Vtg Bell & Howell 16mm Silent Auto-Tread Movie Projector #57 + Excel N-40 Camera

JC015
  • $224.97

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Vintage Bell & Howell 16mm Silent Auto-Tread Movie Projector Model 57 + Excel N-40 Camera

 

This listing includes the following vintage 16mm movie camera and projector:

 

Vintage Bell & Howell 16mm Silent Auto-Tread Movie Projector Model 57

This is the first model of the B&H Design 57 series of 16mm projectors and is distinguished by a round base. It was made in the early 1920’s.  It had a 200w lamp and 400 ft. reel capacity.  This rare B&H Filmo projector is auto film threading and comes with a 400 ft. take up reel and the original leather handed carrying case.  The projector makes a wonderful table or case display of American ingenuity from the Roaring 20’s. 

B & H Projector CONDITION NOTE: Used, but it is in overall good condition given its age. Lacks the lamp and does not run but everything else works. The lens optics appear clean and clear with no scratches, chips, streaks, fungus, fog or haze that I can see (see pictures). The projector has scratches on the back housing and especially around the base stand.  Please remember that they are older than many of us and have a loving history.  The original belts are replaced with newer springs The projector probably did not come with an original box and packing (instead it came with sturdy carrying case) or an instruction manual. The camera and projector will be carefully packed and insured for safe shipping. See detailed high resolution (zoom-able) pictures to know what you are purchasing.

 

Vintage Excel 16mm N-40 Movie Camera w/28mm f/3.5 Lens

The 1938 Excel 16mm No. 40 movie came is a 50 foot spool load camera with a spring motor.  Noteworthy for a cylindrical shutter, single-claw pull down with register pin and no feed sprocket.  It comes with an Excel f3.5/28mm lens in non-standard mount.  The No. 40 camera is made of a heavy die cast body with a brown crinkle finish.

Excel Camera CONDITION NOTE: Used, but in overall good condition given it’s age. Not tested by filming and then developing the film but everything appears to work. The lens optics appear clean and clear with no scratches, chips, streaks, fungus, fog or haze that I can see (see pictures). The camera body does have wear and multiple scratches. The No. 40 movie camera’s strew-type open/close turner works and wings great. The empty spool is a Kodak take-up spool and not the original.  Please remember that they are older than many of us and have a loving history. The cameras do not come with its original box, original packaging, or any instruction manual. The camera will be carefully packed and insured for safe shipping. See detailed high resolution (zoom-able) pictures to know what you are purchasing.

 

BACKSTORY:  Frank G Cairo, Owner of the Cairo Camera Shop  

Frank Cairo moved from the Bronx, New York to Kenosha, WI in 1943.  The next year, after getting married, he acquired the neighborhood grocery store next door and made it into Cairo Camera Shop.  He operated the store for over fifty years until his death in 1997.

He loved cameras, projectors, movie stars and movies and was the photographer for the local auto workers union. He began collecting 8, 16 and 35mm films.  Eventually, Cairo Home Movies became the largest private film collection in Southern Wisconsin.  In addition to renting films and projectors, he would show movies at parties and events. In the summers, he had free outdoor movie nights for neighborhood kids. If you would like to see a 5 minute video about Frank Cairo and his camera shop as told by his son, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqCoUsiGfaA

 

EXCEL MOVIE PRODUCTS, INC. (EXCEL PROJECTOR CORP.) 

Excel’s iconic president, Mark Levy, a movie distributor salesman, started by making projectors and then making one or two reel film shorts to show on his projectors. In the 1930’s he launched his business on Wabash Ave.in Chicago.  Along with his projector manufacturing and film distribution activities he later made camera’s which led to the Excel Movie Products, Inc. name change. He became extremely active, focusing on collecting and then the distribution of WWII battlefield films. Out of that came the popular news reel series, Levey’s “News of the World”.  Eventually, Levy retired to his Chicago Lakeshore Drive pad with his much younger wife and sold his business to Illinois Watch Case Co.  Illinois Watch than moved Excel’s operations to their Elgin, IL factory.

 

A SNAPSHOT OF 16 MM FILM HISTORY

Historically, film size was anywhere from 7.5mm to as big as 105mm.  Thomas Edison could not have had any idea what he leashed onto the world when he had his assistant, William Kennedy, work on a moving picture projection device.  Edison wanted to take advantage of his popular cylinder phonograph by following it up on such a home device.  The result is the 1890’s, famous Kinetoscope.  Moreover, Edison’s perforated 35mm film become the world-wide favorite for motion pictures.  In 1923, Eastman Kodak envisioned the financial benefits of putting the power of making moving pictures in the hand of amateurs. Their crank movie camera started a revolution. The intention of the new 16mm film format was to make filming more economical and smaller.  As an alternative to the 35mm film, their 16mm film was also nonflammable and could be loaded in daylight. The film measured 16 millimeters wide and was ¼ the size of 35mm film.  Also, Kodak established collections of 16mm films for rental or purchase for classrooms or homes.  8mm was introduced in 1932 and Super 8 in 1965. However, 16mm film was not done.  A huge boost to the 16mm film format came again, when professionals used 16mm cameras to film in the field in WWII and News Reels became popular in movie theaters.  Yet, this film was not dead again.  Like the mythical Phoenix bird, local TV stations used 16mm cameras and film for both field news and live broadcasts.  Finally, there is no reason to believe, that if taken care of, archived 16mm film will survive in better condition than video.

Sold as is. No warranty. No Returns.

CONDITION NOTE: Used, but in overall good condition given their age. See the full listing description for details on the condition of each piece and whether they were tested and if manuals and cases are included. These items will be carefully packed and insured for safe shipping. See detailed high resolution (zoom-able) pictures to know what you are purchasing.