Tag Archives: Chicago

when is a camera not a camera?

Toronto. When it’s a Komic Kamera – a toy handheld  2D viewer for film strips! The size of this viewer suggests 35mm strips. I saw a couple of sites on Google that suggested the little toy was made by different … Continue reading

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a kludge of clones

Toronto. In the late 1930s, a Chicago man embarked on a program to create inexpensive cameras and the Spartus Camera Corporation was born. One of the many cameras to emerge was a bakelite wonder that sold under a variety of … Continue reading

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an EXCELlent way to entertain before TV

Toronto. In the 1930s and 40s we had radio, but what could excite home entertainment like the movies? How about a movie projector and some inexpensive commercial films? Many companies made and promoted home movies. One firm was Excel in … Continue reading

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movies, anyone?

Toronto. Continuing on with the LIFE and movies theme, Bell and Howell of Chicago was a respected professional movie equipment maker. They added a consumer line pre-war (Filmo). Post-war they dumbed down the consumer cameras and ads – the cameras … Continue reading

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the Rexo – an old option to Kodak

Toronto. Before Kodak became the “Great Yellow Father“, it had serious competitors in the camera department. One such option was the Burke & James Rexo camera. Eastman was aggressive in eradicating competition, but B&J managed to stay afloat. I came … Continue reading

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Charlie and the Essanay movie studio in Chicago.

Toronto. The year was 1915. A young actor called Charlie Chaplin spend a few months in the windy city. While there, he recorded a silent movie at the famous Chicago studio named Essanay for its two founders. Thanks to the … Continue reading

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made in Chicago

Toronto. One of the most famous names in movies was Bell & Howell who made cameras and projectors  in the windy city. The history of the company, once famous as the premier maker of movie cameras for Hollywood, is featured … Continue reading

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Spartus Press Camera – yeah, right!

Toronto. We saw many of these little plastic box cameras drift through our fairs over the years. Sold from Chicago by the Spartus Camera Corporation, this inexpensive model was more marketing puffery than technology. The flash was built-in as was … Continue reading

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