Contact Printers -- More memories of a misspent youth I don't remember seeing historically oriented posts on this forum (Film & Processing) before, but then there are a lot of things I don't remember any more. My other choice for forum would have been "Classic Manual" so the moderator can put where they please. So here is a note about how those of us who got our photography merit badge (see LINK: Could you qualify for a 1948 Boy Scout Photography Merit Badge?) in the late 1940s got there. At some point my parents got me a printing and developing kit -- Ansco, similar to this one I was shooting with a Kodak Jiffy 620 (Link: Kodak Jiffy Six-20 1933-1937) on orthochromatic film. Hence the red safe light. My kit had no film tank. Development was by inspection - clips at each end of the film and running it through developer in one of the trays. Anyhow, I was looking through one of my old photo magazines and got interested again in the kinds of equipment used during the 1940s. I thought I'd start with the contact printers that were common at the time. I've already shown the Ansco kit, but here some others. They were available for what are today astonishingly cheap prices, but remember that $1 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to about 2020 $18.37. I have found that another conversion that is pretty reliable is to compare the price of a first-class stamp in any two dates. In the year 1940, American First class stamps cost $0.03. This is equivalent to $0.54 in 2019 dollars according to another Wiki. Popular Photography XII 1940 $3 postpaid, was affordable for lots of people in the 40s. There, was, of course a range of such printers. Here from Popular Photography in December of 1940. Europe was at war, but the USA was not yet involved. However, The deluxe model was that sold by Kodak. Remember that the majority of photographers at this time were shooting negatives that were at least 6 cm and many were shooting 4x5" press-type cameras. For such negatives, a contact print was really plenty good enough. This one, the rear cover of the December, 1940 Popular Photography magazine, even had a"strip printer" for 35mm. Such little contact prints (24x36mm) were supposedly collected by some teenagers at the time as "photo stamps" of their friends. Presumably the 35mm film was mostly likely shot in an Argus A - the "people's minicam" (LINK: Argus A). You may well ask why I am doing this. It's really quite simple. I've got a cold, am suffering from cabin fever, and no one is forcing you to read this. If my cold continues, expect a similar post on cheap enlargers. (see also LINK: Cost of a Darkroom Setup - 1940). If that's a threat to you, so be it.