19.180 dry photography (delayed message)

From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty_at_KCL.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 08:41:09 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 180.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: robert delius royar <r.royar_at_morehead-st.edu> (30)
         Subject: dry photography

   [2] From: Lily Diaz <diaz_at_uiah.fi> (21)
         Subject: Re: 19.176 dry photography

         Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 06:17:30 +0100
         From: robert delius royar <r.royar_at_morehead-st.edu>
         Subject: dry photography

Bush explains the process himself. Neither of the two he explains is
exactly xerography, but the second of the two processes he describes is
close to xerography. The Haloid company trademarked the word "Xerox" in
1948 and introduced the Xerox photocopier in 1949, but the process has a
1942 patent which is prior to the 1945 publication of Bush's "As We May
Think" in the _Atlantic Monthly_.

Both of Bush's examples rely on chemically treated paper. Even when he
speculates about applying faster and more accurate processes to facsimile
production, he refers to using "chemically treated film." The following is
directly from section "II" of "As We May Think":

Use chemically treated film in place of the glowing screen [he previously
described 1940s television transmission], allow the apparatus to transmit
one picture only rather than a succession, and a rapid camera for dry
photography results. The treated film needs to be far faster in action than
present examples, but it probably could be. More serious is the objection
that this scheme would involve putting the film inside a vacuum chamber, for
electron beams behave normally only in such a rarefied environment. This
difficulty could be avoided by allowing the electron beam to play on one
side of a partition, and by pressing the film against the other side, if
this partition were such as to allow the electrons to go through
perpendicular to its surface, and to prevent them from spreading out
sideways. Such partitions, in crude form, could certainly be constructed,
and they will hardly hold up the general development.

Link to the Bush article

Link to a Wikipedia article on Xerography

Dr. Robert Delius Royar <r.royar_at_morehead-st.edu>
Associate Professor of English, Morehead State University
                      Making meaning one message at a time.
         Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 06:18:27 +0100
         From: Lily Diaz <diaz_at_uiah.fi>
         Subject: Re: 19.176 dry photography
I agree with Dennis Moser that he was probably referring to processes
which do not use chemicals, such as Xerox, and which allow for the
electronic transmission of an image. More specifically, I think that
he was referring to systems such as Telefax (or FAX).
It turns out that, although FAX did not really come of age until the
1980's, the technology already existed and had been worked on during
the mid-to-late 19th century.
In 1938--As We May Think was published in 1945--the first facsimile
transmission of a daily newspaper was sent out of Saint Louis. Such an
experiment, through which several pages of the newspaper including
photographs were sent, includes many of the variables described in
Bush' scenario.
Please check out this URL for more information about the event and
technology used:
Lily Díaz-Kommonen
Media Lab/University of Art and Design Helsinki
Received on Fri Jul 29 2005 - 03:45:03 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Jul 29 2005 - 03:45:05 EDT