Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vintage Cameras - The Pathe Baby Film Projector

In 1922 the Pathe organisation in France released on the market a new film projector which used 9.5mm film. The film had a sprocket hole centred between the frames. The system was designed for home use and there was made available a large library of printed subjects, either for sale or rental.

In 1923, due to the demand, the company released a 9.5mm camera, the Pathe Baby. It was small, with a fixed focus lens, hand cranked and accepted film in a small cassette which held 10 metres of safety base, reversal film. There was no sprocket drive and no loops to worry about. It was effectively the first cine camera for home use.

There was a small sports style viewfinder and, embossed in the leather covering, an instruction ‘ Two turns per second.’

The image quality was good but the camera really needed to be tripod mounted for a steady picture though using a hand held, hand cranked camera today would produce fashionably unsteady pictures.

There was a clockwork motor which could be attached to the camera.

The Pathe Baby became very popular in Europe and the UK and about 300,000 projectors were produced. The gauge lasted until 1960. source/more

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