this post about type 55 being Panatomic X emulsion. The Post is from Tim Summa and I would like to contact him once I figure out how (not easy with these forums - anybody? hmmm nice images! wow)
Old Panatomic X image shown above, as I recall. Hard to remember decades back.
Anyway, I was just comparing some 55 today to that very sheet film, which I have in an old moldy expired stack, and it is not the same overall thickness (Kodak is thicker) but maybe the emulsion is the same. From the Monobath Manual I learned that it is possible to make a very good monobath for Pan X, but the remaining problem was getting the silver out. That's easy because of the discovery of Rott. I see.
Very interesting. It is all clicking today.
Now, on to studying pods. Actually I want to avoid pods altogether and have been thinking along the lines of a water-activated hydrogel monobath. The result would be the same (so I imagine, possibly naively) as spreading the layer of goo. Still, all those rollers are out there, most in perfect shape. I counted about a dozen Land patents focusing on the rollers - it seems to me that making the chemicals spread evenly and consistently was the single most important enabling technology in early Polaroid, and maybe everything later too. There are lots of details about spreading viscous liquid mixtures in thin layers at various speeds - something that modern rheology might well revisit.
There are a lot more options available today - micro encapsulated solutions are all over the industrial landscape, for instance. OK I have to get over my Pod/Goo phobia, and start reading.