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Movie projector, Powers Cameragraph

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Posted 2 years ago

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walksoftly
(156 items)

These projectors are in our local community centre, it was originally the theatre. These were last used around 1950,
I have been sneaking up to the projector room for the last 40 years to admire these wonderful machines. I've tried to find information on these but have been unsuccessful.
These are Power's Cameragraph Projector's, No 6B Patents Nov 4, 1904, July 17, 1906. Also on the side of the machine is a brass tag with the name Mellaphone Corporation Rochester, NY, The lamp assembly is made by General Electric, Schenectady, NY.
I would like to learn more about them, help please.

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Comments

  1. trunkman trunkman, 2 years ago
    Awesome looking machines -- love the gears. We have a dollar cinema in our city, and the projection room door is always open so I sneak in to have a peak too. Mesmerizing to see the machinations and hear the sounds. Have you seen the movie Cinema Paradiso?
  2. jmack, 2 years ago
    You see this video of it in action....pretty cool

    http://youtu.be/xkJxK8vwIHM
  3. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks Trunkman for the lovely comment, I wish I could see & hear them running. I'm sure with a little oil here & there I could plug them in.
    I've never seen that movie.
  4. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Nice video & nice restoration, thanks for sharing & showing some love jmack.
  5. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love, official, trunkman, AR8, & packrat.
  6. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks Bellin for checking it out & to you & gargoylecollector for clicking on the Love.
    Now if some one could point in the direction of some info or site about old 35mm projectors, I would love to learn more about it.
  7. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love, Mani & mikielikesigns2.
  8. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 2 years ago
    Hope you are someday able to buy them possibly !~ Phil.
  9. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    I hope so Phil I would just love to polish one of these up, oil it & plug it in, just to see & hear it running.
  10. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love, bender, musikchoo, Phil, & scandi.
  11. Hedgewalker Hedgewalker, 2 years ago
    Steampunkers heaven right there...Very cool !!!!
  12. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thank's Hedge for the comment & the love. Steampunkers would love all the gears & such, but I think I would cry if it was dismantled:-(
  13. Hedgewalker Hedgewalker, 2 years ago
    I agree...much nicer in one piece !
  14. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love, lundy.
  15. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love, chevy, & Mani.
  16. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks for stopping by ladyintheshade, glad you like it.
  17. grandpathings grandpathings, 2 years ago
    Nice Cameragraph!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks grandpathings for the comment, & checking out my post.
    Do you know any thing about movie projectors?
  19. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    Powers (Nicholas Power Co., NY) was a manufacturer of 35mm theater projectors and may have started operations prior to 1899. The company ended up merging with the International Projector Corporation sometime around 1920.

    There were three models of the Cameragraph; the earliest version (No.3) was built on a wooden frame. No.4 (c1905) was the first all metal version. No.6 (c1906) is said to have featured the first automatic fire shutter built in the USA. So ... the No.6 dates from 1906 to at least 1920.
  20. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thank you rniederman, for the info. I've had a difficult time trying to find information on these projectors.
    Do you have any more info, or can you point me in the right direction?
    I would like to put in an offer to the Community Centre to purchase them, but can't find info on value.
    Even though they have been sitting there ignored for 50+ years, if I ask to buy I'm afraid they are going to think they are very valuable.
    Is there even a market for them.?
  21. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
    I've provided pretty much the info I have; yet I'm sure a good Google search would turn up more. Value is subjective, but a complete and working Cameragraph with lamphouse (etc) is probably $275 - $350 (or so). I don't follow the projector market that closely (pre-1900 wooden cameras are my specialization) but have observed the project market is soft. The exception (as with most antiques) is historically important equipment and apparatus that is nice on display ... that sort of thing. Ideally, the owner should pay you to take the equipment off their hands. Hope this helps. - Rob.
  22. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Thanks again rniederman, for the info & valuation. I haven't had much luck researching these projectors & that is why I posted them here. But I will continue my quest.
  23. mrcameragraph, 2 years ago
    Hi there walksoftly, as you can see my username is mrcameragraph, and that's for a reason! It seems you have many questions about this Powers and I can give you the answers to each one imaginable. I've restored a Powers Cameragraph head (that's the actual mechnism with all the gears), along with an ongoing restoration of the lampouse, stand, and another head. My projector is a 1916 model, exactly the same as yours, except for a few improvements on the projector mechanism. These included things such as shutter adjustment and loopsetters. The lamphouse is also much larger and more ornate. The one you have is a very rare electric model made in connection with General Electric. When you have one fully restored (and chromed like I do), it runs beautifully. With film in the projector it actually doesn't make a sound at all. They were the best movie projectors ever, and I'm not just saying that. A friend of mine who also dose restoration on Powers projectors had one tested verses an Imax projector. You wouldn't believe how badly the Imax did compared to the virtually perfect Powers. No stratches, no dimples on the film, no nothing. Just a beautiful image on the screen. It's such a good projector that I run prints from Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress on it. They aren't to hard to restore, but you really have to know the mechanics well. I usualy take my projector heads apart in 30 minutes! It seems like yours would clean up well, although most of the nickel on the machine has seemed to fade. You would have to put alot of chrome on there. Also you would have to get the manuals. I have each one they made including one that was found in Mr. Nicholas Power's house (he's the inventor of this wonderous machine). All and all, your projector probably should remain untouched. Don't worry, theres plenty more of them out there to be restored. Powers made about 60,000, a huge number at the time.
    As for your question about value, these Powers (complete) usually go for a max of $1,500.00. But still, you never no. One person might think of it as a little toy but the other will know what a piece of cinema history it truly is.
    You may find some manuals online, by looking up Powers Cameragraph on google. You'll probably find some info on my good friend and mentor Joe Rinaudo, who I mentioned earlier. You can look him up and find pictures of his Powers, which he runs at theaters across California year round. Anyway, I wish you luck on researching the Powers. If you do wish to restore it, you can. Believe it or not I'm 13 years old, and if I can do it anyone can. I do have a message to whoever reads this too. Pleeeeease, find out more about these machines and expose yourself to them. Expose yourself to the truly magnifecent ingenuity of humans! Adieu.
  24. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Hello mrcameragraph, thank you for your response, you appear to be a very knowledgeable thirteen year old. Age doesn't matter here as long as you have something to share, whether it be knowledge or collections & it appears you have both.
    I would love to see your restored Powers Cameragraph, manuals & anything else you might wish to share with ALL of us here on CW.
    You have provided me with more info in this post than I have found in two years of searching google & elsewhere on the net.

    Again thank you for sharing your knowledge & opinion & insights.
  25. mrcameragraph, 2 years ago
    Hey there walksoftly, I'm back! Unfortunatley, even though I'm a teenager and most teenagers are expected to be computer smarty pants, I'm kind of computer illiterate! It'll take some time to figure out how to post pictures of my Powers along with the manuals. Remember also that these manuals are extremely detailed. There are literally hundreds of pages of the projector shown with every part of it down to the last screw. If you do want to see the model that has been restored by my good friend and mentor Joe Rinaudo (same as my restored model), look him up on Google Images and you'll find many photos of his projector. I'll work on getting the copies of the manuals and pictures of my projector on to CW. If you do find anything, let me know. It shouldn't be too hard to find the photographs of the projector. If you really want to see his Powers in detail, go to the website of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and look up "The Cameragraph". Here Joe shows how to load the machine with a 35mm Museum of Modern Art print of "Barney Oldfields Race for a Life". The image flickers on the screen, but that isn't the Power's fault. It's simply the frame rate of the camera not matching up with the original speed of the film. Remember also that those projectors were commonly hand cranked, not because of lack of electricity but because of the constantly changing speed of the film. When different cameramen would crank it went from 16 frames a second to 24! When we did Buster Keaton's "The General", we were crankin' all over the place!
    Anyhow, please let me know if you find anything. It dose puzzle me that you couldn't find much about Powers Cameragraphs on Google. I usualy find quite a bit but you have to do some tremendous digging. If you really spend some time on it you might justget lucky and find some manuals. They may not be detailed like the ones I have but they still show every model that Powers made from 1906 to 1916. I have hope that you can find 'em!

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