Loyd A. Jones

Loyd Ancile Jones
Loyd Ancile Jones.jpg
BornApril 12, 1884
DiedMay 15, 1954 (1954-05-16) (aged 70)
Scientific career

Loyd Ancile Jones (April 12, 1884 – May 15, 1954) was an American scientist who worked for Eastman Kodak Company, where he was head of its physics department for many years. During World War I, he was also a major contributor to the development of naval camouflage.


He was born Loyd Ancile Jones in York, Nebraska. He was educated at the University of Nebraska, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1908 and master's degree in science in 1910. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Rochester in 1933.


Following graduate school, Jones moved to Washington D.C., where he worked for several years as a laboratory assistant at the U.S. Bureau of Standards doing research in photometry, colorimetry, spectro-photometry, spectroscopy, and retinal sensitivity. In 1912, he joined the scientific research staff at Eastman Kodak Company, where he became chief physicist in 1916, a position he continued in until his retirement (Behrens 2009, p. 201). His research at Eastman Kodak generally related to the subject of sensitometry.[1]

Camouflage Research

When the U.S. became involved in World War I, George Eastman offered to the U.S. Navy the expertise of Jones (who served in the U.S. Naval Reserves) and others for the purpose of researching naval camouflage in relation to optics and physics (Ackerman 1930, p. 310). Other people at the time argued that visual artists would be better equipped than scientists to develop camouflage. A compromise solution was reached, and on March 25, 1918, architect Harold Van Buskirk was placed in charge of a U.S. Navy camouflage unit, consisting of two major sections: A design section made up of artists, located in Washington D.C., headed by artist Everett L. Warner; and a research section made up largely of scientists, located at the Eastman laboratories in Rochester, New York, under the supervision of Jones (Van Buskirk 1919; Warner 1919).

In connection with his research of naval camouflage, Jones and his staff developed in the laboratory an “experimental ocean,” which used an observation tank, artificial sun, movable sky, and other components that simulated outdoor viewing conditions, as miniature camouflaged ships were observed through a submarine periscope. He also developed an outdoor observation stage on the shore of Lake Ontario. Painted cut-out silhouettes of camouflaged ships were suspended from a framework, at a height that made the ships appear to be floating on the water (Jones 1919; Skerrett 1919; Scientific American 1919).


Jones was a prolific inventor. He was responsible for at least eighteen registered patents, and authored dozens of articles on such subjects as photometry, physical optics, illuminating engineering, colorimetry, photography and motion pictures. One of his wartime inventions was a scope-like observation device called a visibility meter (U.S. Patent No. 1,437,809), which measured a ship’s visibility in an ocean setting (Ackerman 1930).


Jones served as President of the Optical Society of America (OSA) from 1930 to 1931,[2] and as President of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers from 1924 to 1925.[3] In 1943, he was awarded the Frederic Ives Medal[4] by the Optical Society of America and he received the Progress Medal of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in 1948.[5]

Further reading

  • Ackerman, Carl W. (1930), George Eastman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 1-893122-99-9.
  • Behrens, Roy R. (2002), False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage. Dysart, Iowa: Bobolink Books. ISBN 0-9713244-0-9.
  • ___ (2009), Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage. Dysart, Iowa: Bobolink Books. ISBN 978-0-9713244-6-6.
  • Jones, Loyd A. (1919), “Low Visibility Phase of Protective Coloration” in Journal of the Franklin Institute Vol 188 (September), pp. 363–387, and (October), pp. 507–533.
  • Journal of the Optical Society of America (1943), “Dr. Loyd A. Jones, Ives medalist for 1943” Vol. 34 No 2, p. 61.
  • Scientific American Supplement (1919), “A Theatre for Studying Camouflaged Ship Models,” (December 13), pp. 348–349.
  • Skerrett, Robert G. (1919), “How We Put It Over on the Periscope” in The Rudder Vol 35 No 3 (March), pp. 97–102, and Vol 35 No 4 (April), pp. 175–179.
  • Van Buskirk, Harold (1919), “Camouflage” in Transactions of the Illuminating Engineering Society Vol 14 (July 21), pp. 225–229.
  • Warner, Everett L. (1919), “Fooling the Iron Fish: The Inside Story of Marine Camouflage” in Everybody’s Magazine (November), pp. 102–109.
  • Yumibe, Joshua (2009), "'Harmonious Sensations of Sound by Means of Colors’: Vernacular Color Abstractions in Silent Cinema.” Film History Vol. 21 No 2, pp. 164–176.

See also


  1. ^ Mees, C. E. Kenneth (May 1954). "L. A. Jones and his Work on Photographic Sensitometry" (PDF). Image, Journal of Photography of George Eastman House. Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House Inc. III (5): 34–36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ de Wit, Mari. "A History and the Past Presidents of the OSA Rochester Section" (PDF). OSA Rochester Section - Past Presidents. The Rochester Section of the Optical Society of America. Retrieved 15 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Friedman, Jeffrey (July 1991). "Former Society Presidents" (PDF). SMPTE Journal. 100 (7): 490–491. doi:10.5594/J08950.
  4. ^ Optical Society of America. Frederic Ives Medal / Quinn Prize. Web-page listing people, who have received this award since 1878 ([1]): “Recognizing overall distinction in optics, the Frederic Ives Medal is the highest award of the Society. It was endowed in 1928 by Herbert E. Ives, a distinguished charter member and OSA President, 1924 and 1925, to honor his father who was noted as the inventor of modern photoengraving and for his pioneering contributions to color photography, three-color process printing, and other branches of applied optics. The medalist is asked to present a plenary address at OSA's Annual Meeting. The prize is funded by the Jarus W. Quinn Ives Medal Endowment raised by members at the time of Quinn's retirement in recognition of his 25 years of service as OSA's first Executive Director. […] 1943 Loyd A. Jones […].”
  5. ^ Royal Photographic Society. Progress medal. Web-page listing people, who have received this award since 1878 ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2013-04-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)): “Instituted in 1878, this medal is awarded in recognition of any invention, research, publication or other contribution which has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photography or imaging in the widest sense. This award also carries with it an Honorary Fellowship of The Society. […] 1948 Lloyd A. Jones […].”

External links

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