Glen Goffin Photography

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

91 My Grandfather Invented a Flash Bracket ... Really!

This the picture from my grandfather's (Arthur B. Fox) patent for a bracket attaching a bulb-flash to a camera.  I thought I would do a little shout-out to him because last night it finally occurred to me to google his patents (English is such a wonderfully fluid language).  He worked his whole career for Eastman Kodak after graduating MIT (magna cum laude).  Why I waited this long I have no idea.  I found two of them immediately.  I think there are more.  One is above and the other is for a "Daylight Film Development Cannister" located here.

Remember bulb-flashes?  They were really cool!  They had something like steel-wool (magnesium-fibers actually) inside that would make a popping sound and put out gobs of light.  When we were kids we would stare at the bulb when they flashed and then have that blue spot burnt into our retinas for a week.  Wait ... I can still see it when I close my eyes.  Of course we did it mostly to watch our moms go appoplectic!  "YOU'LL RUIN YOUR EYES!!!"  Probably did.  Of course, for fun, don't forget the Flash Cube!

Here's a picture of a Kodak Brownie that incorporated my grandfather's bracket.

{UPDATE - Upon closer examination, and a bit more research I realize that this is NOT the bracket in the patent.  I remember him saying that he had done work on the Brownie so I assumed that it was.  I'll do a bit more research to find out where that bracket got used.}

Next post I'll include a picture of my grandfather mostly to discuss the "classic" portrait style.

Boy am I thankful for DSLRs and modern strobes! There is so much more freedom to experiment.  Mike over at TOP has lately been pointing out that that freedom can make us sloppy.  The old disciplines where good ones to learn.  Imagine, compose (in your mind), setup, shoot, wait for it to get developed, learn from you mistake.  It was slower but it was methodical.

Anyhooo ... the evolution of the camera is a fascinating subject and I'm proud of my grandad that he contributed some important stuff.  Way to go, Grampa!



Woody said...

How cool is that!!??? Any chance you could scan some of his photos for your blog?

Ashley Amanda said...

Hey thanks for the comment. Btw your photography is amazing. Very inspirational. I don't know if you noticed but I'm into photography as well, just an amateur here, but its a passion none the less.

Glen Goffin said...

Wayne - Believe it or not, I don't think my grandfather was much of a photographer. I'm going to ask my mom if she has any.

Ashley - Your work is really a pleasure to see and you are such an encouragement in Christ. Keep shooting and experimenting and refining your talents! Peace, Glen