Archivtechnik KUNZE Profile

"The most ingenious ideas usually happen by chance” remarked someone once – quite accurately. But even if coincidence and the unforeseen often play a role in the genesis and development of a product idea, at a certain point they eventually assume a focus which is logical, stringent and, finally points in the right direction. If they didn’t the product would disappear from the market in a flash. In this case the basic product idea has been on the market – successfully – for over 30 years.

Film transparencies, and especially mounted (non-glazed) slides, are some of the most sensitive materials around. Handling can leave fingerprints on the surface. The material attracts dust and fluff. Permanent, or even occasional, exposure to light can lead to colour fading.
Whatever storage medium you use – traditional wooden boxes, cartons, cases, or projection magazines – they all have one thing in common: if you throw a glance at any number of slides, they all look the same. An unstructured, undistinguished mass of slides in which the one you are looking for — for a slide show or for reproduction purposes – can only be found after a long search. Sorting through to find just the right one you again run the risk of damaging or spoiling your pictures.

The camera designer and photographer Wilhelm Kunze first started to tackle this problem around 35 years ago. How can slides be safely stored so that, at the same time, it is possible to have a clear picture of which is which among a mass of slides?
Kunze designed his own solution: a flat transparent cassette, with sides you could leaf through like a book, each of which offered space for 24 small format slides.
The dimensions of the cassette (21 x 27.5 cm) were oriented towards the DIN A 4 format (21 x 29.5). The idea at the time was spot on: to base the design on an established, standardised format which had already provided the model format for cabinets, cupboards and drawers, boxes, cartons, shipping packaging and the like.

The cassette holds 24 slides – 6 rows of 4 each. To save space at the top the design drew on the so-called "overlapping” storage method. Slides are inserted at a slight angle so that the top edge just covers the bottom edge of the row above – the same principle used for roof tiles.
Frame slats moulded into both halves of the cassette ensure that each slide is stored separately – in other words, does not come into contact with any of the other slides. This design also ensures that air circulates all around the sensitive film material. The slides have space but still do not slip out of place and don’t even rattle if the cassette is given a strong shake. On the other hand, the cassette is designed in such a way that when it is opened slides can be taken out quickly and easily – when sorting or filling the slides into a projection magazine for example.
The transparent cassettes are slid into made-to-fit boxes and are identified using various coloured inscription labels (the boxes as well as the individual cassettes). This enables slide collections to be structured more or less precisely – depending on your needs – as well as individual elements of the collection to be found quickly and new slides to be integrated into the collection structure.
As a result the transparent cassette has a dual function: it protects slides from dust and dirt as well as being used to divide up a large quantity of slides into smaller, easier-to-handle, compactly arranged units. The boxes and specially-designed archive cabinets protect the slides from exposure to light. Altogether a complete archiving system which also includes view magnifier, light console and a great deal more. Now also available for standard slide formats: 4.5x6; 6x6; 6x7.

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