Show and Tell 2011

Our very popular Show and Tell evening for 2011 was held on Wednesday, Decmber 21st, 2011. The evening was hosted by president Clint Hryhorijiw in the absence of Programmes Director Scott Rickard ( who was tied up in the Christmas deadlines. And we had our traditional gift exchange as well as the silent auction of items donated to the PHSC which gave us a modest boost in our accounts. A summary of the various presentations by our members is listed below in the order given.

John Linsky. John showed two cameras. The first was his Univex camera made by The Universal Camera Company in the US. The tiny simple camera came with a detailed instruction sheet with minute details. It used special Universal Ultra Chrome 00 film at 15 cents per roll. The film could be purchased by mailing to the Hermant building in Toronto (which still exists at Dundas and Yonge). The company was started in 1933 and boasted selling more cameras than any other marque – over 3 million in one year. The special six exposure film was made in Belgium. In 1938, twenty-two million rolls of film were sold. Universal Camera lasted about 20 years. They even made a special camera for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. John also showed a Nimslo-derived 3D camera called the “Nishika N8000”with the usual four lenses. After processing, it produced 3D prints that needed no glasses because a lenticular process was used. A simple camera, it was bought through independent marketers as a kit including a flash and cleaning material. The camera was produced in 1980 but its pictures were not very good and they faded prematurely .

Robert Gutteridge. The simple toy magic lanterns often cost more than commercial devices since so few have survived in excellent condition. Tonight, Bob brought a very rare device that he has been looking for for a number of years. This example was bought on eBay, shipped from Spain. As   Bob carefully opened the box he produced the very rare toy Cinematographe made over a century ago in France by Edouward Virgile Lapierre  (EVL) who originally made metal toy lanterns and  glass slide projectors (Lapierre was the son of the founder, Auguste Lapierre). The toy projector used a metal disk with 32 images. The disk was turned by a handle and made animation by using the Maltese cross method familiar to most film projectors. In use, the disk is held down by hand while projecting. The ”movie” mechanism is easily removed to use the machine as a glass-slide magic lantern projector. It originally cost about 20 francs or $4.00 which was expensive for a toy especially when wages amounted to were $9.00 a week. The toy was manufactured until 1902 and is the most expensive item Bob has ever bought. While he wouldn’t state the actual cost, he noted that similar units have recently sold for $8,000 – $10,000. Bob hopes to donate his example to the Montreal museum PHSC member Francois LeMai is establishing.

Ed Warner.An unusual Polaroid camera promised by Ed turned out to be a special camera made to  be attached to a Tektronix oscilloscope. Ed noted that the camera had been water damaged and needed his fine touch to bring back to working shape. The camera has many adjustments on its  housing and uses a once common Polaroid film not made

From Left: Toy Cinematographe, Univex camera, Tektronix Polaroid, Hicro colour camera, Pantoscop lens by Busch, Movie cameras, half a stereo card (not shown), and the 1885 Harris photographs. Click the above image to see a slide show.

Bob Lansdale Editor Lansdale gave us a teaser on an article he is working on for the May/June issue of Photographic Canadiana. The camera is the Hichro colour camera, made from 1915 to 1917 and used special black and white film to make colour separation negatives for colour prints. The little camera uses a mirror to separate two of the images, one through a yellow filter. Bob   purchased the camera indirectly from the estate of the late PHSC member Eaton Lothrope, Jr. Bob  showed us a sample print in a book. The camera was intended to be a cheap way to produce colour prints but fell victim to newer technologies.

Bob Carter. Bob showed an unusual lens which was the first extreme wide angle anastigmatic lens ever designed. The Pantoscop was patented in 1865 by Emil Busch and manufactured two years later by the ROJA of Rathenow, Germany near Berlin. ROJA was founded in 1792 by a minister Johann Duncker to make eyeglasses and microscopes. He turned the company, originally called the ROW (Rathenow Optical Works) to his son Eduard. Sadly he was childless and the business was passed on to a nephew, Emil Busch in 1845. Busch introduced a steam engine to automate the company and a few years later began making cameras and ultimately lenses for the new industry. Bob’s example has a waterhouse stop of f/22. The lens has a pair of two-element lenses set about the central f-stop.  The inner of the lens elements is a meniscus lens with a very thin centre. While unmarked, the lens is a number 4 and has a focal length of 185 mm (The lens was made in seven versions ranging from just over 50mm to about 540mm). The company was subsidized by Zeiss and merged with the famous company by 1931. The end of World War II found Rathenow in the Eastern Block. It is suspected that the company became VEB ROW and was allied with Zeiss Jena where it was reduced to making eyeglasses.

Bob Wilson. Bob showed some of the c1950s and 60s 8mm movie cameras. They all used the 16mm double sprocket film. It ran through the camera twice and after development was slit down the center and spliced to to run in the 8mm projectors of the day. Most movie cameras had to be opened up and rethreaded to reverse the film but Sekonic which Bob showed made one with the film chamber easily reversed by moving a lever. He also showed a Kodak camera as well as a Wittnauer Cine-Twin which used three “D” size batteries to run the motor instead of a spring like most other cameras of the day. The Cine-Twin also had a special accessory base used by the camera as a projector. The projection lamp was already in the camera housing and when placed on the base a  power supply lit the lamp and ran the motor. The four-lenses turret contained three taking lenses and a projection lens.

Lorne Shields. Lorne is a well-known bicycle authority. Tonight he showed some stereographs of  people on bicycles as well as his award from NSA for his article on Early Cycling in Stereo World magazine. He has about 500 stereo bicycle pictures and showed a few of them tonight. The slides  were on early bicycles and their interaction with people. There were many styles of bicycles shown including a wooden homemade bicycle and even a picture of someone taking a picture on a bicycle. Also there was a picture of someone on a tricycle with box advertising that he could produce stereo photographs for all occasions as long as they could be kept still for 2 seconds. The bicycle case  held a wet plate studio (c1870). He also showed Professor Jenkins using a velocipede to travel on a rope across the Niagara gorge in 1869. It was hand driven and the machine was actually very stable because of its low center of gravity.

Norman Ball. Our final speaker, Norman Ball, showed a photo album with Africa Pictures on its title page. He explained that he purchased the album many years ago and it was in storage until he re-discovered it last week. The book is a collection of landscape pictures from South Africa made by R. Harris of  Port Elizabeth. The pictures were taken in the mid 1800s and Norman hopes to do more research on the album and its maker.

It was an interesting and varied meeting.
Mark Singer December 31, 2011

This page was designed in WordPress on an iMac running OS X 10.7 (Lion). The images where taken by Ed Warner (Panasonic HDC-TM900) and Bob Carter (Sony NEX-5). The  images are ©2011 by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada and may be used freely provided the source is clearly indicated. Contact PHSC at if you would like more information on the items discussed in this post.

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