RoscoGEL

Scenemaster60

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I am wondering if anyone out there in CB land has an actual list of the Roscoegel colors that were offered throughout the first 3/4 of the 20th century. I have the Brigham gel list from the late 1950s but am at a loss for the actual numbers and names of the colors that were offered through Rosco laboratories in gelatin form until the 1970s. Can anyone scan a list or direct me to where I might find such a list? My understanding is that there was a re-numbering that took place at some point. The original colors were designated with a 2-digit designation and at some point in the 1960s they took on a 3-digit designation that was prefixed by a "2".

My interest in this is primary concerned with the study of old lighting plots by Jean Rosenthal, et. al., where colors were designated by a "B" = Brigham and "R" = Roscogel.
 

Scenemaster60

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For that matter, I am also in search of a complete list of the Oleseson gel colors that were offered in acetate until the mid 1980s. In this line I can say for CERTAIN that [HASHTAG]#26[/HASHTAG] was Bastard Amber, [HASHTAG]#30[/HASHTAG] was a pale pink and [HASHTAG]#47[/HASHTAG] was "Steel Blue". I worked with this set of gels in the late 1980s and oversaw the theatre's conversion to Roscolux. I wish that I had kept a swatch book of the Olesen colors…..

I remember for a fact that I converted all of the Olesen [HASHTAG]#26[/HASHTAG] to Roscolux#02, all of the Olesen #30 to Roscolux #33, and all of the Olesen #47 to Roscolux #64.
 

derekleffew

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From http://www.rosco.com/spectrum/index.php/tag/gelatin/ :
The Roscolene color range was based on the Rosco Gelatine range so the prefix 2 for gel becomes 8 for Roscolene (226 red, 826 red).

By 1959 the numbering system was totally unworkable. The red-pink section went 15, 16, and 17 red then 60, 112, 113 and 114 pink. As daunting a task as it was, we decided we had to go to a new numbering system. We went to 201-283 for gel and 801-883 for our new Roscolene range of colors manufactured out of PVC plastic.
Buy this book if you can find it at a reasonable price: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0300025548/?tag=controlbooth-20 . Color Science for Lighting the Stage. William B. Warfel. Yale Univ. Press, 1981.
 
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Scenemaster60

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I went over to the U of M Wilson library this afternoon and did some research. This should probably go into a Wiki at some point. Here is the post-1959 list of Roscogel colors:

201 Frost
202 Bastard Amber
203 Dark Bastard Amber
204 No Color Straw
205 Light Straw
206 Medium Lemon
207 Dark Lemon
209 Straw
210 No Color Amber
212 Pale Amber
213 Light Amber
214 Medium Amber
215 Golden Amber
216 Amber
217 Dark Amber
218 Orange
220 Orange Amber
221 Light Red
222 Fire Red
223 Medium Red
224 Pure Red
225 No Color Pink
226 Flesh Pink
228 Deep Pink
229 Medium Pink
230 Medium Pink DuBarry
231 Deep Pink
232 Rose Pink
236 Light Magenta
237 Medium Magenta
238 Dark Magenta
239 Rose Purple
240 Violet
242 Special Lavendar
243 Medium Lavendar
244 Dark Lavendar
245 Light Purple
246 Medium Purple
247 Dark Purple
248 Royal Purple
250 No Color Blue
251 Daylight Blue
254 Special Steel Blue
255 Azure Blue
256 Light Blue
257 Medium Blue
258 Light Green Blue
259 Green Blue
260 Sky Blue
262 Medium Non-fade Blue
263 Medium Blue
264 Urban Blue
265 Dark Blue
266 Dark Urban Blue
267 Dark Non-fade Blue
271 Light Green
272 Medium Green
273 Medium Green
276 Blue Green
277 Medium Blue Green
278 Yellow Green
280 Neutral Gray
281 Chocolate
282 Special Chocolate
 

gafftapegreenia

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I went over to the U of M Wilson library this afternoon and did some research. This should probably go into a Wiki at some point. Here is the post-1959 list of Roscogel colors:

201 Frost
202 Bastard Amber
203 Dark Bastard Amber
204 No Color Straw
205 Light Straw
206 Medium Lemon
207 Dark Lemon
209 Straw
210 No Color Amber
212 Pale Amber
213 Light Amber
214 Medium Amber
215 Golden Amber
216 Amber
217 Dark Amber
218 Orange
220 Orange Amber
221 Light Red
222 Fire Red
223 Medium Red
224 Pure Red
225 No Color Pink
226 Flesh Pink
228 Deep Pink
229 Medium Pink
230 Medium Pink DuBarry
231 Deep Pink
232 Rose Pink
236 Light Magenta
237 Medium Magenta
238 Dark Magenta
239 Rose Purple
240 Violet
242 Special Lavendar
243 Medium Lavendar
244 Dark Lavendar
245 Light Purple
246 Medium Purple
247 Dark Purple
248 Royal Purple
250 No Color Blue
251 Daylight Blue
254 Special Steel Blue
255 Azure Blue
256 Light Blue
257 Medium Blue
258 Light Green Blue
259 Green Blue
260 Sky Blue
262 Medium Non-fade Blue
263 Medium Blue
264 Urban Blue
265 Dark Blue
266 Dark Urban Blue
267 Dark Non-fade Blue
271 Light Green
272 Medium Green
273 Medium Green
276 Blue Green
277 Medium Blue Green
278 Yellow Green
280 Neutral Gray
281 Chocolate
282 Special Chocolate
We have a Wiki right here on this site and you are welcome to add to it anytime you want ! :D

Thanks for the research, this is the kind of stuff I love about CB.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
 

JonCarter

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Meridian, Idaho, US
While reading this thread I've found in the back of a desk drawer (right under my Cinabex, Cenemoid and Brigham books) a Rosco gel book from the '50s which has 2-digit, 3-digit and 2-digit-with-letter-suffix numbers in it, and a Roscolene book with colors numbered "9/nn" and "9/nnn". The Rosco gel book is a bit wrinkled and has what looks like coffee (or sweat!) drips on it, but most pf the pages are the original colors. If you give me some sort of contact info I'd be glad to mail it to you. [email protected]
 

Dionysus

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London, Ontario, Canada
Wow what a find, somewhat amazing that such a find was still in the drawer! Many people would consider it obsolete and toss it out of hand.
I second that I'd love to see that information preserved in the Wiki, especially if cross referenced as best as possible. Very useful in decoding old lighting documents if you can figure what colours the numbers correspond to!
Awesome!
 

JonCarter

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Meridian, Idaho, US
OK guys, now the 'color' thing's got me going. I'll dig out all my old swatch books and make some lists. I've found Cinemoid (sold by Kliegl), Cinabex (British, sold in the '50s by Paramount Cosmetics in NY--my favorite), Rosco gel, Brigham gel and Roscolene acetate. I don't know how much use this will be as color names in various brands definitely aren't the same colors, and even the same gel (pick one) will look different when in front of a 2900k lamp than it will in front of a 3350k lamp.

And you's be amazed at what's in the back of desk drawers. Or store rooms. Need some variable capacity 1kW resistance dimmers? How about some 4kW autotrans? (They don't 'creep'! :) )
 

gafftapegreenia

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In a box somewhere I have a mid 1980's Roscolux swatch book. I found it cleaning out a store room at a theatre summer camp. Its so thin! Maybe 1/8 of the current books size. Some fun stuff is in there, like the A series one off colors.
 

derekleffew

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In a box somewhere I have a mid 1980's Roscolux swatch book. ... Some fun stuff is in there, like the A series one off colors.
Historical note about the "A series" colors:
For a time, perhaps 1983-1986, Rosco was having trouble reproducing some (perhaps 10-15 of the most popular) of its Roscolux colors. They ran a (brilliant?) marketing campaign, When a Dye Dies..., explaining for example, that R35A was close, but not the same as, the R35 that everyone had come to expect. After a while, the controversy dissipated, the "A" suffix was dropped quietly and without notice, and everyone simply moved on.

-----
While I appreciate lighting history as much as anyone, I'm just not enamored of old swatchbooks and colors. I'll even go so far as to state there's little to be learned knowing Jean Rosenthal used 825 from one side and 849 from the other in the ONE 500W T20 6" Fresnel mounted head-high in each wing for some obscure Martha Graham ballet everyone has forgotten.

Sure, some colors from defunct lines have never been duplicated, and we can/should? mourn their loss nostalgically. Or we can look forward to using the literally hundreds of colors never dreamt of by Feder, Musser, Bay, et al. L650 anyone? Or the entire plastic color media industry will one day disappear, and students will wonder how anyone, in olden times, ever did lighting by having to choose a color in advance and not be able to change it at will.
 

Scenemaster60

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While I appreciate lighting history as much as anyone, I'm just not enamored of old swatchbooks and colors. I'll even go so far as to state there's little to be learned knowing Jean Rosenthal used 825 from one side and 849 from the other in the ONE 500W T20 6" Fresnel mounted head-high in each wing for some obscure Martha Graham ballet everyone has forgotten.
Derek, while you are certainly entitled to that opinion, I am a little taken aback with the dismissive tone of this coming from a moderator. I started this thread because I am an historian and I enjoy these kinds of research projects, and I will admit, sometimes the research is more fun than the finished project.

I would like to think that the CB "table" should big enough for all of us and by saying that a search for old color media lists/swatch books represents something from which "there's little to be learned" makes me feel as though CB has become ever so slightly hostile. Am I being overly sensitive? Perhaps, but that's how it feels to me right now.
 

JohnD

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One possible problem of going by old swatch books is the issue of color shift. I think Rosco says to replace swatchbooks every 3 years. It is not just fading but the chemistry of the dyes used. As far as Olesen, I wonder if it would be worth a call to:
http://hollywoodrentals.com/olesen.htm
Perhaps there is an old timer there, they used to have some great old photos posted online.
 

techieman33

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topeka, ks
Personally I see little use in having a list of colors that were offered. Without being able to see the gel, or even just a spectrum chart a list is pretty worthless. Knowing that gel xyz was moon blue tells me nothing other than it was blue. Was it a dark blue? Probably, but for all we know it could have been a N/C blue, or anywhere in between the two. It's like knowing that Ford produced the Model T, but if that's all you know the info isn't very valuable. But then when you can see pictures and read all kinds of technical information about it it becomes worth knowing for use as a reference. Some stuff is just lost to time, and early gel colors are one of those things. Even if someone had some of the gel somewhere who knows what 50+ years has done to it to alter it's makeup and the colors it would produce. And as Derek said gel is a dying industry and in 20 years there won't be much of it being made anymore. In 40 years it will just be a footnote in textbooks that we used to have to put pieces of different colored plastic or glass in front of tungsten or arc lamps to get specific colors. Any very few people will care to spend the time to find out more information about it, and those that do won't care about a list of names that tell us nothing. Could you imagine trying to look at a list of Apollo's offerings and trying to figure out what their colors where without anything but a name to go on. It would be a total waste of time. If you want to compile the lists then knock yourself out, but it's not going to do much to help anyone unless you can come up with a lot more information than the name of the color.
 

Scenemaster60

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Dionysus

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Well, the thing is that I DO have the spectrum charts for Brigham, Cinemoid, Roscolene, Olesen Dura 60, Roscolar, Roscolux, Lee, GAM, and Apollo as well as comparative charts for Roscogel/Cinemoid/Roscolene (new to me since Friday) & Brigham/Cinemoid/Roscolene.

One man's irrelevance is another man's hobby.
Carburetors are also becoming lost to history but I dare you to say that to a vintage car guy!
Those charts would help indeed.

And I agree completely some people are into vintage cars, or vintage kitchenware or what have you. Some people now or in the future may(do) find this kind of comparison interesting. History is important to maintaining perspective.

Think of someone first running lights with 50+ movers and 50+ LED fixtures and all that, compared to someone who started out with 48 channels of fresnels and lekos and a Mantrix II (what a cool board I once thought) or Strand 300 even then moving on to the big rig of movers and LEDs. Really makes you appreciate the cool toys we have now.
 

derekleffew

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Speaking as a member, NOT as a moderator of CB... (Had this been an "official post", the new software allows moderators to attach a flag denoting same.)

I apologize if I have offended, @Scenemaster60 . My primary point was that a light plot is intended only to aid in getting fixtures hung in the right place and colored and circuited according to the designer's wishes. It conveys little about the designer's intent. Sadly, stage lighting cannot be accurately documented, via any media. That's both a blessing and a curse, and is one of the great joys of the visceral nature of lighting.

While spectral charts are great, swatchbooks are better, but even then, I care more about what the light passing through the filter does to performers/costumes/scenery than looking at the filter itself.

BTW, since we have a receptive color manufacturer representative here (@Kelite), should you find in your research a defunct color with no current equivalent, send it to him and see if he feels it warrants production. I'd love to see a Controbooth Cyan or Silvernail Sparkle in Apollo's line.
 
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