Colorgraph / Cinecolorgraph


“The principle of the subtractive colour process was described first by Louis Ducos du Hauron in 1868.

Although eminently suitable for colour motion pictures, the principle could not be applied until means were found of producing several colour images in exact registration on a single film. As with the additive processes, the first practical application was in the form of a two-colour method. Arturo Hernandez-Mejia described the first practical process in 1912. His Cinecolorgraph method used a camera fitted with a beam-splitting device which allowed two frames to be exposed at once through red and green filters. By using a special printer which printed every other negative frame, all the red-exposed negatives were printed on one side of a special film coated with emulsion on both sides. All the green exposures were printed on the other side of the same film, so that those frames exposed at the same time ended up on opposite sides of the same film strip, in exact registration. After processing, the black and white images were colour toned, blue-green for the red records and redorange for the green records. Although the range of reproduced colours was limited, an adequate, commercially acceptable result was possible. The Colorgraph company did not progress beyond the stage of making demonstration films, but Hernandez-Mejia’s method was adopted by many other companies, with various modifications, over the next 40 years.”

(Coe, Brian (1981): The History of Movie Photography. Westfield, N.J.: Eastview Editions: pp. 126.)

Original Technical Papers and Primary Sources

British Journal of Photography, 1912, 59, 805.

Secondary Sources

Coe, Brian (1981): The History of Movie Photography. Westfield, N.J.: Eastview Editions, on p. 126. View Quote

Klein, Adrian Bernhard (Cornwell-Clyne) (1940): Colour Cinematography. Boston: American Photographic Pub. Co., p. 13. View Quote

Ryan, Roderick T. (1977): A History of Motion Picture Color Technology. London: Focal Press, pp. 65-66. View Quote