Grahame N's Web Pages
CINE CAMERAS & PROJECTORS
IN THE BEGINNING
In the village of Sainte Croix in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, an area where the traditonal occupations were lace-making and watch-making, a local tradesman Moises Paillard founded in 1814 a company specialising in making musical boxes. By the end of the 19th century, the Paillard family was joined by marriage into the well-known Swiss family company, Thorens, another major manufacturer. Soon this powerful alliance were to produce phonographs, then for the next 30 years. gramophones and motors. In 1920, they branched out into the making of typewriters at their Yverdon factory. With the rapid expansion of wireless in the 20s, radio receivers became another important part of their range.
Jacques Bogopolsky/Bolsky / Bolsey
In the 1920s, in Geneva, Jacques Bolsky, (original name Yakov Bogopolsky, born in Kiev, Russia in 1896), a brilliant Polish cine engineer, designed and had made an ingenious camera/projector for the amateur use of 35mm film, the Bol Cinegraphe. later, realising the growing importance of 16mm, Bolsky designed and manufactured a dual-gauge (9.5mm / 16mm ) projector, under the brand of Bolex, a neat rearrangement of his own name. In 1930, Paillard took over the rights of production of both the projector, and the excellent 16mm cine camera designed by the inventive Pole, developing these products into a range for the use of 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm film by both amateurs, and later professionals. Bolsky left Paillard to join the Pignons company at Ballaignes in Switzerland designing 35mm still cameras, initally as the Bolsey Reflex but later ending up as the Alpha 35mm camera range; he eventually went to the United States where (after yet another name change to Jacques Bolsey), he was involved in the design of cine accessories, and a 35mm still camera, sold under the brand of Bolsey. He died in 1962.
From 1930 on, the Paillard-Bolex products were imported and distributed in the UK by Cinex Ltd., originally based at 70 High Holborn, London, W.C.1. These cine camera and projectors were initially marketed as Bolex although the Paillard name usually appeared on the product badge. Later products were actually clearly marked with the brand name Paillard-Bolex.
The Paillard-Bolex factories at Sainte Croix, Switzerland in the 1930s
I actually know very little about the original Bolex 9.5mm products that were marketed during 1928/1930 in the UK.
BOLEX (BOLS ) 9.5MM/16MM DUAL GAUGE CINE-AUTO PROJECTOR (1929 - 1932?)
Page from "Cinematography For Amateurs" (UK 1930)
I believe there was a first Bol Auto Cine 16mm cine projector from around 1928, this soon morphed into a 9.5mm /16mm dual-gauge version marketed as the Bolex CineAuto projector. The first details I can find about Bolex products in the UK is this 9.5mm / 16mm Bolex dual-gauge projector which I assume must have arrived on the UK home movie scene around 1930. An odd looking machine, not quite like the later Paillard-Bolex products.
I have an example in my collection, but it appeares to have been 'got at' some time in its later life, including the fitting of an ex-Colmans mustard tin fitted with motor and lamp switches. In fact the switches seem to be World War 11 government surplus, (I remember stripping similar switches from ex-government equipment as a youngster) - so this mod is 1940s or 1950s. Since then the motor bearings seem to have failed. Anyhow this example is designed for 9.5mm and 16mm (double perf.) - the gate has the front runner with a recess for 9.5mm; the rear plate has an extra piece which fits on for 9.5mm - a bit like the later 'D' series of machines. I assume the spool spindles were interchanged for gauge change, but mine only has the 9.5mm ones. Spool capacity would appear to be up to 400 foot / 120 metres. The single feed and take-up sprocket ingeniously is used for both gauges - the guide rollers just being changed round to run the 9.5mm film over just one set of teeth and the 16mm film over both sets of teeth. There is a slider in the base for the motor speed control and the small lamphouse is just cooled by natural draught. The lens is clearly marked Bolex and Hermagis, Paris and the one fitted is a 45mm focal length. no aperture is quoted, but it would appear to be around f1.9 or so; there is a round hole in the base casting intended for storing another lens. The lenses are 25mm diameter with a small locating pin running in a slot in the lens mount.
Bolex 9.5mm/16mm Auto Cine Projector
The words 'Bolex Cine Auto Projector' are clearly pressed into the front and side covers but not clearly seen in the photo above. The machine is fitted with a geared rewinder built into the feed arm, similar to that on the later 'C', 'P' and 'D' series. A folding carrying handle is fitted along the top of the projector. Two screwed feet allow height adjustment. A lever at the side of the film gate provides framing adjustment. The spool arms fold up to the body for storage. These arms are driven by spring belts from a double pulley on the other end of the sprocket drive shaft. A spindle protrudes at the front of the machine to the right of the lens - this is the main drive shaft and this must be intended for an inching knob (sadly missing on my example).
Bolex Cine-Auto Projector with front cover removed
Two small nuts allow removal of the front cover and the lens mount to reveal the spring motor drive belt, the two-bladed shutter and the claw shuttle. One can just see fan blades with the air flow directed into the lamp dropper resistor housing, with a further hole leading into the lamphuse. (This extra air vent into the lamphouse may also be a later modification).
Bolex Cine-Auto Projector feed/take-up sprocket
The photo shows the single sprocket - the guide rollers are set for 9.5mm, but appear to reverse for 16mm. The lamphouse cover just pulls off, but mine is empty; a damaged bakelite lampholder may be original and may also have been for pre-focus base lamps, but the lamphouse size may limit the lamp to 100 watts I would guess. Another internal modification is the addition of an extra dropper resistance with marked voltage selector plug for UK 230/240 volt mains. Quite neat, but this would have added extra heat for the fan cooling to cope with. The excellent American Bolex Collector web-site suggests that the lamp fitted was just a 6 volt 20 watt - more research is needed!
The serial number on my Bolex 9.5mm/16mm Cine-Auto Projector, (marked on the rear of the base casting), is 290.
GENERAL INITIAL PRODUCT BACKGROUND
I only intend to cover the 9.5mm side of Paillard-Bolex products here (I really recommend Andrew Alden's excellent Bolex book - see the References at the bottom of this page).
The first Bolex range of projectors were types 'C'; 'K'; 'P'; and 'D'. As types 'C' and 'K' were not 9.5mm there's no need for separate details here. I guess the 'P' stood for Pathé; maybe the 'K' for Kodak. Models with the added 'A' - 'PA' and 'DA' had a special stop motion facility to accept the Pathé notched title film prints - the 'A' maybe stands for Arrêter - 'Stop' in French; or perhaps 'Automatic'?.
PAILLARD BOLEX 'D' 9.5MM/16MM DUAL-GAUGE PROJECTOR (1930 - 193?)
Advert in book "The Amateur Cinematographers' Handbook' probably 1930
Once Paillard had merged with Bols the first Bolex home movie products arrived - a 16mm cine camera and the model 'D' cine projector. Quite a compact machine with powerful illumination for the time using a 250 watt 110 volt pre-focus base lamp - A1/57. The lamp is fitted at right-angles to the film gate, using a mirror to direct the light. A clip just behind the gate opens to provide an inspection light during shows and for access to the mirror for cleaning. The 110 volt machine was supplied with a dropper resistance for the UK 230 volt mains supply. it was fitted with a series wound motor with variable speed control; reverse run was achieved by a change-over switch. (Always switch off before using this switch, and never use it to stop the motor because the lamp still remains on and overheating will occur, not to mention the film will buckle!). (I have recently found a reverse run changeover switch burnt out inside because it must have been used to switch off or changeover with the motor running!!). Still pictures could be achieved by pushing a button just by the drive pulley - this slips the spring motor drive belt onto a free pulley, meaning the motor speeds up to give increased cooling and a heat filter drops down in the light path. The lens is in a 25mm diameter mount. Over the years a number of minor modifications occured, including the option of a 400 watt lamp.
Advert in "Motion Pictures With The Baby Cine" 3rd edition - undated, maybe 1933 - the 'Pathe Luxe' camera was new
the model 'D' projector is now branded Paillard-Bolex
No separate lamp switch on my earlier example - once the power is on (by a switch on the dropper resistance I guess) motor and lamp are on together. Lenses on mine are a French Hermagis 25mm f1.9 and a 45mm f1.9 labelled Bolex-Paillard Suisse. The lens mount is 25mm diameter like the 'P' / 'PA' and 'DA' models.
Paillard-Bolex 'D' 9.5/16mm dual-gauge cine projector - approx 1932
These days it is a good idea to provide a transformer supply to the 110 volt motor on these and later 'D' and 'P' series projectors. As there is no motor switch on the projector itself, motor and lamp switches can be provided on the transformer box, not to mention providing earthing for the transformer box and projector itself! Many people convert the lamp to a QI type 24 volt 150 watt type A1/216 which gives a little more whiter light and rather less heat. (These lamps are currently still available and quite inexpensive)
Typical serial number 3712.
PAILLARD BOLEX 9.5MM/16MM DUAL-GAUGE HOME TALKIE PROJECTOR (1930-193?)
Once the Paillard-Bolex model 'D' projector had been introduced, this version equipped with a turntable and valve amplifier was advertised. Although designed for films with a soundtrack on disk (like the cinema had used in the later 1920s), I think few sub-standard films were released with a disk soundtrack - I have a 16mm 1 reeler with the sound on a 16 inch disk (so far not managed to play the disk!). As far as the 9.5mm film gauge was concerned, certainly a number of films with sound on disk were released in the USA, but I am not aware of any being made available in Europe. (Check the American Pathex section of my film catalogues pages to see the American 9.5mm souind-on-disc film releases).
At the time of course, one could have records produced privately, so it would have been quite easy, if you had the money, to make 'home movies' on 9.5mm or 16mm and add sound using a disk, but I'm not sure how good the synchronisation would have been.
Advert in 'Home Movies and Home Talkies' magazine March 1933
The Paillars-Bolex Home Talkie was first advertised in the 'Home Movies and Home Talkies' magazine dated November 1932, but the advert shown above is larger and more complete. The significant item is the mention in all the adverts of a 'talkie library' - maybe that's where my 16mm sound-on-disc item came from? It would be fascinating to see the full list.
Once optical sound-on-film prints became available to the amateur showman, this expensive set-up became obsolete - Bolex soon introduced the 'G' 9.5mm / 16mm dual gauge optical sound set-up listed lower down this page.
PAILLARD BOLEX 'DA' ( AND 'PA') CINE PROJECTOR (1932 - 1937)
Bolex retained the same basic castings as the model 'D', except that this model added the refinement of still pictures operated by the Pathé 9.5mm notched title films. The example shown is fitted with a German made Hugo Meyer 40mm f1.6 lens in a 25mm barrel diametr mount (lift up that little chrome screw head just above the lens mount and the lens slides out).
The layout closely resembles that of the Kodascope 'C' 16mm projector, with its single sprocket and reflected ('indirect') lighting, (the lamp is at 90° to the film gate). In addition to the automatic still picture facility, it has other features expected of a quality projector: adjustable framing (non optical, though), still pictures at will,and a selection of interchangeable lenses available. The original 'PA' was an improvement of the Bolex 'C' (c. 1930). The 'C' was also an indirectly lit machine, made for 16mm only. In many ways it ressembled the later 'PA'; the only major difference being the still picture device; on the model 'C' (and dual-gauge model 'D') it was necessary to pull out a knob to declutch the motor for a still.
The intermittent on the models 'PA' and 'DA' was a simple shuttle with a revolving cam , giving a slow pull-down. It worked in conjunction with a two-bladed shutter, so that at 16 frames / second there was some flicker; this could be minimised by projecting at a slightly higher speed. The automatic notched title device was set in motion by unscrewing a small knob at the side of the 45° lamp reflector. After this was done, a mechanical sensor in the gate detected the notches, stopping the claw and causing the heat filter to drop in place. Titles could be held as a still as long as was required, the mechanism being re-started by twisting another large knob behind the mirror housing. The trip was very finely balanced and controlled by a series of levers within the projector casing. This was delicate, so that attempts to quieten this mechanism with heavier than light 'sewing machine' oil, will cause the automatic trip to fail!
The 'PA' and 'DA' had other well-engineered touches such as a finely cast aluminium body (in one piece), positive twist-over catches for the spools, external adjusters for the reflector and lampholder for optimum lamp position, positive locking of the sprocket cradles, a hand-cranked (geared-up) rewind as well as a motor driven rewind, and a high quality lens.
The original model had a pre-focus 250 watt 110 volt lamp. Some models were supplied with a dropper resistance for our 230 / 240 volt mains, but is is preferable to use a 240 volt to 110 volt transformer. Better still to convert to a modern low voltage QI lamp - see further below.
Looking closely, you can see the 'Stop' still retained in the body casting, but the lever at the side of the drive pulley and the extra free running pulley used on the 'D' are omitted on the 'DA' model. The notched title stop mechanism is reset by the little lever just behind the film gate. The larger chrome lever just below the lens moves the gate plate up and down for framing. For the UK, these were supplied with a dropper resistance for our 230 / 240 volt mains supply. A cable runs from the dropper resistance box to the 110 volt power input socket at the rear of the machine.
The model 'DA' (or 'PA' - the same but for 9.5mm only) is a popular choice for 9.5mm Pathé notched film collectors. It is a good idea to build a small power supply using a modern transformer (a toroid design from Rapid Radio or maybe 'pinch' one from a suitable scrap 35mm slide projector). The unit can be built into the original dropper resistance box making it look more in keeping. The power unit can be fitted with motor and lamp switches - the motor cable still using the projector original 110 volt input socket; whilst the lamp can have a separate cable maybe with 3-pin plug and socket, using the extra wire to earth the projector. I think the 24 volt 150 watt A1/216 QI lamp seems the most useful - claimed to actually provide more light than the original lamps (and a bit less heat!)
Typical 'DA' serial numbers:- 4443;
PAILLARD BOLEX 'DA/37' CINE PROJECTOR (1937 - 1940?)
Bolex publicity leaflet
Also referred to as the DA - 2, the 'DA/37' was an improved version of the 'DA' projector, with better cooling & a 400 watt lamp. To accommodate a larger shutter blade, the shape of the chassis was modified slightly with a taller, more circular top. The model shown in the publicity leaflet above is set for 16mm in the pictures. Size was quoted as 9.5" x 8" x 5" ( 24 x 20 x 13 cms) with a weight of 9 lbs (4.5 Kgs) - quite a neat, compact machine, the 400 foot / 120 metre spool arms folding in for storage.
Paillard Bolex 'DA37' 9.5mm/16mm dual-gauge projector
Controls on base:- motor forward/reverse; lamp switch; motor speed control
Whilst earlier models had a two-bladed shutter, the 'DA/37' had a geared-up spindle for a new shutter (a single bladed one, revolving to give three obscurations per frame, removing flicker at 16 frames / second), which changed the appearance of the 'DA/37' as there was a curved addition to the upper part of the body casting to accomodate the new shutter. There is a problem with this shutter design, although giving more light and less flicker, it often stops in the closed position on notched titles, needing a quick twist of the inching knob to get a picture on the screen to read the titles! It is also noisier because of the rotation speed. The 'DA/37' boasted an upgrade to a 400 watt lamp with an improved cooling fan. Projection lenses were similar to previous models, normally a Hugo-Meyer 40mm f1.6 was supplied; these were in a 25mm mount as before. (Other lenses with focal lengths from 25mm (1 inch) to 65mm (2.5 inch) were avauilable
Spec. plate of a 'DA/37' obtained in the UK somewhere - but the frequency is marked as 60 Hz - not that it matters!
Remember all non-UK European gear is 110 volts up to about 1955!!
(The logo shows that Paillard were into both radio and cine equipment)
Typical DA/37 serial numbers - 6227; 6644
PAILLARD BOLEX 'G' SERIES CINE PROJECTORS (1935 - 1960?)
1938 Instruction booklet cover
The upmarket 'G' series cine projectors were of very high quality, probably some of the finest machines ever made for home movie presentations, but also quite high priced. The tri-gauge model 'G3', introduced around 1936, was still in production into the post-war period with models from 1939 onwards available with in-built transformer for the UK 230/240 volt mains, but maybe this was done by the UK distributors Cinex Ltd. Initially these machines were available in three basic designs - monofilm; dual film or 'bifilm' and tri-film.
Bolex 'G' 1937 brochure
A really high quality machine, the same basic design available in all three model types - 'monofilm', 'bifilm', and trifilm'. Models could be supplied with 400 foot (120 metre ) or 800 foot (240 metre) spool arms. Initially lighting was by 500 watt 110 volt pre-focus lamp, later the G3 tri-gauge was also offered with a similar 750 watt 110 volt pre-focus lamp. Projection lenses depended on the film gauges used, but were generally French made Som Berthiot until about 1939 when UK supplied machines went over to British Dallmeyer lenses (I guess the war meant British lenses were more readily available) - mounted in a 25mm mount, these included 20mm or 25mm (for 8mm); 32mm or 50mm (for 9.5mm and 16mm) - all f1.5 aperture.
Page from 'G' series brochure - proably late 1930s - it mentions chain drive to the spool arms and still offers a 250 watt lamp
The Monofilm models (8mm / 9.5mm / 16mm) were quite straightforward in operation. Gauge change on the Bifilm and Trifilm models was achieved in a similar way to the 'D' series, by changing sprockets, spool arms and gate plates. However changing between 8mm and 9.5mm /16mm entailed adjusting the claw throw and upturnimg the condenser lens assembly - all detailed in the instruction booklet. By 1937 or so, the single bladed shutter had been upgraded to an adjustable two or four bladed design. Pre-war models would only run double-perf. 16mm films.
Spool-spindles were not belt driven; in early models a system of bevel gears and a shaft running the length of the spool arm was used, whilst in later models there was a sprocket and chain drive. The mechanism was gear driven from the motor, removing any need for a motor drive belt. Some models were available with a mechanically operated speed governor. By 1939 an optical sound version of the machine was made available - see section below.
Paillard-Bolex 'G3' 8/9.5/16mm tri-gauge projector - only 400 foot spool arms on my example though
The 110 volts required was supplied in the UK via a dropper resistance box, with later an external transformer alternative. The 'G3' had the luxury of an ammeter fitted at the rear of the base to ensure the lamp was on the correct setting. From around 1939, the 'G3' was advertised in the UK as available with an inbuilt transformer (model Transba I think). Certainly the 'G3' tri-gauge model remained available in the UK up to almost 1960.
Typical G3 serial number: 30814
PAILLARD BOLEX 'G' SERIES OPTICAL SOUND CINE PROJECTORS (1939 - 1940?)
Amateur Cine World magazine advert December 1939
It was a bit late for Paillard Bolex to introduce optical sound projectors in 1939 - the 'Sound-on'Film' machines were pictured in the 'What's New' columns of the Amateur Cine World magazine dated November 1939. Based on the 'G' series machines, there was a 16mm only 'G16' sound projector, a dual 9.5mm/16mm 'G916' sound projector, and the ultimate, the 'G3' which would show 8mm silent films plus 9.5mm and 16mm optical sound films. All models would accept pre-focus 110 volt lamps up to 750 watts and had a 5 watt amplifier with inputs for mic. or gram. The outfit came in two cases - the projector in one, and the amplifier unit in a giant size black loudspeaker case with 50 foot (15 metres) of cable.
Later, first announced in the October 1939 Amateur Cine World magazine was a rather heavy and chunky casting finished in much the same colour as the Paillard Bolex projectors type 'G916', 'G3' and 'G16' models. The projector fitted on top of the sound unit, at the rear, with the necessary sound drum, flywheel, guide rollers and sound head held up at the front of the projector. The 'G916' conversion actually sported an extended take-up arm assembly so that the take-up spool was just forward of the whole assembly (see illustration and photos following).
The base fitted to the projector with three chromed screws at the sides, these operating sliding sleeves, making a complete unit - but rather heavy! There was a large size, heavy wooden case which housed the amplifier unit and contained a decent size permanent magnet loud speaker.
My Bolex example is similar to the one shown in the advert above. My example has a Bolex 'G916' projector fitted, so was able to show both 9.5mm and 16mm optical sound films.The set-up accepts up to 900 foot spools. Originally these machines were supplied with resistance fed 110 volt pre-focus 500 or 750 watt lamps (my example has been converted to 24 volt 150 watt QI lamp A1/216). Whilst the normal 'G' series projectors had a series wound variable speed motor, it seems that those used in the sound versions were soon to have an electrically controlled speed governor fitted. I have just received a superb reproduction Bolex booklet dated 1937 which includes the note below:-
Sept1937 - still provision for record turntable linkage but now a governor for the future optical sound-head
I recall it was working fine (on 9.5mm) when I purchased it many moons ago, but it will be a major upheaval to extricate it from my 'museum room' -(ie front smaller bedroom), to give it a good going over! My Bolex 'G916' 'talkie' example has a serial number of 100178.
Bolex 'G916' mounted on Bolex optical sound base
The amplifier unit was packed in a large wooden carry case equipped with a decent (10 inch?) size permanent magnet loudspeaker unit - the case also had spaces for a loud speaker cable reel and the 9.5mm / 16mm conversion parts. Rather heavy though!
Speaker case and amplifier
Bolex 9.5mm / 16mm talkie speaker / amplifier carrry case
Bolex 'G916' talkie conversion parts - 9.5mm silent / 16mm gates; 16mm spindles; 16mm sound gate; 16mm single perf. sprockets
A closer look at my 'sound base' indicates that it was not originally British made - the text on the knob controls is original - probably Swiss (ie from Bolex). There are controls for On/Off/Volume; Tone and the Microphone input (to allow 'voice over' commentaries for example. The black knob at the front raises and lowers the front feet for height adjustment. I notice that the mains input on the reverse side has had the later IEE mains input socket fitted - I now know this was probably the work of the late John Crichtley - there is a typed threading instructions note in the large speaker/carry case. So my amplifier has been rebuilt with post-war components, probably in the late 1950s or 1960s.
The sound base on my Bolex 'G916' talkie projector
Needless to say, I just had to lift off the cover! (Just unscrew the four outer larger head screws on the base plate, the smaller four screws secure it to the amplifier body). Now another puzzle! The innards are certainly British! UK upgraded since it was new - there are four valves, B9A type, I guess EF86 low noise first stage, ECC83 double triode second stage and phase splitter, 2 x EL84 output pentodes. Maybe someone still remembers the history of this piece of kit! Certainly the valves move us to the later 1950s. Output transformer is on the right hand side. I guess the centre one is for the amplifier and the transformer on the left must supply the projector motor (110 volts) and 24 volts for the upgraded A1/216 24 volt 150 watt lamp.
The 'innards' of my Bolex 'G916' talkie outfit - looks rather modified to me!
This ACW advert dates from 1940
PAILLARD BOLEX 'H9' CINE CAMERA (1935 - 1950?)
Advert in "The Complete 9.5mm Cinematographer" by Harold B. Abbott, probably from 1937
No real need to detail the specifications - the advert above prettty well does it all!
Amateur Cine World magazine June1938 advert
A quality cine camera with an advanced specification, the 'H' series was manufactured in both 16mm, 9.5mm and 8mm versions. Whilst the 16mm 'H16' model continued in production right through to the 1960s or so, with many improvements, the 9.5mm 'H9' model was never upgraded and production ceased probably in the early 1940s. I believe after World War 11 the UK importers offered the 'H9' model for a while to special order as a conversion of 'H16' stocks. (The 1955 edition of D.M. Neales' UK book - "How To Use 9.5" lists the 'H9' camera as 'only available secondhand'.)
My own Bolex 'H9' cine camera
Basically the same specification as the 16mm 'H16' model, the 'H9' accepted 9.5mm camera film on 50 foot / 15 metre or 100 foot / 30 metre spools. There is a single sprocket for film feed and take-up. The camera had a single or triple turret taking standard 'C' mount lenses; in the UK normally supplied with a Dallmeyer 20mm f1.9 lens (the 'H16' was supplied with a 25mm / 1 inch lens) with 15mm wide-angle and 3 inch telephoto as optional extras. Filming speeds are variable from 8 to 64 frames / second. Shutter exposure at 16 frames/second is 1/30th second. Backwind is possible with a rewind crank handle. The direct vision viewfinder shows fields for the three most used lenses. (On the 9.5mm model this was for a 20mm lens, not 25mm as on the 'H16'). A visual focusser enabled direct focussing through the lens when not in use by rotating the lens turret. A 3/8th inch Whitworth tripod bush is fitted, which can be fitted with a UK 1/4 inch Whitworth adaptor. A typical serial number for the 'H9' camera is 9123. There have been a number of conversions of the 'H16' to the 'H9' - look for a tiny H9 on the chromed front end of the detachable optical viewfinder to identify a genuine original 'H9' model!
The optical viewfinder with levers for 75mm and 15mm lenses,
has 'H9' and 'F20' engraved as shown (the 'H9' has a 20mm standard lens) 'H16' finder on the rhs
By 1938 a double-run 8mm version was also introduced, this remained available with many upgrades into the 1960s and the arrival of the dreaded Super8 film format!
Like other 'system' cameras, Bolex introduced various fitted cases for the 'H' series cameras. I think mine here is the H-2 A from 1958.
Thanks to Andrew Alden's useful book (mentioned below) we can see the serial numbers allocated by the Paillard Company for the Bolex 'H' series cine cameras:-
Pre-1936 - up to 7509
1936-37 - 7510 - 10,000
1938-40 - 10,001 - 15,000
1941-43 - 15,001 - 20,000
1944 - 20,000 - 25,000
1945 - 25,001 - 30,000
It is unlikely 9.5mm 'H9' cameras were actually manufactured after around 1939, models with later serial numbers are often private conversions or provided by UK distributors Cinex Ltd themselves. I see my current 'H9' must date from around 1936 or 1937.
Typical genuine 'H9' serial nuubers:- 9123;
Bolex Trifilm Splicer
I have a Bolex trifilm (well tri-gauge) 8 / 9.5 / 16mm splicer in my collection - 9.5mm goes in the inner guides and pins by the way. Never knew why they didn't incorporate the scraper like the excellent French Marguet tri-gauge splicer. Think they were available in the 1930s, but judging by the box and logo, I guess mine must date from the 1950s Still looking for an instruction sheet by the way (English). Think this splicer remained on sale into the 1960s - strange as Bolex had really given up on 9.5mm by then.
Bolex trifilm splicer - 8/9.5/16mm The tool in the front is the separate film scraper.
Bolex trifilm splicer - catalogue picture
Various adverts in "The Amateur Cine World" and "Home Movies and Home Taslkies" magazines
"The Home Cinema - Classic Home Movie Projectors 1922 - 1940" by Gerald McKee 1989
"A Bolex History" by Andrew Alden - privately published about 1993
Any other information / corrections gratefully
received. (gln 22Jan2016)
Please email me Grahame Newnham at: presto @ pathefilm.uk (no spaces in the actual aemail address)
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Created 15Dec2015 ...... Last updated: 07 May 2017 ......
95gearbolex.htm ...... @Grahame L. Newnham MMV
07May2017 - tidied, various 'typos' corrected - maybe more - sorry - it's the red wine!