As I was reading through the latest PHSC news letter I came across a neat little article that I’m shamelessly re-publishing here.

George Dunbar found this piece of news in the Modern Mechanix magazine of June 1932. It showed the latest development of an electric camera that worked without film, before the digital age.

It is described as a revolutionary camera developed by Mr. K. Wilcke, a German scientist. Light enters the camera and strikes a glass plate, on which is a very fine coating of a metal-like platinum or gold. It is so fine that it will permit the passage of light. Backed up to this metal film is a layer of selenium, behind which is placed a piece paper soaked in a special electrolyte. The last member of hte group is another metal plate, which serves as a second electrode.

Through the process of electrolysis the image is impressed upon the selenium will be reproduced upon the paper, the most metal being deposited in the dark portion of the picture.

Now, this isn’t digital technology in the sense that we know it, and I’m sure the images weren’t that great, and it was probably a very complex thing to work with. But wow, trying to get away from film since 1932.

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