Tools of the Trade

In the foregroundKodak Stereo 1954 – 1959


View-Master Personal Stereo Camera (1952)

In late 1939, the View-Master was introduced at the New York World’s Fair. It was intended as an alternative to the scenic postcard, and was originally sold at photography shops, stationery stores, and scenic-attraction gift shops.

The View-Master Personal stereo camera uses 35mm film to produce 69 stereo pairs from a 36 exposure roll of film.


Rollei 16

The Rollei 16 was the Rolls Royce of 16mm still cameras. Beautifully finished, beautifully engineered, very expensive when new, and arguably the best of their kind – among the best made ”subminiature” ever. Introduced in 1966 and produced until 1972, they arrived at the end of the 16mm sub-mini camera craze that flourished after WWII.


Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera

In 1947, Polaroid introduced its first consumer camera. The Land Camera Model 95 was the first camera to use instant film to quickly produce photographs without developing them in a laboratory.


Exakta Varex VX

The Exakta Varex had an interchangeable waist or eye-level finder. Most controls, including the shutter release and the film wind lever are on the left-hand side. The film is transported in the opposite direction to other 35mm SLRs.


Zeiss Ikon Miroflex


Brownie Bull’s-Eye

The Brownie Bull’s-Eye was a Bakelite Box camera made by Kodak between 1954 & 1960, designed by Arthur H. Crapsey. The body featured an eye-level viewfinder and a large shutter-release button on the front vertical edge, in front of the winding knob.


B&H photo on 9th Avenue

Moving Image || Tools of the Trade – part II

Advanced technologies may have rendered them museum pieces, but these marvels of engineering were made to last.

RCA Colour Broadcast Camera, Model TK-41C, 1954

Fearless Camera Company Panoram Dolly, c. 1940, with Houston-Fearless Cradle Head, date unknown

This camera was the first commercially produced for colour television; it was the industry standard for fifteen years. A beam-splitting prism directed the red, green and blue elements of the picture to their own three-inch-diametre image orthicon camera tubes. At 310 pounds, the weight of the camera head and viewfinder severely limited the camera’s mobility.


International Projector Corporation 35mm Simplex E-7, 1938, with RCA Photophone Soundhead, MI-9054A and Hall and Connolly Lamp, dates unknown


Western Electric Vitaphone System 35mm Universal Base Projector, 1927, with Vitaphone Soundtrack Disc for The Desert Song (1929)

The projector exhibited here was originally used at the Aldine Theatre in Philadelphia, and is one of the only surviving Vitaphone projectors that is still operational. It has both a phonograph player for soundtrack discs and an optical sound head built into the projector. The projector is set up as if it were going to screen a film using a soundtrack disc. The record player and projector as powered by the same motor, which makes it possible for the sound and image to play in synchronicity.


Nicholas Power Company 35mm Cameragraph No. 6B, with Universal Model a Soundhead, c. 1928

When talkies arrived, optical soundheads were added to existing silent film projectors, such as the Nicholas Power Company’s No. 6B. Shown here is the Model A Universal soundhead, which made licensed use of technology patented by the Jenkins and De Forest television companies.


Duplex Motion Picture Industries 35mm Step Printer, c. 1920

Manufactured in Long Island City, this step printer was an industry standard for many years. Print density could be controlled automatically.


Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018