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Rollfilm or roll film is any type of spool-wound photographic film protected from white light exposure by a paper backing, as opposed to film which is protected from exposure and wound forward in a cartridge. Confusingly, roll film was originally often referred to as "cartridge" film because of its resemblance to a shotgun cartridge. The opaque backing paper allows roll film to be loaded in daylight. It is typically printed with frame number markings which can be viewed through a small red window at the rear of the camera. A spool of roll film is usually loaded on one side of the camera and pulled across to an identical take up spool on the other side of the shutter as exposures are made. When the roll is fully exposed, the take up spool is removed for processing and the empty spool on which the film was originally wound is moved to the other side, becoming the take up spool for the next roll of film.
In 1881 a farmer in Cambria, Wisconsin, Peter Houston, invented the first roll film camera. His younger brother David, filed for the patent David Henderson Houston (b. June 14, 1841; d. May 6, 1906 ), originally from Cambria, Wisconsin, invented the first holders for flexible roll film. Houston moved to Hunter in Dakota Territory in 1880. He was issued an 1881 patent for a roll film holder  which he licensed to George Eastman (it was used in Eastman's Kodak 1888 box camera). Houston sold the patent (and an 1886 revision) outright to Eastman for $5000 in 1889. Houston continued developing the camera, creating 21 patents for cameras or camera parts between 1881 and 1902. In 1912 his estate transferred the remainder of his patents to Eastman.
Roll film remained the format of choice for inexpensive snapshot cameras through the end of the 1950s, the most common sizes being 127 and 828 for small format cameras and 120 and 116 for medium format cameras. Roll film was also used by high-class professional cameras like the Swedish-made Hasselblad. The use of roll film in snapshot cameras was largely superseded by 135 and 126 cartridges, but 120 and 220 film are still commonly used in medium format cameras.
See also 
- Film stock
- Brownie (camera)
- Category: Film formats
- Film format
- List of color film systems
- List of film formats
- Nemenoff, Ben. "Houston, David Henderson". nd.gov. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Hammer, Mina Fisher (1940). History of the kodak and its continuations. The House of Little Books. pp. xv.
-  US patent #248,179 for Photographic Apparatus is dated October 11, 1881; issued to David H. Houston of Cambria, WI.
- Christopher Beane; Anthony F. Janson (2008). Flower. Artisan Books. p. 12.
-  1886 patent #355084
- Hammer, 1940, p.55.
- Peres, Michael R. (2007). The Focal encyclopedia of photography. Focal Press. p. 78.
- Hammer, 1940, pp.55ff.