|New55 FILM inventor Bob Crowley|
Thank you to the helpers who put this together. I really appreciate it. Bob
New55 FILM ends regular production
Crowley Comments on Conclusion of New55 Project
Ashland, MA December 13, 2017
Instant film maker New55 Holdings, LLC announced today the conclusion of film production and sales stemming from The New55 Project that started in January of 2010. Founding members Bob Crowley, Sam Hiser and Charles Fendrock are pursuing a new photographic mission focused on the origins and future directions of post-digital instant photography. “Legacy products are sort of like oldies music” said Bob Crowley, who started the project in his R&D laboratory seven years ago. “It is a great field to learn, but it is more important to discover or create something new.” Crowley often talks about his lab's research into the origins of instant photography that uncovered secrets that had been hidden; “It's a story most people don't know except for the corporate lines. A woman named Edith Weyde made the first instant photographs in the 1930s, and today her work has been rediscovered. It fills in many of the missing pieces that were omitted.”
In the 1930s, AGFA of Germany developed the diffusion transfer reversal system which is the basis for the instant print. Once the war was over, German technology was captured and offered to American companies through the government's Joint Objectives Committee, of which Polaroid was an interested party. When Crowley began searching for technical details of how the instant process works, he found it in Weyde's writings which were in a book he got from the Polaroid library when it was sold off. “It's amazing she was never mentioned” says Crowley, who believes that women inventors have been generally forgotten in many fields.
Over the course of the interview, Crowley produced a “hit list” of accomplishments he says summarizes what New55 did. (published with permission)
“During the project, the team of only three employees and two volunteers:
Invented a hand assembly system that is fast, convenient and requires no darkroom. Two assemblers produced over 60,000 units of instant film!
Developed a peelapart color system using a negative taken from integral films and showed excellent results that could lead to color large format instant prints.
Invented a new instant color system that could obviate products produced by Fujifilm, Kodak and others if developed and commercialized.
Built a high performance coating system out of surplus parts that exceeded results from expensive commercial coaters. Followed that and quickly achieved a good print using simple equipment made by the team.
Proposed a practical packfilm replacement system project that was kept internally.
Created several new products such as R5 Monobath, Atomic-X sheet film, 1SHOT ready loaded sheet films aimed at analog photographers
Ran active twitter, facebook and instagram pages
Ran many workshops and produced numerous “how-to” tutorials.
Ran the New55 blog which will be left up so that historians can revisit the project.
New55 FILM was used to photograph Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, Stella McCartney and used by famous photographers like David Bailey and Jay Clendinin.
Assembled an impressive and new intellectual property portfolio that details processes that are greener, use much less toxic materials, lower waste and contribute to sustainability of analog photo materials.
Got to the bottom of the market size and shares owned by the larger film companies and shared this intel with our allies.
Balanced the print and the negative! Users will know what this means!
Discovered the invention of the instant photograph process in a surprising place; The wonderful German scientist Edith Weyde who invented the instant photo process used today and serves as a role model to many, and began the restoration of a truthful and accurate account of the history of instant photography away from corporate fingers and marketing campaigns.”
Of this last discovery, Crowley said, the team is actually most proud, as it seems timely and right that this important inventor is finally getting the recognition she deserves. “The process we use is straight out of Edith Weyde's work and with the exception of our all water-based process improvements in the name of environmental safety, would seem very familiar to what she invented in the 1930s!”
On what will happen to the remaining New55 technology, Crowley is philosophic: “There is obviously more to it than meets the eye, much of it has never been discussed widely in public because we had only very limited funding. There's a lot there. We've just put it all in a box for now.”