Sheet film and filmpack

Film came not only in rolled-up form, but also as individual sheets: sheet film. The latter appeared on the market in 1884 to replace the glass plate, and developed at the same time as the film reel. Inserted within a frame at first, it later also became available inside a cartridge, the filmpack.

Sheet films were made of a sheet of celluloid slightly thicker and more rigid than rolled-up film. They were either set within a frame, which usually contained two sheet films back-to-back, the way glass plates were set, or within a cartridge which had a greater capacity, the filmpack. In the latter case, the sheet films were thinner.

Englishman John Carbutt was the first to sell these flat sheets of celluloid, in 1884. Sheet films were an excellent substitute for glass plates, which were heavy and fragile, and they made it possible to continue to use plate-based cameras, such as field cameras, whilst still enjoying the advantages of film.


Folding Kodak No 2 Folding film pack Hawk-Eye, Eastman Kodak Co, Rochester, USA, 1922.
Specially designed to hold the 6×9 cm filmpacks, this device was offered by Editions Jules Tallandier to its customers.