Raised wooden finger grips were mostly fitted to the draw-slide, though George Hare used a particularly awkward, flush fitting, grip on some of his dark-slides (fig. Aluminium and similar draw-slides were fully removable from the slide which required special arrangements to prevent light entering through the top of the slide. Velvet covered spring flaps were common, Thornton-Pickard used corrugations in the top of the aluminium draw-slide into which strips of velvet, attached to the dark-slide, would fit (fig. They had a wide flange at their top to prevent stray light entering the camera, the flange tended to project to the edge of the camera (fig. Smaller stereo cameras were often loaded from the side with the slide having ridges along their edges that fitted into rebates in the camera back, better light exclusion meant that the flange could be dispensed with (fig. In either case the draw-slide was fitted with a raised wooden finger grip or a leather tab.
There were several reasons for this: early celluloid films had a reputation for cockling producing slightly uneven sharpness; their speed deteriorated more quickly than plates and curling during development was a problem.
In a period when whole-plate size glass plates held in dark-slides were the norm their weight limited what could be carried on an excursion.
It might be thought that the introduction of celluloid in sheet and roll form was the answer that would sweep away the use of glass.
To reduce weight and space camera manufacturers devised alternative ways of carrying plates and film in cameras and in accessories to fit existing cameras.
As a result the period from around 1890 to the mid 1900s produced a fascinating variety of systems for storing and changing plates and films.