ancient roll film camera and spools of … paper not film

many years ago i bought a medium format camera and used rolled paper inside instead of film. it wasn’t hard to roll about 2 feet of paper on an empty spool, but unfortunately
the tension on the film advance mechanism couldn’t take it, and it broke.

the graflex 3A is a little different. it is about 100 years old and the advance mechanism is just a key on the bottom of the camera. the spools are about 3 1/2 inches + in length and originally they were used for spools of film with a paper backing. this particular camera is an “autographic” so there was a little
window that slides open and a metal stylus to write notes on the negative. it was like carbon paper and made white letters on the print. i figured that a long roll of paper would wind very well in this camera, since it was originally made for film that was 2 layers thick.

i took some 5×7 sheets and cut them in half and taped them together.
i am a fan of black masking tape – it removes easily. after 8 sheets of paper were connected
i taped a leader on each end ( piece of 35mm film ) and put the paper spools in the camera.
i wound and wound
and noticed how many turns it took to get to the next frame ..
and i rewound the paper and closed the back again.

i began making exposures, but the paper wasn’t left wound on the spool tight enough, for long enough so it unraveled inside and bound up.

in a dim lit room, i opened the back, retaped the paper, and advanced it again.
it seemed to work fine.

i was a little off with “2 1/4 turns= 1 frame” but it was close enough.

these images were not photoshopped except to invert.
with the darker one the brightness was turned down a tiny bit.

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