16mm Sound Projector-

Bell and Howell Model 2580A

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History of the16mm Sound Projector

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The 16mm Sound Projector
Important Movies of the 1980s click here
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Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. He named himself the "Father of Radio," with this famous quote, "I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite,".

In 1906 De Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger. The Audion, and vacuum tubes developed from it, founded the field of electronics and dominated it for 40 years, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. For this reason De Forest has been called one of the fathers of the "electronic age". He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.

He was involved in several patent lawsuits, and spent a substantial part of his income from his inventions on legal bills. He had four marriages and 25 companies. He was indicted for mail fraud, but later was acquitted.

De Forest was a charter member of the Institute of Radio Engineers. DeVry University was originally named DeForest Training School by its founder Dr. Herman A. DeVry, who was a friend and colleague of De Forest.

Phonofilm sound-on-film process

In 1919, De Forest filed the first patent on his sound-on-film process, which improved on the work of Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt and the German partnership Tri-Ergon, and called it the De Forest Phonofilm process. Phonofilm recorded sound directly onto film as parallel lines of variable shades of gray, and later became known as a "variable density" system as opposed to "variable area" systems such as RCA Photophone. These lines photographically recorded electrical waveforms from a microphone, which were translated back into sound waves when the movie was projected.

From October 1921 to September 1922, DeForest lived in Berlin, meeting with the Tri-Ergon developers and investigating other European sound film systems. He announced to the press in April 1922 that he would soon have a workable sound-on-film system.

On 12 March 1923, DeForest presented a demonstration of Phonofilm to the press. On 12 April 1923, DeForest gave a private demonstration of the process to electrical engineers at the Engineering Society Building's Auditorium at 33 West 39th Street in New York City.[

This system, which synchronized sound directly onto film, was used to record stage performances (such as in vaudeville), speeches, and musical acts. In November 1922, De Forest established his De Forest Phonofilm Company at 314 East 48th Street in New York City, but none of the Hollywood movie studios expressed any interest in his invention.

De Forest premiered 18 short films made in Phonofilm on 15 April 1923 at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. He was forced to show his films in independent theaters such as the Rivoli, since Hollywood movie studios controlled all major theater chains. De Forest chose to film primarily short vaudeville acts, not features, limiting the appeal of his process to Hollywood studios. Max Fleischer and Dave Fleischer used the Phonofilm process for their Song Car-Tune series of cartoons—featuring the "Follow the Bouncing Ball" gimmick—starting in May 1924.

De Forest also worked with Freeman Harrison Owens and Theodore Case, using Owens's and Case's work to perfect the Phonofilm system. However, DeForest had a falling out with both men. Due to DeForest's continuing misuse of Theodore Case's inventions and failure to publicly acknowledge Case's contributions, the Case Research Lab proceeded to build its own camera. That camera was used by Case and his colleague Earl Sponable to record President Coolidge on 11 August 1924, which was one of the films shown by DeForest and claimed by him to be the product of "his" inventions. Seeing that DeForest was more concerned with his own fame and recognition than he was with actually creating a workable system of sound film, and because of DeForest's continuing attempts to downplay the contributions of the Case Research Lab in the creation of Phonofilm, Case severed his ties with DeForest in the fall of 1925.

Case then negotiated an agreement for his patents with studio head William Fox, owner of Fox Film Corporation, who marketed the system as the Fox Movietone process. Shortly before the Phonofilm Company filed for bankruptcy in September 1926, Hollywood introduced a new method for sound film, the sound-on-disc process developed by Warner Brothers as Vitaphone, with the John Barrymore film Don Juan, released 6 August 1926.

In 1927 and 1928, Hollywood began to use sound-on-film systems, including Fox Movietone and RCA Photophone. Meanwhile, a theater chain owner, Isadore Schlesinger, acquired the UK rights to Phonofilm and released short films of British music hall performers from September 1926 to May 1929. Almost 200 short films were made in the Phonofilm process, and many are preserved in the collections of the Library of Congress and the British Film Institute.


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Important Movies of the 1980s

1. The Empire Strikes Back
($290.2 million)
2. Superman II
($108.2 million)
3. 9 to 5
($103.3 million)
4. Stir Crazy
($101.3 million)
5. Airplane
($83.4 million)
6. Coal Miner's Daughter
($79.9 million)
7. Private Benjamin
($69.8 million)
8. Smokey and the Bandit II
($66.1 million)
9. Ordinary People
($54.8 million)
10. The Blues Brothers
($54.2 million)

Other noteworthy films...
Altered States.....American Gigolo.....Any Which Way You Can.....Atlantic City.....The Big Red One.....The Blue Lagoon.....Bronco Billy.....Brubaker.....Caddyshack.....Cruising.....The Dogs of War.....Dressed to Kill.....The Elephant Man.....Fame.....The First Deadly Sin.....Flash Gordon.....Foxes.....Friday the 13th.....Galaxina.....The Gods Must Be Crazy.....Heaven's Gate.....Herbie Goes Bananas.....Hide In Plain Sight.....Honeysuckle Rose.....The Hunter.....The Jazz Singer.....The Long Riders.....My Bodyguard.....Oh God! Book II.....Oh! Heavenly Dog.....One Trick Pony.....Popeye.....Raging Bull.....Raise the Titanic.....Roadie.....Scanners.....The Shining.....Somewhere in Time.....The Stunt Man.....Summer School.....Time Bandits.....Urban Cowboy.....Used Cars.....Wholly Moses.....Xanadu

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Important Events of the1980s


  • Failed U.S. Rescue Attempt to Save Hostages in Tehran
  • John Lennon Assassinated
  • Mount St. Helens Erupts
  • Pac-Man Video Game Released
  • Rubik's Cube Becomes Popular
  • Ted Turner Establishes CNN


  • Assassination Attempt on the Pope
  • Assassination Attempt on U.S. President Reagan
  • First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Millions Watch Royal Wedding on T.V.
  • New Plague Identified as AIDS
  • Personal Computers (PC) Introduced by IBM


  • E.T. Movie Released
  • Falkland Islands Invaded by Argentina
  • King Henry VIII's Ship the Mary Rose Raised After 437 Years
  • Michael Jackson Releases Thriller
  • Reverend Sun Myung Moon Marries 2,075 Couples at Madison Square Garden
  • Vietnam War Memorial Opened in Washington, DC


  • Cabbage Patch Kids Are Popular
  • Reagan Announces Defense Plan Called Star Wars
  • Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
  • Soviets Shoot Down a Korean Airliner
  • U.S. Embassy in Beirut Bombed


  • Huge Poison Gas Leak in Bhopal, India
  • Indira Gandhi, India's Prime Minister, Killed by Two Bodyguards
  • PG-13 Movie Rating Created


  • Famine in Ethiopia
  • Hole in the Ozone Layer Discovered
  • Mikhail Gorbachev Calls for Glasnost and Perestroika
  • New Coke Hits the Market
  • Wreck of the Titanic Found


  • Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
  • Ferdinand Marcos Flees the Philippines
  • Iran-Contra Scandal Unfolds
  • U.S. Bombs Libya
  • U.S.S.R. Launches Mir Space Station


  • DNA First Used to Convict Criminals
  • Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Butcher of Lyons, Sentenced to Life in Prison
  • New York Stock Exchange Suffers Huge Drop on "Black Monday"
  • West German Pilot Lands Unchallenged in Russia's Red Square


  • Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed Over Lockerbie
  • U.S. Shoots Down Iranian Airliner


  • Berlin Wall Falls
  • Exxon Valdez Spills Millions of Gallons of Oil on Coastline
  • Romanian Leader Nicolae Ceausescu and His Wife Are Executed
  • Students Massacred in China's Tiananmen Square

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16mm film was introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1923 as an inexpensive amateur alternative to the conventional 35mm film format. During the 1920s the format was often referred to as sub-standard film by the professional industry. Initially directed toward the amateur market, Kodak hired Willard Beech Cook from his 28 mm Pathescope of America company to create the new 16mm Kodascope Library. In addition to making home movies, one could buy or rent films from the library, one of the key selling aspects of the format. As it was intended for amateur use, 16mm film was one of the first formats to use acetate safety film as a film base, and Kodak never manufactured nitrate film for the format due to the high flammability of the nitrate base. 35mm nitrate was discontinued in 1952.

Production evolution

The silent 16mm format was initially aimed at the home enthusiast, but by the 1930s it had begun to make inroads into the educational market. The addition of optical sound tracks and, most notably, Kodachrome in 1935, gave an enormous boost to the 16mm market. Used extensively in WW2, there was a huge expansion of 16mm professional filmmaking in the post-war years. Films for government, business, medical and industrial clients created a large network of 16mm professional filmmakers and related service industries in the 1950s and 1960s. The advent of television also enhanced the use of 16mm film, initially for its advantage of cost and portability over 35mm. At first used as a news-gathering format, the 16mm format was also used to create programming shot outside the confines of the more rigid television production sets. The home movie market gradually switched to the even less expensive 8 mm film and Super 8 mm format.


Recording on film

The first attempts to record sound to an optical medium occurred around 1900. In 1906 Lauste applied for a patent to record sound on film, but was ahead of his time. In 1923 Lee de Forest applied for a patent to record to film; he also made a number of short experimental films, mostly of vaudeville performers. William Fox began releasing sound-on-film newsreels, in 1926, the same year that Warner Brothers released Don Juan with music and sound effects recorded on discs, as well as a series of short films with fully synchronized sound on discs. In 1927, the sound film The Jazz Singer was released; while not the first sound film, it made a tremendous hit and made the public and the film industry realize that sound film was more than a mere novelty.

The Jazz Singer used a process called Vitaphone, a process that involved synchronizing the projected film to sound recorded on disk. It essentially amounted to playing a phonograph record, but one that was recorded with the best electronic technology of the time. Audiences used to acoustic phonographs and recordings would, in the theatre, have heard something resembling 1950s "high fidelity".

However, in the days of analog technology, no process involving a separate disk could hold synchronization precisely or reliably. Vitaphone was quickly supplanted by technologies which recorded a sound track optically directly onto the side of the strip of motion picture film. This was the dominant technology from the 1930s through the 1960s and is still in use as of 2013 although the analog soundtrack is being replaced by digital sound on film formats.

There are two types of synchronised film soundtrack, optical and magnetic. Optical sound tracks are visual renditions of sound wave forms and provide sound through a light beam and optical sensor within the projector. Magnetic sound tracks are essentially the same as used in conventional analog tape recording.

Magnetic soundtracks can be joined with the moving image but it creates an abrupt discontinuity because of the offset of the audio track relative to the picture. Whether optical or magnetic, the audio pickup must be located several inches ahead of the projection lamp, shutter and drive sprockets. There is usually a flywheel as well to smooth out the film motion to eliminate the flutter that would otherwise result from the pull-down mechanism. If you have films with a magnetic track, you should keep them away from strong magnetic sources, such as televisions. These can weaken or wipe the magnetic sound signal. Magnetic sound on an acetate base is also more prone to vinegar syndrome than a film with just the image.

For optical recording on film there are two methods utilized. Variable density recording uses changes in the darkness of the soundtrack side of the film to represent the soundwave. Variable area recording uses changes in the width of a dark strip to represent the soundwave.

In both cases light that is sent through the part of the film that corresponds to the soundtrack changes in intensity, proportional to the original sound, and that light is not projected on the screen but converted into an electrical signal by a light sensitive device.

Optical soundtracks are prone to the same sorts of degradation that affect the picture: e.g. scratches, copying.

Unlike the film image that creates the illusion of continuity, soundtracks are continuous. This means that if film with a combined soundtrack is cut and spliced, the image will cut cleanly but the sound track will most likely produce a cracking sound. Fingerprints on the film may also produce cracking or interference.

In the late 1950s, the cinema industry, desperate to provide a theatre experience that would be overwhelmingly superior to television, introduced wide-screen processes such as Cinerama, Todd-AO and CinemaScope. These processes at the same time introduced technical improvements in sound, generally involving the use of multitrack magnetic sound, recorded on an oxide stripe laminated onto the film. In subsequent decades, a gradual evolution occurred with more and more theatres installing various forms of magnetic-sound equipment.

In the 1990s, digital systems were introduced and began to prevail. In many of them, the sound recording is, as in Vitaphone, again recorded on a separate disk; but now, digital processes can achieve reliable and perfect synchronization


Optical sound

Optical sound is a means of storing sound recordings on transparent film. The technology was first developed in the 1920s as a sound-on-film format for motion pictures, eventually superseding all of other sound film technologies until the advent of digital sound would become the standard in cinema projection booths. Optical sound has also been used for multitrack recording and for creating effects in some musical synthesizers.

Naval use prior to motion pictures: 1914-21

Optical sound was first developed by several inventors with an interest in wireless telegraphy through transmission of light, primarily for ship-to-ship communications. The idea was that sound pulses could be electrically converted into light pulses, beamed out from one ship and picked up by another, where the light pulses would then be re-converted back into sound.

A pioneer in this technology was American physicist Theodore Case. While studying at Yale, Case became interested in using modulated light as a means to transmit and record speech. In 1914, he opened the Case Research Lab to experiment with the photo-electric properties of various materials, leading to the development of the Thallofide (short for thallium oxysulfide), a light-sensitive vacuum tube. The Thallofide tube was originally used by the United States Navy in a top secret ship-to-ship infrared signaling system developed at Case's lab with his assistant Earl Sponable. Case and Sponable's system was first tested off the shores of New Jersey in 1917, and attending the test was Thomas Edison, contracted by the Navy to evaluate new technologies. The test was a success, and the U.S. Navy used the system during and after World War I.[1]

Contemporary to the work of Case and Sponible was Charles A. Hoxie's Pallophotophone (from Greek, meaning "shaking light sound"), manufactured by General Electric (GE). Similar to Case's infrared system used by the Navy, the Pallophotophone was also intended for transoceanic wireless telegraphy, but was then adapted for recording speech. With GE's backing, Hoxie's invention was used in 1921 to record President Calvin Coolidge and others for radio broadcasts.

Case, Sponible and Hoxie's work all became instrumental to the development of sound-on-film in the years following World War I.

Optical sound for film and radio

Example of a variable-area sound track on the right side of the frames on this 16mm filmstrip. The width of the white area is proportional to the amplitude of the audio signal at each instant.

Most of the inventions that led to optical sound-on-film technology employed the use of an electric lamp, called an exciter, shining through a translucent waveform printed on the edge of a film strip. When the light shines through the film, it is read by a photo-sensitive material and fed through a processor that converts the photovoltaic impulse into an audio signal that is then amplified through a speaker.

Three brands of optical sound-on-film technology emerged in the 1920s: Photofilm, Photophone and Movietone. A fourth major contender for the sound film market was Warner Brothers Vitaphone sound-on-disc system that synchronized large-size (16") phonographic LPs with a film's projector. Many early talkies, such as Warners' 1927 success the Jazz Singer, used Vitaphone discs, but by 1931, optical sound-on-film would supplant the separate sound-on-disc technology.

Photofilm: 1919-26

After the war, Theodore Case and Edward Sponable collaborated with fellow wireless telegraphy pioneer Lee de Forest, inventor of the Audion tube, to apply their optical sound system to motion pictures. De Forest had been granted general patents for a sound-on-film process in 1919, though it was the Case Research Lab's inventions that made de Forest's systems workable. The Case Lab first converted an old silent-film projector into a recording device in 1922, using the projector's light for exposing a soundtrack onto film. The process, which de Forest called Phonofilm, recorded sound as parallel lines of variable shades of gray, photographically recorded as electrical waveforms from a microphone, which were translated back into soundwaves when the movie was projected.

Case fine-tuned this process into an invention called the Aeo-light for use in sound cameras. During filming, audio signals modulated the Aeo-light to expose the film's audio directly inside the camera, streamlining Photofilm's process for synchronizing a motion picture with its soundtrack. In 1924 Sponable focused on the design of these single-system cameras, in which the sound and picture were recorded on the same negative. He approached Bell & Howell to modify one of their cameras to his design, but the results were unsatisfactory. Later the Wall Camera Corporation rebuilt the machine with improved results.

De Forest also worked with early newsreeler Freeman Harrison Owens, who had developed his own patented sound camera by 1921, and spent time in Berlin, working with the Tri-Ergon corporation and investigating European sound film systems.[2] Here he met Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt ("Finland's Thomas Edison"), who improved Photofilm's amplification system to be audible in a large theater.

Photofilm was used mainly to record stage performances, speeches, and musical acts in and around New York City, but Hollywood movie studios expressed little interest in the invention. Because the Hollywood studios controlled all major theater chains, de Forest showed his films at independent moveiehouses in a short-form series, akin to vaudeville that included Max and Dave Fleischer's Song Car-Tune. The Fleischers used the Phonofilm process for their animated shorts, which included the now classic "Follow the Bouncing Ball" gimmick.

In 1924 Owens parted ways with de Forest, and Case followed suit in 1925 because of de Forest's taking sole credit for Phonofilm.[3] Meanwhile Hollywood introduced a new method for sound film: the sound-on-disc process developed by Warner Brothers as Vitaphone, with the John Barrymore film Don Juan, released in August 1926. One month later the Phonofilm Company filed for bankruptcy. Case and Sponable went on to create another optical sound-on-film process called Movietone, and the UK rights to Phonfilm were bought up by theater chain owner, Isadore Schlesinger, who used the technology to release short films of British music hall performers through 1929.

The Pallophotophone and Photophone: 1921-27

While Lee de Forest struggled to market Photofilm, Charles A. Hoxie's Pallophotophone had success as an optical recording device through the support of General Electric. The Pallophotophone utilized the entire width of unsprocketed 35mm Kodak monochrome film to record and replay multiple audio tracks. Unlike Photofilm,this optical sound technology used a photoelectric process that captured audio wave forms generated by a vibrating mirror galvanometer, and was the first effective multitrack recording system, predating magnetic tape multitrack recorders by at least 20 years. From the early 1920s until the early 30s, GE broadcast over 1,000 Pallophotophone recordings from its Schenectady, New York radio station WGY, including speeches by presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, and inventor-businessmen Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

By the mid-1920s, GE adapted Hoxie's invention for motion picture sound playback, subsequently marketed as a commercial product by then-GE subsidiary RCA as the RCA Photophone. The first demonstrations of the Photophone, were given in 1926, and in 1927 a sound version (music plus sound effects only) of the silent film Wings, toured to a dozen specially equipped theaters.[4]

Movietone: 1926-39

While Hoxie's work found its way into national theaters through, RCA, Theodore Case and Earl Sponable found a home with the Fox Film Corporation after leaving de Forest and Phonofilm. Case and Sponible's Movietone sound system made several modifications to the earlier Phonofilm system that they had helped to create. One was moving the position of the projector's soundhead from above the picture head (as it had been in Phonofilm), to 14˝ inches (368 mm) below the picture head, close to the present day standard. Case also adopted the 24 frames per second speed for Movietone, bringing it in line with the speed already chosen for Warner Brothers' Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, and thus establishing 24 frames per second as the standard speed for all sound films, whether sound-on-disc or sound-on-film.[5][6]

In 1926 Fox hired Sponible, bought Case's patents (they had already acquired Freeman Owens' and Tri-Ergon's),[7] and mass-produced Case's Aeo-light for use in all Movietone News cameras from 1928 to 1939. These cameras recorded all Fox feature films from 1928-1931, the first being F. W. Murnau's Sunrise (1927). As the first professionally produced feature with an optical sound track, it included mostly music and sound effects, with a very few unsynchronized words.

After 1931, Fox's feature film production moved to a two-machine system that Western Electric developed from the RCA Photophone, with the advent of a light-valve invented by Edward C. Wente. In this new system, one camera shot the frames, and a second lens-less "sound camera" served as an optical recorder that was mechanically interlocked with the picture. Fox did continue to make Movietone Newsreels with single-system cameras due to their easy transport.

Optical sound on film to the present day

A strip of 21st century 35 mm film print frames. The stereo analog optical soundtrack appears Just inside the perforations on the left side of the image. On the far left and right, outside the perforations, is the SDDS soundtrack as an image of a digital signal.

For half a century cinema sound systems were licensed to either RCA or Western Electric, and motion picture producers elected to license one or the other, or even both. This continued until 1976, by which time optical sound recording had been converted to the Western Electric (dubbed "Westrex") stereo variable-area system.

As digital sound became the standard of sound reproduction in the 21st century, 35 and 70mm films have increasingly included a digital version of the soundtrack on the edges of the film strip. Most films continue to be processed with both digital and analog soundtracks so that they can be read by projection systems in any movie theater.

Optical sound in music production

After General Electric's Pallophotophone fell out of use in the early 1930s, optical multi-track recording did not have a resurgence for nearly three decades when high fidelity and stereophonic recordings became available commercially.

By the 1950s, magnetic tape had become the standard for music production, though some phonograph records were produced from recordings made on 35mm (and, in some cases, or 70mm) sound film. In 1959 Enoch Light began releasing a series of several high fidelity albums recorded on film through his label Command Records, along with albums by Dick Hyman, the Ray Charles Singers, Doc Severinsen and others.These LPs were marketed as audiophile recordings, and boasted superior sound quality, but with few popular artists using this technology and the expensive cost of film, optical sound never took hold as a standard in the music industry.

Optical sound used in musical instruments

A few musical instrumentss have been manufactured using optical sound for playback.

In 1971 toy manufacturer Mattel released the Optigan (short for "optical organ), an organ-like synthesizer whose sound library was stored on interchangeable 12" clear acetate "program discs". Each program disc was encoded with 57 concentric optical tracks that spun on a turntable inside the machine. The Optigan then translated the analog waveforms on each disc to an audio signal via an exciter lamp shone through the disc and onto a photoelectric cell. 37 of the program disc's tracks were single notes, and 21 featured chords in different keys and rhythm tracks much the style of a chord organ or accordion. The Optigan came with a "Starter Set" of discs that featured standard instrument sounds and tempos. Other sounds were available through purchase of more disc packs. Mattel ceased production of the Optigan in 1976.

The Orchestron was a version of the Optigan built by Vako Synthesizers Inc. Intended for professional use as an alternative to the Mellotron in the mid-1970s. The Orchestron featured improved recorded sounds over the Optigan,though many professional musicians of note have performed and recorded using Mattel's toy version.

The Drum Buddy is an oscillating drum machine that functions as a light-activated theremin. Invented by New Orleans one-man band Mr. Quintron, the Drum Buddy uses a light bulb suspended inside a coffee can, which rotates on a turntable. The can is perforated like the roll of a music box or player piano. When the light shines through the perforations in the rotating can, in strikes any of four photoelectric cells that trigger various electronic effects. To date, Mr. Quintron has built less than 50 of these machines, though they can be heard on his recordings.


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1. These projectors were discarded in favor of the VCR video tape technology largely for convenience-most projectors were simply discarded. Why does this process consume so many resources?

2. Film movies brought video on demand into classrooms and local meeting rooms. What would this development mean for the cultural  life of  local communities and homes?

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Restoration and Parts Assistance

Preservation of vintage optical sound sources

Efforts have only recently been made to preserve early examples of optical sound. While none of GE's original Pallophotophones are known to exist, a few reels of Pallophotophone recordings of radio broadcasts have been found. Unlike movie film, these 35mm reels do not contain sprockets. New players have been built using modern components to recover audio from old reels. Among the material on surviving reels is the earliest known recording of the NBC chimes, a broadcast of a high school basketball match (believed to be the world's second-oldest recording of a sports broadcast) and a historic 1929 recording of the 82-year-old Thomas Edison, with Henry Ford and President Herbert Hoover, speaking on a broadcast commemorating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the incandescent light bulb.

A resurgence in interest in the Optigan has led to a circuit of collectors trading program discs. Though originally marketed as a toy instrument, the Optigan was used by professional musicians to achieve unusual sounds, and the instrument made cameo appearances on recordings by Bruce Haack (1973), Alan Steward (1976), Steve Hackett (1980) and Devo (1981). In the 1990s the Optigan became popular as a vintage synthesizer, and samples of its sounds were released as digital software, making the sounds accessible to musicians not able to obtain the actual instrument. Since then, Optigan music has been used by numerous artists working in popular music, television, film, and is the featured instrument for the band Optaginally Yours.


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Helpful Links

Great History Page

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Tour of My16mm Sound Projector

Bell & Howell 16mm Film Projector

Model 2580A,ND slot-threading 16mm projector offers fast loading easy-to-operate projection. The case is made of high-impact plastic which is charcoal gray. Durable, heavy-duty, totally synchronous mechanism featuring positive gear-driven folding reel arms with automatic high-speed cluth for reel to reel rewinding. Clutch is automatically actuated by raising rear arm. Direct drive blower. Carbo-nitride treated film guide rails for longer life. Hinged lamphouse cover provides easy access to lamp. Reels from 400' to 2000' accepted. Precision 2" f/1.6 Super F. Requires ELC lamp. Shutter: 3-interruptions per film frame. Built-in 4"x6" oval speaker for superior sound reproduction. Standard 1/4" jack for 8-ohm auxiliary speaker or speaker system with minimum total power rating of 20 watts. Tone control on amplifier. Operating speed: 24 frames/second. Tilt control knob elevates front of projector to center image on screen. Elevation angle: 0 to 10 degrees.










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