In May of 1973, the Boller and Chivens division of the Perkin Elmer Corporation purchased the Microdensitometer product line from Photometric Data Systems Corporation.
The instruments produced were numbered in the 30’s.
One application was that all photos transmitted from space could be scanned and converted into images where colors and densities could be altered for better identification.
This ability became very useful in a number of different types of applications. Eastman Kodak was a major purchaser of these instruments.

For more information about Microdensitometers, visit: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~rjp0i/museum/PDSMicro.html

2 Responses to Microdensitometer
  1. John Griese

    Hello, again. This page brings back memories of using the Perkin-Elmer PDS Microdensitometer. I did not know until seeing this page that Boller & Chivens was involved with this device. I worked with the one at the Yale University Astronomy Department measuring parallax plates taken with the 20-inch Clark refractor at Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory. Dr. Arthur Upgren had hired me as an observer to take plates of selected stars for his trigonometric parallax program. Art had helped get the million dollar NSF grant to purchase this device. It looked very similar to the photo above. When we used it, the device was fitted with a laser interferometry system giving much more precise positional data than could be obtained using the traditional hand driven measuring machines. The taking of the plates followed by measuring them on the PDS are part of my PhD dissertation in progress. I saw the effect of proper motion on stellar positions while in the process of setting up plate scans. The scans were computer controlled.

  2. George Madden

    For four years I used a Perkin Elmer PDS 1010A to produce Universal Product Code (UPC) film masters for use by printing company’s and other converters in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Worked out of Woodland Hills, CA for Photographic Sciences Corporation. Fun. Clean. Profitable. I loved that machine.