Paterson Developing Equipment has been a trusted name in the photography industry for over a century. The company has a rich history and has been instrumental in the development of film and photographic equipment. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at the history of Paterson Developing Equipment and its contributions to the photography industry.

Paterson Developing Equipment was founded in the early 1900s by James Paterson. James was a passionate photographer and recognised the need for specialised equipment for developing photographs. He began designing and manufacturing developing tanks and other equipment in his backyard shed in the Scottish town of Alloa.

James' innovative approach and dedication to quality quickly made him a popular choice among photographers in Scotland. In 1933, he moved his business to a larger facility in the nearby town of Coatbridge, where he continued to design and manufacture high-quality developing equipment.

Paterson's equipment was particularly popular among amateur photographers, who found his tanks and trays easy to use and affordable. By the 1950s, Paterson had established itself as a leading manufacturer of developing equipment in the UK and was exporting its products worldwide.


Paterson Universal Tank in use


Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Paterson continued to innovate and improve its products. The company introduced a range of new equipment, including enlargers, safelights, and timers, which further cemented its reputation as a leading manufacturer of photographic equipment.

In the 1970s, Paterson introduced the Universal Developing Tank, which quickly became one of its most popular products. The tank was designed to accommodate both 35mm and 120 format film, making it a versatile and convenient option for photographers.

The Universal Developing Tank was also notable for its innovative design. The tank featured a ridged central column, which prevented film from sticking together during processing. This feature, along with the tank's light-tight design, made it one of the most reliable and effective developing tanks on the market.

Paterson continued to innovate and expand its product line throughout the 1980s and 90s. In the 1990s, the company introduced the Auto Load Reel, a self-threading film reel that made loading film into developing tanks much easier and more efficient.

In recent years, Paterson has continued to expand its product line, introducing new developing tanks, trays, and other equipment to meet the changing needs of photographers. They have also created all-in-one developing kits with everything photographers need to start home developing

From its humble beginnings in a backyard shed in Scotland to its position as a global leader in the photography industry, Paterson has always been driven by a passion for quality and a commitment to meeting the needs of photographers.