It should, therefore, be the aim of every one to have his own properly appointed dark-room; but, before explaining how this should be made, we will show how one can get along with the ordinary conveniences usually found in a home. Any closet will answer, if there is room in it for a broad shelf on which can be placed the dark-lantern and the trays for developing and fix ing, and a deep pan, either round or square. Every crack or hole around the door where light gets in should be covered with dark cloth or paper. There should be a pail of clean water on the floor, if there is not room for it on the shelf, to use in washing the plates after developing and fixing, the plate being held over the pan while water is poured over it from a, graduate. The final washing after fixing can be done in any convenient place outside the dark room, in the bath-room, or wherever there is space to arrange such a washing-box as we describe later.
For several months we washed all our plates in an ordinary set wash-bowl, spraying the water on the plates by means of a short tin tube fastened to the faucet, with one end flattened so as to make a broad, thin slit. In fitting up a temporary dark room in the country we washed plates by laying them in an old wash-tub (with hole in the bottom for escape of water), letting a constant spray of water fall on them from a garden sprinkler.
All such arrangements however will only answer as a make shift until one succeeds in having a real dark-room.
The dark-room should, if possible, be where it can be supplied with running water, and waste-pipe from sink. It should be as large as one can afford to have it, at least six feet square, eight by ten feet if possible. The door should be made light tight,and as an additional protection, thick felt or cloth should be tacked to the door frame for the door to shut against, on both sides and top, and on the bottom edge of the door.
When you think it is made perfectly safe it is well to shut yourself inside of it in the dark and stay there for some minutes until you get accustomed to the blackness, and then examine carefully for any crack, or nail holes, or anything of that kind through which light may come; mark these places and cover them securely with dark paper.
There should be a ventilator at the top of the room, preferably over the dark lantern, with two angles in it to prevent light com ing through it into the room. A broad shelf should extend en
tirely around the room, about two feet four inches from the floor, except across the end where the door comes and where the sink is.
Entering the room from the door, there would first be on the shelf at the left a space for a drying-rack, which should stand on two or three thicknesses of newspaper to catch water dripping from negatives while drying. Then there would follow next a space on the shelf for emptying and filling plate-holders.
Next would come the dark-lantern, in front and below which the developing would be done, and then a space for tray to stand, while fixing. These would occupy all the space of the left-hand shelf. In the corner at the end of this shelf would stand the tank supplying water for washing plates, From the base of this, running down into the sink, place the washing-board, The sink at the end of the room opposite the door should be of iron, if possible, and about fifteen by thirty inches in size, and should have a waste-pipe, with trap in it, emptying into a drain. Over the sink and about fifteen inches above it should be the water pipe with two faucets, to one of which a rubber pipe is attached conveying water to the tank. Above this there should be a shelf, slightly inclining downward to allow the drip to run into the sink, to hold graduates and glass funnels. The shelf on the right side of the room should have under it three or four deep drawers for printing paper, filled plate-holders, and boxes of plates.
Above this shelf should be several shelves, broad enough and far enough apart to hold negatives standing on edge. There should be thin partitions between these shelves, about three inches apart, which space would be large enough to hold twenty five or thirty negatives, separated by sheets of paper to prevent scratching. We think this is the most convenient arrange tnent for keeping negatives, placing them on these shelves in consecutive order, with the figures " 1 to 30," '6 31 to 60," etc., on the edge of the shelf over the proper apertures. As numbers are pasted on each negative, by storing them in this manner the particular one wanted can always be quickly found.