R.A.F. film can dilemma

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by High Wood, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I bought this can of film this morning from a house clearance guy. It is slightly post war and appears to be still sealed with tape. I have no idea if the seal is original and the canister contains 20 rolls of unused film or, if the original owner used the canister to store his life savings and it contains £10,000 in used £50 notes.

    Should I open it or should I spend the rest of my life wondering what is in it?

    Attached Files:

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Open it and either develop the film(s), see what the developed film is about or spend thew £10,000 - although if they are that old can you still use them??

  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Unlike the old 60s TV show you have to open the box before you can take the money
  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I think that the films, the label says 20 rolls, would be unexposed and ready to load into a camera. If they are separate films.I would presume that they are individual wrapped. Either way, I would probably need to open the tin in a dark room.
  5. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  6. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I would imagine that the RAF had huge amounts of film rolls sitting around. I wouldn't die wondering.......
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I've bought 50s film sealed with a very similar tape so lean towards your unexposed thought.
    If you're lucky, they might be in pleasing little screw top tins inside. Sometimes Incredible how well dry film tins can work.

    Maybe open in darkness, or a developing bag if you've got one, just to have a feel first?

    16 mil's usually cine, but that's pretty short lengths. Could indeed be gun camera fuel.
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  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Open it as vp states do it in the dark
    If there is money in it dont tell us just say its ruined film
  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    And if it is undeveloped film what does he do then? How can he tell if its already been exposed? By touch?

    Perhaps the RAF museum might help
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Opening in the dark's to tell if it's in protective packaging inside rather than tape-tabbed bare film.
    Then you could test/develop/risk one roll rather than potentially lose a can full.

    Not that I think it'll be exposed film, but I do believe in caution as god knows what could potentially be on such stock.
    Developed a few very old rolls back when I could be arsed with such things, and though nothing of real note emerged it was still always charming to see what somebody in the early C20th was snapping.
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Good grief you are fuckwit know it all Bob
    I have advised you many times how to communicate on the internet but you dont listen do you.

    Anyway lets hope High Wood sorts out this very interesting issue
  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Negative panchromatic film, unexposed, no speed rating.

    I used to buy Kodachrome Colour Reversal film in 25 feet spools which became 50 feet Standard 8 mm after processing, and splitting length wise. The processing included splicing on white leading and ending tapes. You turned the film over half way through the camera. So only one sprocket hole ran through the projector. That would last over 3 minutes in the projector, shot at 16 frames per second. Here is some information from my 1955 Focal Press Photo Amateur's Pocketbook. At 8 frames per second keeping it to 16 mm film it would run for about 50 seconds, because you always allow for leading and tailing footage. Could be used for photographing a manual or book or other document as in "microfilming" because there are over 400 frames at 16 mm in 12 1/2 feet of film.

    Cine 5.png
    Cine 4.png
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  13. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    This reminds me of the thread on forum names. I had thought of calling myself “fuckwit know it all” but unfortunately it seemed to be taken already.
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  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    No no you've amply demonstrated its all yours
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  15. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Film could be in short lengths to check exposure and development regularly or just a convenient length. May have been inserted into a "cassette". Could be for correspondence from afar, but this item at the Imperial War Museum refers to eight times the length of film in question here.

    " Content description
    Metal spool of 16mm microfilm (100 feet approx) of ms airgraph letters to be sent from the United Kingdom to service personnel in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, April 1944, containing 15 frames only of triplicate copies of 5 airgraph letters. With original cardboard container for reel and printout copies (15pp) of the letters.
    History note
    Cataloguer Backlog

    Private papers
    Related period
    Second World War (content)
    whole: 1 file
    Catalogue number
    Documents.10625 "
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