Monumentally Important and Massive Motion Picture Camera a...
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DescriptionMonumentally Important and Massive Motion Picture Camera and Projector Collection from the Bell & Howell Engineering Department. Collection comprises (80+) cameras, including the earliest known example of its legendary Model 2709, numerous
experimental prototype 35mm cameras, projectors, Bell & Howell's files containing sales/service records for the 2709 cameras, printers and perforators, showing the history of the cameras as sold to the original buyers – being a who's who in the early cinema world – with such names as Charles Chaplin, Pickford Film Corp., Selznick Picture Corp., Vitagraph Co., Keystone Film Co., Metro Picture Corp., Goldwyn Picture Corp., Jesse L. Lasky, Thomas Ince, Fox Film Co., Douglas Fairbanks Film Corp., Universal Film Manufacturing Co., U.F.A Handelsgesellschaft, et al. Also
present are (900+) Bell & Howell engineering drawings, engineering sketch sheets/schematics and blueprints and over 3.5 linear feet of files containing Bell & Howell correspondence, photographs, manuals and related ephemera.
Among the highlights:
Bell & Howell 2709 (serial #18 - the fifth metal-housed 2709 built), the earliest surviving example of "the camera that put Hollywood on the map." Comes with crank, tripod, head with two cranks, 3 magazines, 4 lenses, early viewfinder and matte box. Excluding head and magazine, camera measures 13" x 7" x 7.5".
Prototype (ca. late 1920s) 35mm motion picture camera with pellicle mirror (precursor to reflex lens). Hand crafted aluminum housing with lens and film magazine. Measures 15.5" x 16.75" x 6.5".
Prototype (ca. 1930) 35mm motion picture camera with pellicle mirror and through-lens viewing (precursor to Arriflex). Hand crafted aluminum housing with lens and film magazine. Measures 14.5" x 15" x 8".
Prototype (1929) 35mm blimped motion picture camera with 4-lens turret (1 lens present). Measures 14" x 12" x 10".
Prototype (1928) 35mm blimped motion picture camera with external viewfinder. Measures 23" x 17.75" x 12".
Prototype (1930) 35mm motion picture camera with coaxial magazine. Labeled "Model A, Serial No. 1." Comes with lens. Very similar to the DeBrie Pravo. Measures 15" x 6.5" x 8". 35mm and 16mm pair of prototype hand held motion picture cameras (1931), both with coaxial magazines. Neither have lenses. 35mm measures 13.75" x 7" x 6.5"; 16mm measures 8" x 3.75" x 4.25".
One-of-a-kind Model 2709 8mm motion picture camera (ca. mid-1930s). With lens and magazine. Measures 17" x 7" x 16".
Eyemo camera 35mm wind-up motion picture camera – dropped from Boeing Stratoliner aircraft by the U.S. Air Force (ca. WWII). Refer to photo and file included in lot. Exhibits cracks in housing resulting from impact. Measures 8" x 5.75" x 5".
Case of (6) quick-change lens housings (2 with lenses: 32mm & 40mm) for 35mm cameras. Case measures 11" x 15" x 7".
Pair of prototype 8mm projectors (ca. mid-1930s). Measure 12" x 9" x 5.5" and 9" x 9.75" x 4.5".
Prototype (1934) single-system 16mm sound camera. Has 4-lens turret with no lens. Measures 15.5" x 11.75" x 7.25".
Prototype (1929) 4mm camera, notcher and printer with 2 reels of film.
Prototype (1932)16mm projector with 2-color additive system. Measures 19" x 11.5" x 7".
Prototype (ca. 1930) Filmo 57 16mm projector. Measures 16" x 14" x 7".
Prototype Filmo double-run 8mm camera. With pull-wind mechanism instead of key-wind. No lens. Measures 5" x 3" x 2".
Prototype Field Model 75 8mm camera with ornate leatherette covering exhibiting both bronze and silver finishes. With lens. Measures 9" x 5" x 1.75".
Prototype 16mm Cinemascope projector lens. Measures 8" x 3.5".
Bell & Howell/Canon Cine Canonet 8mm camera with engineering design mockup. Each measure 7.75" x 3.4" x .75".
Filmo 141-B 16mm camera with engineering design mockup. Measures 5.75" x 3.75" x 2" (mockup slightly larger).
(4) Filmo 8mm cameras – 1 with 3-lens turret; others have slight engineering variations. Measure approx. 5" x 3" x 1.75".
Prototype 550 Filmosound 16mm auto-load picture and sound projector – made famous and ubiquitous in every high school across the nation from 1950s-60s). Measures 16" x 15" x 9" (1947) JAN (Joint Army Navy) 16mm D4 projector and speaker case prototype for non-military use. Measures 19" x 16" x 8".
In addition to the equipment listed above, the collection includes an additional (10) projectors, (2) film strip projectors, (60+) 8mm and 16m cameras, most being engineering samples and modified production equipment for testing purposes. The prototype motion picture equipment is working/experimental technology from Bell & Howell's engineering department acquired directly from Bell & Howell in 1994 when the company vacated their DeVry facility in Chicago. The included amateur equipment was acquired from Bell & Howell in 1988. Many of the cameras and projectors feature the original tags from the B&H engineering department. Far too much material to mention, interested parties are strongly encouraged to view this once-in-a-lifetime corporate collection in person.
This collection was the focal point of the International Cinema Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Bell & Howell's contribution to motion picture technology cannot be overstated. Bell & Howell standardized the entire motion picture industry by deciding to only manufacture their various camera and projection technology according to a 35mm film width format; due to their already popular equipment, everyone else followed. This unprecedented offering represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a lasting technological legacy in film history. COA from Heritage Auctions.
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