a hand wound loading device (see illustration). The tank (believed made by Kindermann but marked Ilford) required 400ml of processing solutions. The Autowinder cost £12.25 and the tank with spiral cost £11.95 (Fishwick's 1st Nov 1982 catalogue).

1982
Lumière, who were acquired by Ciba-Geigy in 1962, eventually relinquish their Corporate name and become known as ILFORD France.
Ilfospeed Multigrade II paper introduced giving the advantages of 11 distinct grades from 0 (extra soft) to a genuine grade 5 (extra hard) and easier exposure control by virtue of the paper speed remaining constant from grade 0 to 3.5 and requiring just double the exposure for grades 4 to 5.
Image quality, for the first time in a multigrade paper, is equal to the best of uni-grade papers.
Ilford return to the world of colour films (which they abandoned at the start of 1969) with the re-introduction of an Ilfochrome colour slide film, named Ifochrome 100. An E6 process compatible film, priced £1.60 for a 20exp 35mm and £2.08 for a 36exposure. An Ilfochrome RP6 500cc processing kit (suitable for all E6 reversal films) was priced at £6.25, sufficient to process eight 24exp or five 36exp films.
There is suspicion that this film was being sourced from Konica in Japan.
The 'Ilford Contact' system announced, facilitating 'contact' printing 35 mounted 35mm colour slides onto a single 10"x8" sheet of Cibachrome. The system consisted of two plastic frames, one holding 20 slides and the other holding 15, plus a base unit which held the printing paper and also correctly aligned the frames above the paper. The paper was exposed through each frame in turn, the rows of slides in the two frames being offset, such that slides in the second frame priinted into the gap in the rows of slides in the first frame.
In Fishwick's 1st Nov 1982 catalogue, 220 roll film is available in FP4 and HP5 versions (£2.48 per roll compared to £1.06 for a standard 120). In the same catalogue, only Kodak's Tri-X film is listed as available in 220 roll film (£2.39 a roll).

1983

CLOSURE of the Ilford Films (Selo Works) at Woodman Road.
Lofty Holloway, an ex employee of the Woodman Road site, worked there for 4½ years until around January 1983 when he was made redundant.

Lofty first joined Ilford Films at the old Selo Works, Woodman Road, in the middle of 1979, when he was offered a position working on the "Pan Wash" in the Emulsion Making Block, "horrible job, working with boiling water". "The emulsion making block was a tower, and on a summer's day, from the canteen and locker rooms on the top, you could see the Post Office Tower".
Sometime later he transferred to the Coating Block to work on Rooms 12 and 13's Reeling Chambers. He also worked with the flatbed coating machine, in Room 14, near Britannia Road, "a room tucked away by the fence, near the cemetery". "Don Blunt was my old Coating Foreman. Bob Farrow was my Shift Manager."

"All rather sad in the end. We attended a meeting in a hall in Eagle Way in Warley to learn of the company's downsizing. They were to shut three sites, Basildon distribution, Woodman Road (Selo) and R&D at The Drive, with the intention of expanding Mobberley. I went to the site at Mobberley in Cheshire to decide whether to take opportunity to move there. I went inside the facility which was to be the Mobberley equivalent of Room 14, but it was cheap looking, with no plaster on the walls."

Amateur Photographer magazine, in its April 2nd 1983 edition, announced "On its way is Multigrade II....". Main improvements were a genuine Grade 5, denser blacks, more neutral image colour, cleaner whites and the addition of a matt surface as well as pearl and glossy.
Amateur Photographer magazine, in its April 2nd 1983 edition, tested the new Cibachrome II 'prints from slides' paper and its processing chermistry. They concluded that it was marvellous, with more mellow contrast than its predecessor, true and accurate colours, excellent saturation and sharpness that was "very good indeed". To read the test as a downloadable pdf, click here.
During 1981-83, restructuring of the company occurred resulting in the closure of the Basildon, Essex site and dramatic growth of the Mobberley site. The workforce trebled to 1500. I have received an e-mail mentioning how "the relocation of a large number of staff to the Mobberley site was quite a culture shock for us Essex Girls and Boys. .....huge engineering feat of moving the large manufacturing machines from Essex to Cheshire."
AP magazine (15th January ~ News Shorts) report Ilford colour print film re-introduced, being Ilfocolor 400ASA, 35mm only. Compatible with the standard C41 process, Ilford claimed fine grain, good exposure latitude and neutral colour balance. A 100ASA version was introduced in the spring of 1983 in 35mm, 110 cartridge and Kodak disc formats. Price of the 400ASA version was (Jessops price, May 1983) £1.54 for a 24exp and £1.98 for a 36exp cassette. The 100 ASA retailed at £1.17p for the 24exp. and £1.50 for the 36exp. 35mm cassette and £1.13 for a 24exp 110 cartridge.

1984

Practical Photography magazine for June 1984 carries a 2-page advert for Ilfocolor HR colour print film, available in 35mm, 110 and Kodak disc formats. At this time, Ilfocolor colour print film was named Ilfocolor HR and consisted of 100 and 200ASA speeds. The picture alongside shows that it ultimately expanded to also include 1000ASA 35mm. Meanwhile, the Fuji Photo Film Company who made the (arguably market leading) Fuji HR colour print films were amused (see Practical Photography for June 1984) to see that the films from Ilford were similarly named 'HR'. Peter Samwell, the Fujimex Divisional Manager stressed "While we don't mind our competitors sharing a little of our limelight, we would like to point out to customers that Ilford HR film, while being manufactured in Japan, is not made by Fuji ..."  Ilfocolor HR seemingly didn't stay on the market beyond 1990 (?).

Apart from the above Ilfocolor print film, discussion on this webpage confirms that Ilford were still marketing the 35mm Ilfochrome slide film at this time (from 1982, see above). These 1984 print and slide films were definitely being made in Japan by Konishiroku Photo Industry Co. Ltd., also known as "Konica". The bulk film was packaged in Mobberley, Cheshire.
One respondent on the above website says:
"We were responsible for test shots on Ilfochrome and Ilfocolor, issued by Ilford and used in exhibitions, in 1984. The slide film was Konicachrome 100 and the negative (print) films were Konicacolor 100 and 400. "Ilford continued to use Konica for colour film but it failed to sell. ....the unforgiving nature of Konicachrome (exceptionally neutral colour, to the point of being cold, with high contrast and very fine grain) made the slide film less popular than warmer materials from Fuji".

A 2-page advert by Ilford in Practical Photography, June 1984 issue, stated the advantages of having Ilfochrome 100 processed by Ilford were that a Cibachrome 'contact' sheet print, showing all the slide images, would be supplied and the slides would be returned in sturdy plastic mounts numbered and dated in a slide box designed for easy cross-referencing with the contact sheet.

The HP5 Autowinder kit (see 1981 entry) is being sold in a small ad. at the rear of AP magazine (24th Nov) by RK Photographic of Ballards Lane, Finchley, London, N3 1LG. £5.99 for the stainless steel 72exp tank & reel, £7.35 the rapid loader and £2.99 for a spare reel. "Only while stocks last".

A 3 page fan-fold A4 leaflet, believed to date to 1984. My thanks to David Muggleton for loaning this to me for copying.

It describes the process steps involved in tank developing your first black & white film. In particular, FP4 film in Infosol 2 developer (4mins), using IN-1 stop bath, Hypam fixer and Ilfotol wetting agent. Further information is given on the use of ID-11, Perceptol and Microphen developers, with Pan F and HP5 film. Microphen is advised for speed up-rating HP5 from 500ASA (6mins) to 800ASA (8.5mins), 1,600ASA (11mins) and 3,200ASA (16mins), all at 20C.

To download the leaflet as a pdf file, click here or on the image.

1985

An undated booklet describing the use, exposure and processing of Ilford's four black & white films available during the 1980s; Pan F, FP4, HP5 and XPI 400.

Also describes the Ilford processing chemistry available at the time and the suitability of each to the indivual film types.

To download this booklet as a pdf, click on the image or here.

1986
Multigrade made available in a fibre based paper, Multigrade FB.

1987

Amateur Photographer magazine, on its NewsView page 42 (March 21st edition) announced that Ilford had joined the likes of Kodak and Konica by launching "new, improved" colour emulsions. Ilfocolor HR 100 35mm colour print film had been available since 1984, but was now joined by a 120 roll film format. Ilfocolor HR 200 and 400 speed films were promised to be available "at a later date".
An Ilford spokesman was reported as saying "Although some improvements have been made to Ilfocolor HR colour negative film, an appreciable difference will be noticed in results from the new range of Ilfochrome colour reversal (transparency) film". All are E6 process compatible and the range consists of Ilfochrome 50 - a fine-grained film "ideal where a high degree of enlargement is required for Cibachrome prints; Ilfochrome 100, for most general-purpose photography; and Ilfochrome 200 for extra flexibility in more restricted lighting or where limited aperture lenses are in use".

The 3 new Ilfochrome (transparency) films were tested by AP in their 18th April edition. The films were said to have subtle, neutral colours, making for good, natural, flesh tones, "so bear these films in mind for portraiture, especially the ISO 50 and 100. Their low contrast also makes them quite flattering, if a little 'flat'. But they lack warmth". The ISO 200 emulsion was felt to be rather grainy for this film speed.

Note that Amateur Photographer hinted that these HR transparency films were of Agfa origin and it seems (see Photo Pro magazine, p33, July 1989) that Agfa repackaged Ilford Multigrade as Agfa's own multi-contrast paper brand in Germany, in exchange for supplying the transparency film stock.
Ilfocolor HR negative film may have continued to be of Konica origin, which would explain why Ilford suggested that there would be less noticeable change with that film type.

1989

Ciba-Geigy sells Ilford to International Paper, an American company which also owned Anitec, a U.S. based manufacturer of graphic arts materials which had taken over GAF in Binghamton, New York. GAF was previously known as Ansco and, previous to that, Agfa-Ansco (ref: Bob Chaffee, e-mails of 14th & 16th January 2011).
The two groups were merged to become Ilford Anitec in 1990. Bob Chaffee has sent me a picture of the Anitec facility, in Binghamton, New York.
Subsequently, Ciba-Geigy, no longer having any stake in Cibachrome, required that the Cibachrome name be changed. So, officially it became llfochrome Classic, but Ilfochrome, Cibachrome, or simply "Ciba" are names still in common useage. This name change didn't officially take place until early 1992, announced by Ilford at the PMA Las Vegas.

HP5 Plus film introduced (Photo Pro mag, issue 4, Winter1989-90)

1990

Ilford announce their Digital Photo Imager (DPI) at the Photokina Exhibition, held in Cologne, Germany, hailing the dawn of the Companies venture into the new technology of Digital Imaging
First Delta film introduced

FP4 Plus and Delta 400 films introduced at Photokina.

 


A commemorative FP4 Plus lapel or tie pin, in the (flat) form of a 35mm cassette.

Picture courtesy of David Muggleton.

Ilfobrom and Ilfobrom Galerie b&w printing papers replaced by new, improved materials called Ilfobrom FB and Ilfobrom Galerie FB. Ilfobrom FB available in 4 equally spaced contrast grades and in a single weight, glossy, finish. Galerie FB is a top quality material ideal for exhibition printing to an archival standard and available in 5 grades as double weight glossy and matt surfaces. Ilfobrom Galerie FB available by mid-1990 and Ilfobrom FB available by the autumn. Prices remain unchanged from the previous equivalent papers.

1991

Death of Robert Sternberg, aged 77, a leading designer of the Ilford 'Witness' 35mm camera.
This information was taken from the March 1991 edition of The British Journal of Photography, which mistakenly refers to Robert Steinberg, but thanks to Andy Holliman it is now confirmed that the name is Sternberg.

XP2 chromogenic film launched in springtime and replaces XP1 400 in 120 roll and 35mm cassettes. Designed for processing in standard C41 colour chemistry. Said to have increased sharpness and a curve shape which is matched to that of Ilford's Multigrade printing paper. Sheet film sizes were intended for release by September.

Ilford's 1991 "Photographer of the Year" is Jonathan Knowles, who submitted a black & white portfolio of general still-life material.

1992

Cibachrome name officially changed to Ilfochrome Classic at the PMA show, Las Vegas. Ilfordchrome Classic was tested by Photo Pro magazine in autumn 1993.

Also announced were two new Ilfocolor printing papers (see 1993, below).

Pan F Plus introduced.
Multigrade further improved, becoming Multigrade III RC DeLuxe, offering improved base whiteness and a higher contrast Grade 5.

Ilford 100 Delta film announced at Photokina. The recommended guide price for a 36exposure cassette was £3.50p.
Using Ilford's innpovative shell grain crystals designed to give grain and sharpness comparable with films of a slower speed.
Practical Photography magazine (December 1992) commented "There's no doubt that 100 Delta is a lovely film capable of superb results. Prints exhibited fine grain, good tonal range and high sharpness. However, its too early to say whether it will shove the king of medium speed films, Ilford's own FP4 Plus, off its perch. Here are two quite different films that provide high quality results, and which you prefer is down to personal preference. But do give 100 Delta a go - you won't regret it."

1993

XP1 chromogenic film processing kits (acutance enhancing formula) finally discontinued following the success of XP2 Plus with its full C41 compatibility.

Ilford release a RA-4 colour paper with the same ultra-high gloss Melinex ployester base as Cibachrome (Ilfochrome Classic). Named Ilfocolor Deluxe, it was made for both EP-2 and RA-4 colour print processes. Photo Pro magazine (Aug/Sept 1993, p62) reported "the paper behaved impeccably, giving good, rich colour with excellent saturation and sharpness. This is the paper to use for standard commercial photography". It cost £36.46 for 100sheets of 10"x8" or £43.78p for 50sheets of 12"x16".
By the end of 1993 (or start 1994) Ilford published a new manual for users of their colour materials, both reversal and negative/positive. The Ilford Colour Print Manual was available through Ilford trade outlets.

1994

Ilford launch the "Printasia Digital Imaging System". The system included a Computer, Scanner, Printer and Image Manipulation software but suffered due to the constantly changing technology of computers and peripherals at the time, which led to its demise.

Ilford Multigrade IV printing paper, incorporating a third emulsion component to control print highlights. Slightly colder base colour and heavier weight.
400 Delta Pro (Professional) Film range introduced.

1995

Multigrade IV De Luxe resin-coated paper awarded the title "European Black & White Product of the Year 1995-96" by the European Imaging and Sound Awards panel of 13 magazine delegates meeting in Geneva. The citation specifically praised its ability to hold highlight and shadow detail simultaneously.

Delta 100 film Improved and suffixed Professional, supersedes the previous emulsion with claimed all-round improved quality, especially in terms of shadow detail and latitude. Availalble in 35mm (24&36exp), 120 roll film and all standard sheet sizes.

1996

In April Ilford announced it was moving its administration from London to Mobberley, though technical services, sales & marketing remained in London. Also, the trade counter remained at Tottenham Street, London.

XP2 (C41 process) film updated late summer 1996. Made more easily compatible with Multigrade IV paper, the ISO 400 film had more contrast but was intended to give lower contrast with over-exposed negatives and more printing latitude. Sharpnes is better. Price remained as for the original XP2 (released 1991) and was available in the same formats, being 35mm, 120 and sheet film.

1997
International Paper sells Ilford to Doughty Hanson for £85million.
Warmtone Multigrade FB (double weight) paper introduced.

1998

Ilford become Ilford Imaging Ltd on 1st January under new owners Doughty Hanson & Co.
Ilford enter the mass inkjet consumer market with the launch of the PRINTASIA Inkjet Photo Range of papers.

Ilford high speed Delta 3200 Professional Film launced at Photokina (10 years after Kodak's Tmax 3200). Ilford stole a march, however, by also introducing their film in the 120 roll format. Ilford's previous ultra high speed film was the little-loved 800ASA HPS, which was removed from the range in the late 1960s.

Ilford introduce it's third generation Chromogenic film, XP2 Super Film.

1999
Multigrade RC Cooltone paper intoroduced.

2000

Ilford launch the GALERIE Inkjet Photo Range of paper and media.

Focal Press publish the 9th edition of ''The Manual of Photography', née 'The Ilford Manual of Photography', ISBN: 0240515749, edited by Ralph E. Jacobson, Sidney F. Ray, Norman R. Axford and Geoffrey G. Attridge. (see year entries for 1890, 1958 and 1971 above, Ref. D.M).
Focal Press say "The Manual of Photography is the standard work for anyone who is serious about photography: professional photographers and lab technicians or managers, as well as students and enthusiastic amateurs who want to become more technically competent. The authors provide comprehensive and accessible coverage of the techniques and technologies of photography. Major new updates for the ninth edition include:
Coverage of digital techniques -- more emphasis on electronic and hybrid media
Greater coverage of color measurement, specification and reproduction-illustrated with a new color-plate section ."
The co-author Sidney F. Ray was a chemist at Johnsons during the period 1960-66 and he wrote the Johnsons of Hendon family history which he has allowed to appear on this website.

Press Releases & Timeline for ILFORD PHOTO, part of HARMAN technology Ltd
(or see the ILFORD PHOTO Press Room)

2004

Ilford Imaging celebrates 125 years of photographic manufacturing, BUT:
On 24th August, Ilford Imaging (part of Ilford Anitec) collapses into administration. The Times carried an article:
"The move follows a 26 per cent plunge in sales at the UK division in the first seven months of this year, blamed on falling demand for black and white pictures and a surge in the popularity of digital imaging.
The UK division employs 740 people at Mobberley in Cheshire, where it principally manufactures black and white supplies.
Mark Byers, head of recovery and reorganisation services at Grant Thornton, which is handling the receivership process, said that it planned to analyse the traditional photographic business with a view to selling it as a going concern.
The company, which was bought by Doughty Hanson, the private equity company, for £85 million in 1998, also said that it planned to sell its Swiss business, which develops and manufactures digital inkjet products. The Swiss division continues to trade normally and is not in any form of insolvency. Mr Byers said the division had a large market share and the potential for further growth.
In the past four years Ilford said that it had managed to reverse a decline in sales by refocusing the business on digital photography products, with sales in the year to December 2003 hitting $233 million (£129 million), up from $210 million in 2002. Profit growth at the digital inkjet business has continued to accelerate, but the decline in the black and white photographic market has continued. This together with the weakness of the US dollar and a decision to reduce black and white film stock by many shops has led to losses."

On 1st September, the BJP website carried further news:
Almost half the jobs at Ilford's Mobberley plant have been slashed in an attempt to save the ailing company.
Grant Thornton, receivers of Ilford Imaging UK Limited, stated that the move, which sees the workforce at Mobberley cut by 330 to 400, is part of a restructuring program to make the business more appealing to potential buyers.
Sales of monochrome photographic supplies manufactured at the Mobberley site were down 26% in the first half of the year and there are rumours that Ilford is £40 million in debt.
Grant Thornton are looking into the possibility of selling the UK film and paper divisions as a 'going concern' while the profitable digital inkjet business based in Switzerland, which is a legacy of when the company was owned by Ciba Geigy, would be sold separately and continues to trade normally while a buyer is sought.

On 27th October, the BJP website carried further news:
Ilford's administrator, accountancy firm Grant Thornton, confirmed considerable interest. Mark Byers from Grant Thornton told BJP that several companies had made inquiries and that discussions were taking place. Byers said he hoped to have good news for Ilford 'this side of Christmas'.
At Photokina, the tenuous future brought photographers flocking to the Ilford stand, buying out stock that many believed would soon be unavailable. Howard Hopwood, head of Ilford Brands Worldwide, gave reassurances, forecasting that sales would continue for at least the eight weeks following the trade show. He said: 'There is still a demand for black-and-white papers and film ...however, this doesn't mean that I think it will last for ever.'

On 8th December, the BJP website carried the news:
BJP has learnt that a management buyout is being considered. Byers (Grant Thornton) told BJP of discussions with several other buyers, although he would not divulge the number of the names of interested parties. According to one of those potential buyers (anonymous), a management buyout looks like the most likely option. Byers did not confirm this, but added that Grant Thornton was keen to find a deal that would 'preserve jobs and preserve the trade'. He added that he was confident that an announcement would be made early in the new year (2005).
Ilford has continued to manufacture its papers and films, allaying the fears of many photographers who flocked to the company's stand at Photokina.
Prospects are also fair for Ilford's profitable inkjet operations in Switzerland, which Byers has confirmed are being marketed for sale. He said: 'Grant Thornton is looking to finalise a deal by the end of the first quarter next year'.

Pedro Costa, from Porto, Portugal, has written to tell me that his family previously owned the company that was Ilford’s distributor in Portugal.
Pedro, together with previous generations of his family, had involvement with Ilford from 1916 to 2004. But in 2004, with all the problems related to the the advent of digital photography and the changes this caused within Ilford, his family's business was forced to “sell” its distribution contract to another company based in Spain, and close their own.

Pedro tells me that he worked with Simon Galley and Howard Hopwood during many Photokina trade shows, and also with Martin Hadden, responsible for the Iberian market at the time (a good friend).
Pedro still owns one of the small souvenir Ilford clocks (see 2007, below), plus a couple of copies of the historical book of Ilford Ltd, “Silver by the Ton”. He also has very good memories from his childhood of the smell of Ilford chemistry in the warehouse and darkroom.

2005

On 23rd February, the BJP website carried the GOOD NEWS: Ilford rescued from extinction
Ilford's UK operations have been saved from closure by a management buyout.
Rumours of a management buyout, first reported in BJP in December, have proved accurate as an agreement has finally been reached at Ilford's Manchester headquarters. Although details are scarce, and the announcement will only formally be made to the public at Focus-on-Imaging (NEC; B'ham 27th Feb-2nd March), it has been revealed that the new company will operate under the name of Ilford Photo, with a corporate name of Harman Technology. It will focus on monochrome products. The company will be lead by a six man management team, headed up by the new managing director, Phil Harris. Behind him will be Howard Hopwood as marketing director, Andy Taylor as finance director, Steven Brierley as sales director UK, USA and Australia. Simon Galley has been appointed sales director of the European and export markets and Peter Elton as operations director.

A buyer has yet to be found for the remainder of Ilford Imaging Group, which includes the profitable Swiss manufacturing site and distribution companies in the USA, France, Benelux, Switzerland and Australia.
The Australian subsidiary closed down in late 2005 and a distributor was appointed - CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd.

Ilford's own web site announced from Mobberley, February 21st:
"125 year old ILFORD Imaging UK Ltd, the World's leading supplier of Monochrome photographic materials has emerged from receivership today through a complex and innovative management buy out (MBO). The new Company will trade under the name of ILFORD Photo, with a new Corporate name of Harman Technology.
In a deal that secures hundreds of jobs in the North West of England, the ILFORD Photo Management Team of Phil Harris (Chairman and Managing Director), Howard Hopwood (Marketing Director), Andy Taylor (Finance Director), Steven Brierley (Sales Director UK, USA and Australia), Simon Galley (Sales Director European and Export Markets), and Peter Elton (Operations Director) will take over the running of the World Famous Black and White Photo Business with immediate effect."
Follow the above link to the Ilford Photo web site for the complete announcement. Harman Technology is a nice touch, presumably intending to link the present with Ilford's original founder, Alfred Hugh Harman.

On 9th March, the BJP website carried FURTHER GOOD NEWS:
"It's good news at last for black-and-white photographers - following last month's management buyout, Ilford Photo says that not only will it continue its current range of monochrome products, it also plans to reintroduce abandoned lines.
According to Phil Harris (see picture), Ilford Photo's chairman and managing director, the company will retain all existing film lines except SFX200, as well as all existing papers and liquid chemistry. Dry chemistry products, warmtone developers and a number of abandoned papers will be reintroduced over the next few months, and the company hopes to enter new markets such as glass plate coating." BJP have commented that the saviour of black-and-white in the UK could turn out to be the student market, which Ilford Photo believes is key to its new business.

Mobberley, 20th June, Ilford Photo published a press release "...the newly emerged organisation is now able to draw breath and assess its current situation."

On 29th June issue a 'conversion table' for photographers who want to find an 'Ilford equivalent' paper to their current Kodak paper. Follows Kodak's recent decision to stop making its own b&w papers after a 'dramatic' drop in demand.

On 13th July, the BJP website announces Oji Paper, a 130-year old company based in Tokyo, has bought Ilford Imaging Group's Swiss operations for an undisclosed sum. The Swiss business is based around a manufacturing plant in Marly, in which the majority of Ilford's inkjet products are produced - including the Ilford-branded Gallerie and Printasia papers. The move will have little impact on Ilford Photo said Phil Harris, managing director. 'Although the plant in Mobberley, Cheshire, does some contract manufacturing of inkjet products for the Swiss company, we are separate companies. We will manufacture some products for the new owner until the end of this year but don't know what will happen beyond this.'

August, ILFORD Photo resumed shipment of ID-11 and Microphen powder monochrome film developers. ID-11 is supplied in 1 litre and 5 litre packs, with Microphen in 1-litre packs. Powder chemical manufacture at the UK site in Mobberley, Cheshire, had ceased when Ilford Imaging went into receivership. Fact sheets on the newly available ID-11 and Microphen obtainable by following the links on this page.

On 6th Sept, Amateur Photographer reported Ilford's reintroduction of its mail-order process-paid b&w developing and printing service. Pre-paid envelopes can be used simply for processing an existing film or can be purchased complete with a b&w film such as Ilford FP4 Plus. The service also accepts b&w single-use cameras such the Ilford HP5 Plus Single Use Camera. The standard service delivers 6x4in prints with white borders on Ilford Multigrade RC paper which are returned in 'sturdy' storage boxes in an average of five days. It costs £11.74 for the standard process-paid 6x4in service (up to 27 exposures). There is also an option to have images printed in 7x5in format at an extra cost.

September 2005 announcement of a single use disposable camera, loaded with a 27 exposure HP5+ film.    More cameras followed in 2011, 2012 and 2013, see below.

October announcement of a limited number of the ILFORD 2150RC processors (see picture) and ILFORD 1250RC dryers to be manufactured. The ILFORD 2150RC tabletop processor outputs up to 460 8x10ins prints per hour including automatic rinsing.

The dryer takes less than 20 seconds to dry a 10x8ins print, and is the ideal companion to the ILFORD 2150RC processor.

The picture alongside is believed to show the 2150RC complete with its dryer module.

2006

A new selenium toner, the first of a full range of colour toners from ILFORD Photo, due for marketing in the summer. The high quality formula is straightforward in use and emphasises the versatile tonal range of black-and-white prints.

June announcement of an exclusive distribution agreement with WYNIT, Inc. of Syracuse, New York, for distribution of ILFORD black-and-white photo products in the USA and Canada. Arrangements to be complete by 1st July. Subsequently, an American subsidiary, HARMAN technology LLC was set up in New Jersey to handle all market development and technical support in North America.

26Sept - 1Oct at Photokina, primary position on the ILFORD Photo stand is ILFORD GALERIE FB DIGITAL (a heavyweight 315g/m2 baryta fibre-based paper) making its world debut. This is the only paper in the world utilising ILFORD Photo's fibre base material which can be exposed in digital laser printers, providing the opportunity to create genuine silver gelatine prints from digital images.

ILFORD Photo management team since February 2005, consists of:
Phil Harris (Chairman and Managing Director; centre front row), Andy Taylor (Finance Director; front row left), Peter Elton (Operations Director; front row right), Howard Hopwood (Marketing Director; back row left), Simon Galley (Sales Director European and Export Markets; back row centre) and Steven Brierley (Sales Director UK, USA and Australia; back row right).

December 2006, ILFORD Photo announced a new service to bring together users and retailers of its products. Called Direct2Dealer (D2D) the service is based on a catalogue of more than 380 products available from ILFORD Photo.

The catalogue is being distributed to colleges and universities which run photographic courses, as well as to retailers. It is free to users by telephoning 0800 234 6484. Users telephone their order for products and pay an average retail price - carriage is free on orders totalling more than £45, otherwise it is £4.99. The products ordered are sent to the customer's nearest ILFORD Photo participating stockist for collection. Orders placed before 1:00pm should be delivered the next working day. The retailer's margin is paid by way of a monthly credit note.

2007
Re-introduction of Ilford SFX 200 infra-red film.

This small clock was a free gift from Ilford at the 'Focus on Imaging' Exhibition, NEC, Birmingham, UK.

It was donated to me by Mike Austin of the Riding High Gallery "Gallery and gifts, antiques and collectables. Studio ceramics. Internet Cafe. Museum of cycling memorabilia" in Great Malvern. Mike makes a good cup of coffee, provides interesting conversation and has a fascinating emporium, so do drop in if you are in the area.

'The History of Harman' booklet with pull-out Harman timeline, as given away at the 'Focus on Imaging' exhibition, NEC, Birmingham, UK during February 2007.

Kindly donated by Roger Gittins.

October, HARMAN technology Ltd announced the acquisition of Kentmere Photographic Ltd. HARMAN is keen to stress that the Kentmere brand will remain relatively unchanged. It will continue to offer the same resin coated and fibre based monochrome papers and inkjet products, including Opaljet, whilst employing the same marketing approach. See Kentmere's own web site.

ILFOSPEED RC DIGITAL joins ILFORD Galerie FB Digital paper. A medium weight (270g/m2), resin-coated, water resistant photographic paper which produces a neutral image with excellent contrast, sharpness and surface finish. It enables continuous tone b&w images to be printed from digital files prepared from b&w or colour film negatives or positives, prints and digital originals. The results are equal to those seen when using conventional black-and-white printing materials and exposing equipment.

2008
HARMAN technology Ltd announced plans to extend its highly popular range of ILFORD PHOTO black and white photochemistry products with a new developer. ILFOSOL 3 is due for official launch in February 2008 and is an enhanced formulation of the one-shot, general-purpose, liquid black and white film developer - ILFOSOL S.
'The History of Harman' booklet (see above) was given away again in 2008 at the NEC 'Focus on Imaging' exhibition (end of February) and now includes an entry relevant to the acquisition of Kentmere Photographic Ltd.
20th March announcement HARMAN technology to distribute Paterson Photographic products. The new distribution arrangement (which excludes the UK and a limited number of other territories where Paterson will continue to distribute its products as normal) comes into effect for all markets bar the United States from 1st April 2008. The US meanwhile will enjoy all the benefits of the new partnership from 4th June 2008. WYNIT INC, the HARMAN technology distributor will become the exclusive distributor of Paterson photo products for the USA. Speaking of the new partnership, Richard Perry, Managing Director of Paterson Photographic said: “Paterson Photographic and HARMAN have built up a good relationship over the years through our work serving the same customer base. Considering this, and our mutual passion for analogue photography, it makes sense for us to join forces. The move will strengthen and widen our distribution network, whilst offering photographers the benefits of increased product choice and availability.”
31st March announcement HARMAN technology appoints a new Canadian distributor. "....highlighting the strength of its on-going commitment to the Canadian market and in order to offer users in the country increased responsiveness and shorter delivery times, HARMAN technology has appointed Amplis Foto (head office in Ontario) to take over its Canadian distribution from 1st April 2008.
17th April announcement ILFORD Photo enhances its photo chemistry packaging. "....all items now feature clearer and more visible labelling which means all the information is readily to hand. The bottles also include tactile ribbed sides for better handling and grip, embossed chemical symbols for users with impaired vision and childproof caps for safer storage."
ILFORD PHOTO to extend its UK Black and White Process and Print Service. In order to offer this extended range of services, HARMAN technology Ltd made considerable investment into new plant and machinery at its Mobberley headquarters. Specifically, the service is now able to offer not only processing and printing but additionally the scanning of film negatives to CD, reprints and enlargements as well as producing real silver gelatine black and white prints from digital files.

2009

This small, free, 8 page leaflet, dated February 2009 (B09), explains that 'ILFORD LAB DIRECT' is a high quality, black & white photographic developing and printing service, producing prints on Ilford silver gelatin photographic paper from both film and digital files. Lab Direct is both a mail order service and is also available 'online'. Prints, 4"x6" up to 10"x15", are delivered 'to your door'.

The leaflet compliments the Black & White Process and Print Service announced in 2008, see the item above.

2010
In May 2010, ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH are bought by Paradigm Global Partners LLP.

2011
 ILFORD announce a final production run of ILFOCHROME Classic (née Cibachrome; see 1989 and 1992, above) in response to declining market demand attributed to the expanding popularity of digital image making.
The Waker Cameras designed Harman Titan 4x5 Pinhole camera becomes available from October 2012 in the UK and from December in the 'Rest of World'.

2012
The Walker Cameras designed Harman Titan 8x10 Pinhole Camera to debut at Photokina, as announced on the Ilford website 5th September.

2013
Two new disposable black & white cameras announced in January. One is preloasaded with XP2 Super film (C41 process) and the other with HP5 Plus film.
Early December; An Ilford Press Release announces:
ILFORD MULTIGRADE IV FB paper has been the product of choice for creative photographers and printers the world over. Following extensive R&D, significant improvements have been made to the product. It is now renamed ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB CLASSIC.
The ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB range has been further enhanced by the addition of the new ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB COOLTONE. This new fibre base product gives a cool image colour with crisp whites and well separated mid tones.
These new products join the long established ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB WARMTONE paper, a fibre base paper which produces warm blacks and creamy white tones for luxurious prints. This product has not changed and there are no plans now or in the future to change the MULTIGRADE FB WARMTONE formulation.
For the chronology of Multigrade development since 1940, click here.

2014 
Amateur Photographer magazine (News pages) for 18th January announced "Ilford Imaging Switzerland Closes Down Factory". The plant, based at Marly, is set to lay off 130 staff, having halted production of their 'heavyweight base' 280gms/m2 inket paper, Ilford Galerie. Production of a similar paper (Smooth Pearl) is expected to continue through the facilities of Permajet, in Warwickshire, UK. A worldwide launch of PerrmaJet's paper was set for 15th January.
Buit other interested parties exist and in December 2013 AP had been told "All Scenarios are still open".
Please Note: Ilford Imaging Switzerland is an entirely separate company to Ilford Photo in the UK, which is unaffected byt this announcement.
Ilford have produced a glossy brochure and sent it to local households. It's their plan to reduce the current Mobberley site footprint drastically and replace some of the current buildings with 200 (perhaps more) houses.

Marc Payet, formerly (pre-2005) National Sales Manager of the Ilford subsidiary in Melbourne, Australia (see the 1951 chronology entry, above), has sent me a press release from CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd., where he has worked as National Sales Manager since CR Kennedy & Company were appointed as Ilford distributors following the 2005 Mount Waverley production site closure. The press release, dated 8th May, states:

"WORLD FAMOUS ILFORD BRAND NOW IN SAFE HANDS AND TO RE-EMERGE AS A LEADER IN THE GLOBAL IMAGING AND GRAPHICS MARKETS.
Chugai Photo Chemical Co. Ltd of Tokyo, Japan and C.R. Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Australia, have been successful in their bid for the ILFORD Trade Marks and Associated Assets. A new company Ilford Imaging Europe GMBH has been established as a joint venture and will be responsible for all product development, production, logistics, sales and marketing activities. Clement Kennedy and Arnoud Mekenkamp have been appointed as joint Managing Directors."

The full press release can be down-loaded as a pdf file by clicking here.


This page last modified: 17th July 2014