2003.64.5

M3 FlashBulbs
c.1960
4.25 in WIDE
(10.79 cm WIDE)
Gift of the City of Oakland
2003.64.5


This is one un-opened box of 12 Guarentted M3 Flashbulbs. The box is white with turquoise and black print. On the reverse side of the box, there is a customer guatantee and other descriptions, warnings, and instructions.

This camera set was used by the history department of the Oakland Museum of California to document the collections in the late 1960's.The smallest flashbulb can produce more light than a standard electronic strobe, they can have a tremendous light output (some nearly 180,000 lumen seconds), necessary for the rather slow speed of early film emulsions. The largest flashbulb, the mammoth GE Mazda Type 75, was initially developed to be used as a source of light for night time aerial photography during World War II. The Mazda 75 measured over eight inches long and had a girth of 14 inches! As the speed of films increased, the size of bulbs were scaled down a bit, although a vast array of sizes were produced. By the 1940's and 50's, many bulbs became known as "press" bulbs, and became the staple of the newspaper photographer. As photography fell in to the hands of amateurs and became a way of capturing family occasions, bulbs became very small and compact as typified by the popular AG-1, M3, GE5, and Press 25 bulbs. Also, with the advent of color film emulsions, bulbs picked up a blue coating to bring their color temperature more in line with the needs of these new films. During the late 1960's, when electronic flash first made an appearance, the use of bulbs began to decline.

Used: Oakland Museum of California | History department

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