stills from movies

A 1929 enlarger to print stills from movie frames

Toronto. A few years ago, at our PHSC monthly meetings (when we met in person – ie pre-COVID) my good friend Ed Warner took videos of each presentation and could easily snap stills without affecting the digital video he was creating.

This article, however, describes a time when special cameras recorded movies on film, After processing and reversing  them, a film projector showed the tiny transparencies enlarged a 100 fold or more to be seen in a darkened room full of people.

Years before the iconic Leica sparked the minicam revolution and enlarging switched from optional to mandatory, Bell and Howell offered a gadget that would enlarge and print any frame from a movie – running on a B&H projector of course.

This article in the April, 1929 edition of American Cinematographer describes the B&H gadget in some detail. Thanks are owing to my good friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar, for sending me this article which he found as he pursued magazines for ads and articles about (now) historic photographica.

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