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Please Note: Not all of the objects on this website are on display at the museum.

A Short History of the Gramophone

A Short History of the Gramophone

A Brief History of Wireless

A Brief History of Wireless


Image of MOVIE FILM VIEWER, circa 1930

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MOVIE FILM VIEWER, circa 1930

Although not proven, it appears to be a means of viewing film of a width of 28mm on a metal slide with 3 apertures of (12.5mm marked 1/2), (10mm marked point one), (and 20mm marked with the figure 2). The word centimetres are also present. The viewer enables individual frames to be inspected, illuminated by a bulb powered by an internal battery, and a lever switch on the front (not shown). Made by J.R.Gill 61 Cheapside London E.C. Originally a Mystery Object. The unanswered question, why is the illumination above the film with none below unless there is something missing. Below the slide is a hole into the battery compartment.

Bruce Hammond Dated this to be 1910, this seems a little early.


Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1570

Image of PHILIPS FLASH UNIT, 1950's

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PHILIPS FLASH UNIT, 1950's

Philips Flash unit with an adaptor for the new PF1 cap-less flash bulb, shown in the foreground, with the adaptor removed the unit takes a bayonet type bulb (fitted). Together with the original Bijou 3volt battery's.

Donated by Mr T Angove

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A1516

Image of VICTORIAN WHOLE PLATE CAMERA, 1900's

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VICTORIAN WHOLE PLATE CAMERA, 1900's

Since 1851 professional photographers used these cameras in their studios, once the process of glass plate negatives had been perfected. Other sizes of plate were half and quarter plate which were used by wealthy amateurs because of their convenient size.

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A0716

Image of KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA, 1914

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KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA, 1914

This type of Camera was taken into the Battlefields during WW1. Up to 1916 all photography on the front line was forbidden. The only pictures obtained were smuggled out, the government was trying to prevent the people at home from realising the true horrors. Later reporters and photography was accepted, these cameras were small enough to conceal in a soldiers kit, and were common for the time.

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A0456

Image of KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA MODEL 'B', 1930's

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KODAK VEST POCKET CAMERA MODEL 'B', 1930's

Following on from the Model B this version is the same physical size the bellows folds out instead of pulling out as in the model A. It uses 127 roll film.

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A1546

Image of WW1 STEREOSCOPE

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WW1 STEREOSCOPE

When viewed through a stereoscope pictures appear as 3D.To create this effect two pictures are taken with a dual camera (Stereo) at the same time. The photos shown here are of images taken during the First World War, they can be viewed with this device.

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A0999

Image of PATHESCOPE BABY CINE CAMERA, 1926

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PATHESCOPE BABY CINE CAMERA, 1926

Cine Camera where the developed films would be shown on Projector item A0906.
9.5 mm film is an amateur film format introduced by Pathé Frères in 1922 as part of the Pathé Baby amateur film system. It was conceived initially as an inexpensive format to provide copies of commercially-made films to home users, although a simple camera was released shortly afterwards.
It became very popular in Europe over the next few decades and is still used by a small number of enthusiasts today. Over 300,000 projectors were produced and sold mainly in France and England, and many commercial features were available in the format.

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A1108

Image of VAN NECK PRESS CAMERA, 1940's

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VAN NECK PRESS CAMERA, 1940's

Van Neck Press camera originally from the 1940's with Kodak wooden Dark slide unit containing room for two 9 X12cm (4.25X5.25 inch) glass plates. The camera has a 6'' (roughly 152mm) Ross Xpress lens f/4.5 uncoated in a lever-operated helical focusing mount, which is scaled from 2 to infinity in yards, the roller blind focal plane shutter has speeds from 1/10 to 1/1000 sec, plus a flash sync setting. On the top is a bracket for a folding reflector flash unit using a small flash bulb, and the connection is via two contact strips next to the flash bracket. These were hand made cameras heavy and durable, necessary for professional press photographers who carried no gadgets to help them with the shot distance and exposure, which were decided by experience. Even when a roll film attachment was provided for this camera the press photographer would still prefer the glass plates, as his darkroom was set up for these. On the back interchangeable with the slide unit, is mounted a screen and hood assembly used for focusing if necessary.

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A1478

Image of KOBOLD BC FLASH, 1960's

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KOBOLD BC FLASH, 1960's

In a period when the old Edison screw type flash bulbs were being replaced with the new miniature cap less types this unit was introduced to cope with both. With the added advantage of a capacitor to ensure guaranteed success, also a test light is provided which provides a sharp flash if the bulb and battery is in good order. A range of cables can be supplied to fit most types of camera. This unit has an old type bulb fitted and the new type with its adaptor in the foreground. Shown fitted to the Van Neck Press camera Item A1478.

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A1479

Image of FLASH BULB, 1950's

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FLASH BULB, 1950's

Early Flash Bulb, this has an Edison screw type cap. Instead of Magnesium wool this one uses Magnesium foil.

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A1019

Image of MAGNESIUM FLASH BULBS, 1960's

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MAGNESIUM FLASH BULBS, 1960's

Two Plug in Flash bulbs for domestic camera flash attachments.
Later versions removed the expensive bayonet cap, and replaced it with a plain glass base with two wires bent back to form a connection into a soft socket.
See Item A0950.

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A0714

Image of THORNTON- PICKARD JUNIOR SPECIAL, CAMERA, 1928

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THORNTON- PICKARD JUNIOR SPECIAL, CAMERA, 1928

The Thornton Pickard Junior Special Reflex Camera is a folding SLR for 3 1/2 × 4 1/2 " plates or roll film back.
It has a fast focal plane shutter with speeds from 1/10 to 1/1000 sec., and a fast 6" f4.5 lens. The lens may be a Ross Xpress or a Taylor-Hobson Cooke Anastigmat.
The camera is made of wood, covered with leather, and it has a revolving back. It's a heavy camera, weighing about 3 kg.

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A1312

Image of ZEISS IKON BABY BOX CAMERA 54/18, 1930's

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ZEISS IKON BABY BOX CAMERA 54/18, 1930's

Baby box cameras were started by Goerz in the 1930's and later taken over by Zeiss Ikon called the Tengor. Very popular with the masses as they were cheap and easy to use. This one is a 54/18 model with the Goerz lens, the shutter cannot be released unless the wire viewfinder is raised. Used 127 roll film.

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A1439

Image of KODAK BOX , 1930's

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KODAK BOX , 1930's

“Brownie” was the name of a long-running and extremely popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Kodak, the first Brownie was introduced in 1900 and was made of cardboard, as is this one.

The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot.

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A0727

Image of KODAK 'BABY BROWNIE', 1934

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KODAK 'BABY BROWNIE', 1934

This was a later version of the “Box Brownie” A0727.

Kodak's Baby Brownie camera had a plastic Bakelite body instead of the metal one usually found on the Brownie range. It also had a folding range finder on the top and a rotary shutter.

This model of camera was produced in the USA between 1934 and 1941.

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A1040

Image of ZEISS IKON IKONTA BABY CAMERA 520/18, 1936

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ZEISS IKON IKONTA BABY CAMERA 520/18, 1936

The 520/18 is commonly referred to as the "Baby Ikonta". Apparently it was available from about 1932 until 1936. It was available with a 50/6.3 Novar, 50/4.5 Novar or 50/4.5 Tessar initially, and in 1936 with either a 50/3.5 Tessar or 50/3.5 Novar. These were very small and pocket-able, measuring only 4 inches (100mm) by 1.15 inch (30mm). Most examples found today show wear to the black paint trim, with the exposed metal showing signs of rust, from being carried around.

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A1438

Image of KODAK HAWKEYE ACE DE LUXE, CAMERA, 1938

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KODAK HAWKEYE ACE DE LUXE, CAMERA, 1938

This camera is slightly smaller than the Box Brownie, notice the metal frame to line up the shot.

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A1041

Image of ENSIGN  FUL-VUE  CAMERA, 1950

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ENSIGN FUL-VUE CAMERA, 1950

Getting away from the box style the ensign Ful-Vue of 1950 was modern in design and became very popular, replacing an earlier type of identical design but with a metal lens plate. Using 120 roll film, and nothing more than a simple shutter with a large reflector type viewfinder, it did however have an adjustable lens working from just 3 feet to infinity.

Donated by Mr & Mrs Jons

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A1363

Image of KODAK , 1950's

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KODAK , 1950's

The Kodak Brownie Six-20 was a viewfinder folding camera for making 6x9cm exposures on type No. 620 film rolls. There were two models, the first was produced in the UK by Kodak Ltd from 1937-1940 and the second from 1948-1954

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A1330

Image of KODAK BROWNIE FLASH 2 CAMERA AND CASE, 1957

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KODAK BROWNIE FLASH 2 CAMERA AND CASE, 1957

The Kodak Brownie Flash II, III and IV were box cameras, taking 2¼ × 3¼" exposures on type 620 film. Construction was of sheet metal, with plastic shutter-release button and advance knob; they were made by Kodak Ltd. in England from 1957-1960. The Brownie 2 has a close up lens position and 'B' (held) shutter facility.They were improved versions of the Brownie Models C, D, E, and F. Each was synchronised for flash with Kodak's screw-and-pin flash fitting on the opposite side to the controls. Fitted with Brownie Flash 5 unit. And pack of AG1 bulbs. The flash battery type B155 is also shown.

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A1449

Image of KODAK 'BROWNIE 127', 1950's

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KODAK 'BROWNIE 127', 1950's

This was another example of the “Brownie” series, it is made of Bakelite and was very easy to use.

Millions were sold between 1952 and 1967, the one shown was donated to the museum by its curator Rosie Hourihane, and was given to her by her father in 1955.

It has been well used and is still much loved.

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A0728

Image of ZORKI 4K 55mm CAMERA, 1950's

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ZORKI 4K 55mm CAMERA, 1950's

Zorki (Russian: Зоркий, meaning sharp-sighted) is the name of a series of 35mm range finder cameras manufactured in the Soviet Union between 1948 and 1978.
Zorki was a product of the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory (KMZ), which also produced the Zenit single lens reflex camera (SLR). The first Zorki cameras were inexpensive Leica II copies just like the FED

Donated by Mr & Mrs Jons

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A1361

Image of POLAROID 340 LAND CAMERA, 1969

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POLAROID 340 LAND CAMERA, 1969

The Polaroid Camera was invented in 1947 by Edwin Herbert Land (1909 – 1991)
Film for the Polaroid Cameras went out of production in 2007.

Edwin Land also invented the first inexpensive filters capable of polarizing light.

In the 1950’s Land helped design the optics that went into the Lockhead U.2 Spy Plane.

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A1126

Image of KODAK STERLING 2, CAMERA, 1955

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KODAK STERLING 2, CAMERA, 1955

Similar in style to the Kodak Junior I and II, this camera is slightly more sophisticated with its front-cell focusing lens in a four speed shutter with fully adjustable iris.

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A1279

Image of POLAROID LAND 1000 CAMERA , 1977

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POLAROID LAND 1000 CAMERA , 1977

The Land Camera 1000 is a foreign-markets version of the original Onestep model, meaning it has a fixed focus plastic lens. The model 1000 or original OneStep models are distinguished among the range in that they were made available with 2 different coloured shutter buttons - either green or red, a matching electronic flash was also released for the Onestep/1000 model, shown on top of the camera known as the Q-Light. It fits onto any SX-70 non-folding camera model, but was cosmetically matched to the original models. Also shown is a blank photo.

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A1282

Image of COSINA AF 35mm CAMERA, 1980's

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COSINA AF 35mm CAMERA, 1980's

Small pocket 35mm camera of the early 1980's. Many cameras were produced like this during this period, all with fixed lens and built in flash, with a short range of just 10 to 15 feet.

Donated by Mr & Mrs Jons

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A1360

Image of POLAROID , 1970's

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POLAROID , 1970's

There were a variety of models beginning in 1972 with the original SX-70, though all shared the same basic design. The first model, sold in Florida in late 1972, had a plain focusing screen (the user was expected to be able to see the difference between in- and out-of focus) because Dr. Land wanted to encourage photographers to think they were looking at the subject, rather than through a viewfinder. When many users complained that focusing was difficult, especially in dim light, Dr. Land was forced to include a split-image range finder prism of the kind used on 35mm SLR focusing screens. This feature is standard on the SX-70 Model 2.

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A0834

Image of ZENIT E RUSSIAN CAMERA, 1960's

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ZENIT E RUSSIAN CAMERA, 1960's

These cameras had a selenium photo cell meter built in, (for reference only) and were fully single lens reflex. When other SLR's were costing hundreds of pounds Dixons were selling them for just £30.
These were made with a metal body, therefore were very hard wearing.

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A0717

Image of LITTLE PRINCESS FLASH UNIT, 1960's

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LITTLE PRINCESS FLASH UNIT, 1960's

Uses 1 X 22.5 Volt hearing aid battery. These were sold as a separate item, not like nowadays when the flash is built into the camera.

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A0950

Image of OLYMPUS TRIP 35mm CAMERA, 1984

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OLYMPUS TRIP 35mm CAMERA, 1984

Olympus Trip 35mm Camera Purchased 23/06/1984.

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A0929

Image of KODAK 50 INSTAMATIC, 1963

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KODAK 50 INSTAMATIC, 1963

Common cartridge film pocket camera, The very first 126 camera ever to be marketed, the Instamatic 50 was introduced in the UK in February of 1963, a month before the Instamatic 100 hit the market. Indication inside the case states that this one was made in England.They were very easy to use, just point and click.

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A0206

Image of HANIMAX 110 CAMERA, 1960's

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HANIMAX 110 CAMERA, 1960's

Hanimax Pocket Camera for a 110 size cartridge film. Also shown is the flash unit used with the camera.

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A0826

Image of MINOLTA  DISC-7 CAMERA, 1983

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MINOLTA DISC-7 CAMERA, 1983

The Minolta Disc-7 Camera was one of a series of compact camera types that appeared around the 1980's, working with a disc of 15 exposures in a cover, once loaded the frame is advanced (turned) to the first frame, if the disc is removed before being fully exposed a frame is lost, but the other frames are still kept. The Camera has an internal battery that can only be changed by the Manufacturer, on the front is a curved mirror for self portrait use, it has two shutter speeds, built in flash and self timer, and f2.8 lens at 12.5mm focal length fixed focus with Macro mode. Exposure is automatic.

Donated by Sandra Taylor

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A1364

Image of MINOLTA POCKET AUTO PACK 70, 1973

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MINOLTA POCKET AUTO PACK 70, 1973

This camera takes a 16mm film cartridge, and uses magicubes,multi flash cubes, as shown. A very useful pocket size, made this camera very popular in the 70's.

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A1281

Image of FLASH CUBES, 1960's

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FLASH CUBES, 1960's

Two forms of Flash Cubes each with 4 flashes, they have two different mounting sockets for use with different types of camera.

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A0718

Image of VICTORIAN MAGIC LANTERN, 1900's

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VICTORIAN MAGIC LANTERN, 1900's

The large lens suggests that the magic lantern was used in theatres as it would need to be positioned a great distance from the screen. Illumination was by Carbon Arc (a high voltage such as ordinary mains voltage jumping between two carbon rods; a device was later incorporated to prevent overload). The slides were standard three and a quarter inch glass plates, often hand painted, or transparent positive photographs.

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A0119

Image of OPTIMUS MAGIC LANTERN, 1920's

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OPTIMUS MAGIC LANTERN, 1920's

The Magic Lantern or Lanterna Magica was the ancestor of the modern slide projector.
In the 19th century a thriving trade of projectionists travelled around the United Kingdom with their magic lanterns and a large number of slides to put on shows in towns and villages. Some of the slides came with special effects, by means of extra sections that could slide or rotate across the main plate. One of the most famous of these, very popular with children, was The Rat Swallower, where a series of rats would be seen leaping into a sleeping man's mouth. During the Napoleonic wars, a series was produced of a British ship's encounter with a French navy ship, ending patriotically with the French ship sinking in flames, accompanied by the cheers of the audience. The museum is able to demonstrate this Magic Lantern and is a great favourite with school children.

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A0121

Image of MAGIC LANTERN, 1930's

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MAGIC LANTERN, 1930's

This Magic Lantern has an electric lamp mounted inside that looks original, although it is possible it may have been converted by a professional from an earlier oil lamp. The Magic Lantern or Lanterna Magica was the ancestor of the modern slide projector.
The museum is able to demonstrate one of their Magic Lanterns and is always a great hit with school visits, the children can also handle some of the glass slides.

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A1232

Image of ELECTRIC FILM STRIP PROJECTOR, 1930's

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ELECTRIC FILM STRIP PROJECTOR, 1930's

This is a toy film projector with three small films. The films contained still pictures which had to be manually past behind the lens one picture at a time. A very sophisticated toy for the time.

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A1269

Image of JOHNSONS NO 12 PROJECTOR OPTISCOPE, 1940's

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JOHNSONS NO 12 PROJECTOR OPTISCOPE, 1940's

Slide Projector for three and quarter inch slides, in the photo you can see an extra lens.

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A0881

Image of GNOME ALPHAX MAJOR SLIDE PROJECTOR, 1970's

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GNOME ALPHAX MAJOR SLIDE PROJECTOR, 1970's

Photographic slide projector for single slides, two and one quarter inch square.

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A0939

Image of PATHESCOPE, 1930's

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PATHESCOPE, 1930's

In Britain, 9.5 mm film, projectors and cameras were distributed by Pathescope Ltd. During the years leading up to the Second World War, and for some years after the war, the gauge was used by enthusiasts who wanted to make home movies and to show commercially made films at home. Pathescope produced a large number of home versions of significant films, including Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop cartoons, classic features such as Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail, and comedies by such well-known stars as Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd

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A0906

Image of PAILLARD 9.5mm PROJECTOR & POWER UNIT OF 1932, 1930's

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PAILLARD 9.5mm PROJECTOR & POWER UNIT OF 1932, 1930's

The Paillard Model ‘P’ was introduced in 1932 and 9.5mm Film was introduced by Pathe’ Freres in 1922 for the amateur market. Initially intended as an inexpensive means of providing commercially made films for the home.
It became very popular in Europe over the following decades, and more than 300,000 projectors including the Model ‘P’ were sold in England and France, and many well known films produced in the 9.5mm format.
The film has a single perforation (sprocket hole) between each frame, unlike 8mm film which has holes along the edge. The single hole allows more room for the image, which is almost as large as on 16mm film. The width of 9.5 mm was chosen because three strips of film could be made from one strip of 35 mm film. This was useful when the films needed to be copied, as only one third of the length was needed then the 35mm copy could be cut into three strips and the sprocket holes added later.

Donated by David Martin

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A1531

Image of 6 X 9.5mm FILMS ON 170mm REELS, 1950's

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6 X 9.5mm FILMS ON 170mm REELS, 1950's

Various 9.5mm films on 170mm reels including cartoons Mickey Mouse, Popeye and Charlie Chaplin films.

Donated by David Martin

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A1530

Image of BOLEX PAILLARD H16 CINE CAMERA, 1935

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BOLEX PAILLARD H16 CINE CAMERA, 1935

The company E Paillard was founded in 1814 and produced watch movements and musical box mechanisms. It wasn’t until 1922 that they introduced the Pathe Baby film system using 9.5mm film. In 1928 the first 16mm camera under the name of Bolex was produced.

This model was made in 1952.

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A0932

Image of BELL AND HOWELL 624B  8MM CINE CAMERA, 1950's

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BELL AND HOWELL 624B 8MM CINE CAMERA, 1950's

Bell & Howell 624 cine cameras were manufactured in Britain by the Cine and Photographic Division of Rank Precision Industries Ltd. The original design was evolved by the Bell & Howell Co. of Chicago U.S.A. and although the American model numbers were different, the cameras had similar specifications.
The 624 cameras were made of light alloy, with winding handle and footage indicator on the right, spool chamber on the left and starting button on the front right-hand corner.
The knob provides for single frames, normal intermittent or continuous running.

This camera is a 624 Evolution Sundial model. It was first introduced into Britain in 1955. It has a single 10mm. lens with the aperture coupled to an exposure calculating dial on the camera front. In this way, exposure is set directly to the light conditions.

Separate optical adaptors were made available for the camera, for converting the standard lens to wide-angle and telephoto roles

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A0205

Image of AMPRO IMPERIAL PROJECTOR, 1950's

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AMPRO IMPERIAL PROJECTOR, 1950's

This Projector uses a 16mm film, and is made by Simplex Ampro Ltd. The museum has several 16mm films, they are very fragile.

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A0106

Image of EIKI ELF PROJECTOR, 1980's

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EIKI ELF PROJECTOR, 1980's

This 16mm Projector was used at Dacorum Collage Hemel Hempstead up until 2005, it was found discarded in a skip, by a local friend of the Museum, he recovered it and donated it to the museum, we know him as bearded John.

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A0941

Image of BELL & HOWELL CINE CAMERA, 1950's

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BELL & HOWELL CINE CAMERA, 1950's

Bell & Howell 624 cine cameras were manufactured in Britain by the Cine and Photographic Division of Rank Precision Industries Ltd. The original design was evolved by the Bell & Howell Co. of Chicago U.S.A. and although the American model numbers were different, the cameras had similar specifications.
The 624 cameras were made of light alloy, with winding handle and footage indicator on the right, spool chamber on the left and starting button on the front right-hand corner. The knob provides for single frames, normal intermittent or continuous running. There was a tripod bush in the base with a standard 1/4 in. Whitworth thread.

This camera is a 624 EE model. It was first introduced into Britain in the 1950's. It has a single 10mm. lens, also shown is an 8 mm film, this item is in excellent condition and the leather case is hardly marked.

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A1280

Image of SONY REEL TO REEL VIDEO RECORDER, 1969

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SONY REEL TO REEL VIDEO RECORDER, 1969

DV-2400 Reel to Reel Video Recorder. Known as the Portapak Video Rover, black and white Video recorder. With a maximum recording time of 20 minutes, the Sony ’Video Rover’ DV-2400 was one of the very first portable video tape recorder available to the general public. Sony Notes Below.
SONY CV-2400 Portapak
The Portable Battery Operated non EIAJ Skip Field

1967
Sony introduces the world's first portable VTR, the DV-2400.

The VIDEO ROVER, was the first video portapack. it offered the format of the time which was B/W, skip field, Pre-EIAJ, 1/2 inch tape, reel to reel. This first unit was a record ONLY portapak VTR outfit. Recording time was 20 minutes on 4-1/2 inch reel of 1/2 inch videotape. streamlined for size and weight you were provided a small hand crank that stored in the units lid for rewinding the tape!

Playback of tapes from this unit (after they were hand rewound) was accomplished on the CV-2000 series decks.

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A1379

Image of SONY TRINICON CAMERA, 1980's

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SONY TRINICON CAMERA, 1980's

A hand held camera Type HVC3000P for connection to a VCR, These cameras were connected with portable Betamax VCRs and used in the semi professional field such as high schools colleges and businesses and possibly low budget broadcasts.

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A1378

Image of SMITHS DARKROOM TIMER, 1950's

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SMITHS DARKROOM TIMER, 1950's

Well known wind up photographic darkroom timer used throughout the 1950's.

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A0112


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