Grahame N's Web Pages
by Grahame Newnham B.Sc. MIEE
Sadly I can find little reference to the beginnings of the French Heurtier cine projector company, but they were certainly trading as Heurtier et Cie at St. Etienne, France from around 1939 up to about 1981 when they probably went the way of most other cine equipment manufacturers. We know the owner in the later years was Antoine Heurtier - there is a cine projector integral take-up spool design patented by him in the 1970s. From post war publicity, it is known that there was a Heurtier tri-gauge projector from the late 1930s - it was awarded a gold medal by the French Ministry of Commerce in 1938. The fact that the motor drive belt remained the same through to the 1960s, suggests that the original 1938 tri-gauge silent projector was much the same as the later versions. In my basic listing of the Heurtier machines I have got a Supertri 38 - full details and a photo are yet to be discovered. The first model for which I have a picture and some specifications is the Supertri 44
HEURTIER SUPERTRI 44 CINE PROJECTOR
Heurtier Supertri 44 cine projector
The illustration above comes from an advertisement in a French cine magazine Cine Amateur dated September 1949. The design already has the rotatable sprockets for all three gauges (8mm / 9.5mm / 16mm), there is a single switch (presumably for motor and lamp) and a motor speed control on the operating side of the machine. Voltage was 110 volts only and spool size 400 foot. A pilot lamp sticks out rather dangerously in the front between the feed and take-up spools. I think pre-focus lamps of 250 watt (A1/5) or up to 500 watts (A1/7) could be used.
HEURTIER MONOFILM 50 CINE PROJECTOR
Heurtier Monofilm 50 cine projector
Just when I thought my Heurtier listings were fairly complete, I spotted this item on French e-bay. It's a single gauge (16mm) version, but model 50 - not seen this model number before. Green instead of grey, but the casting seems to be almost like that used for the 53 series onwards, but I think the bit around the lens is different; it has lost the front mounted pilot lamp as on the model 44 above, but no pilot light aperture by the gate yet. Maybe there was also a tri-gauge version? (gln 06Feb2015)
HEURTIER SUPERTRI 50 CINE PROJECTOR
Heutier Supertri 50 cine projector
Well, what could we do without the internet! Now we really know that the model 50 (date around 1950 I guess), was also available as a tri-gauge machine. Thanks to French ebay, here is the proof! This example looks to have 900ft spool arms. This has been photographed with the film gate removed. Hopefully for the purchaser the film gates are in the box somewhere. We can see the design is moving towards the model 53 listed below. It would be for 110 / 125 volts only, maybe a 250 and/or 500 watt lamp, but I have no actual specifications yet. No provision for an earth connection, input via the two pins just visible. Again always check these vintage machines electrically; run on the correct voltage, and maybe via an earth leakage trip. Most of us can survive a 110 volt shock, but those with weak hearts beware! From the photo below, a typical serial number is 6487. (This one is for sale at 200 Euros currently) (gln 26Sep2016)
Heurtier 50 tri-gauge spec. plate
HEURTIER SUPERTRI 53 CINE PROJECTOR
Heurtier Supertri 53 cine projector
The Supertri 53 was a restyled machine but with most of the original design retained. It had either 400 foot or 900 foot spool arms amd ran from 110 volts (standard in France at the time), using 110 volt pre-focus lamps of 250 watt (A1/5) or up to 500 watt (A1/7) rating. It had a series wound variable speed motor. The machine was suitable for 8mm (what we now call standard 8mm), 9.5mm and 16mm silent films. The spool arm spindle fittings unscrew with drive heads for each gauge; the bookform film gates slide out upwards (ensure the triple claw is retracted!); the claw throw is changed using the lever just below the lens mount; the shutter is adjusted; and the triple sprocket assembly is rotated to the required film size. All in all quite a clever and ingenious design The chromed knob at the bottom right is to release the front feet for height adjustment. There is an internal pilot lamp at the top front of the lamp house, which goes off when the projection lamp is turned on (125/130 volt 15 watts E14 S.E.S. base, frosted pygmy - just gently unscrew and pull out). Framing is adjusted by means of the edge milled knob visible under the claw change lever. A decent carry handle is part of the main body casting. The lens mount is 32.5mm diameter - a sort of European standard at the time. Generally it was offered with Som Berthiot or Angenieux lenses - 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm & 70mm for 9.5mm and 16mm, plus 20mm or 25mm for 8mm. (incidentally 20mm or 25mm lenses will not usually cover the 16mm frame - giving vignetting at the picture corners and maybe some image distortion at picture extremities - check the size of the rear lens element!). Single gauge versions of this machine were also offered - no rotating sprocket assembly or claw change knob - these were known as Monofilm I think. (initially in 9.5mm or 16mm models, later also an 8mm model).
By now the company Heurtier & Cie, was based at Square Franklin-Roosevelt, (Le Rond-Point), Saint-Etienne, Loire, FRANCE
HEURTIER P.S. 8-100 CINE PROJECTOR
Certainly it seems that no Heurtier machines were officially imported into the UK until around 1960. No doubt some examples did arrive in the UK as 'war spoils' but I haven't come across any early examples yet in this country. The first mention of the Heurtier brand in the UK seems to be in the Amateur Cine World magazine dated 23rd February 1961 with a standard 8mm projector, the P.S. 8-100 being distributed by Actina. Probably a little expensive, it doesn't seem to be listed in later dealers' advertisements and I guess was gently dropped from Actina distributed photographic lines.
Heurtier PS8 8mm cine projector
HEURTIER SUPERTRI 58 AND 60 CINE PROJECTORS
The next 9.5mm Heurtier mention I have found in the UK cine press is in the Amateur Cine World magazine dated 21st June 1961 where the regular The 9.5mm Reel from Centre Sprocket reviews the Heurtier Supertri projector, presumably the Supertri 58 model. Looking at the illustration below one can see there are now two rotary switches - the left one for: off / motor on / lamp pre-heat / lamp full , the right one for motor speed. There is a fifth position on the rotary switch - unused on earlier model 58 machines, this provides a reverse run on later 58 and 60 models. Another change is a non-operating side mounted switch for 110 / 220 volts - (France had a mains voltage change to 220 volts in the mid. 1950s.) This switch is for the motor, which is supplied via a small transformer built into the base of the machine; the lamp is still a pre-focus mains voltage 500 watt (A1/7) type but with a pre-heat facility to extend lamp life, there is a screw on the side of the lamphouse for precise adjustment. Don't leave the switch in 'pre-heat' for more than a few seconds or the lamphouse mounted resistor may crack and/or burn out! There is the same internal pilot lamp at the top front of the lamp house, which goes off when the projection lamp is turned on (125/130 volt 15 watts E14 S.E.S. base, frosted pygmy type - just gently unscrew and pull out). There is also a still picture clutch operated by a lever at the bottom and just behind the film gate- the motor runs faster for extra cooling and a heat filter drops in front of the lamp. On the non-operating side of the machine near the mains input is a European two pin socket - I believe this was for a room lamp connection, but on my example there are no connections to this, it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the instruction book. (A typical Supertri 58 serial number is 103069)
Heurtier Supertri 58 leaflet
The Heurtier Supertri was originally imported by 9.5mm dealer D.M. Bentley from around the early 1960s. By 1963 he offered the Supertri 58 (at £89 - 10sh), the Monofilm (at £79 - 8sh) and the Heurtier HSM optical sound (at £230) - but more of the HSM later. By 1965 a proper importer / distributor had been set up - Films In Miniature Ltd, initially based in a private house in Romsey, (just a quick trip down the road from me!), and soon with a business address the other side of Southampton. The leaflet is probably from around 1965, and mentions reverse running, which I thought didn't appear till the Supertri 60 model. I have had a Supertri 58 in my collection, but currently just have a Supertri 60 model - (just look on the specification and serial number plate near the mains input) - (typical serial number for a Supertri 60 is 104338). My machine still runs very smoothly and quietly, giving a sharp bright rock steady picture. Naturally the picture brightness on 8mm is not nearly so good.
My Heurtier Supertri 60 - how does it differ from model 58?
Looking at the instruction book, Heurtier now included the Monofilm and Supertri in their 'Group 1' machines list, which was soon to include the Monoson and Superson machines. Are you keeping up? I'm certainly having problems!
HEURTIER MONOSON & SUPERSON CINE PROJECTORS
The Heurtier Monoson was basically a single gauge (mostly 9.5mm models) version of the Supertri, standing on a magnetic sound base. Another variation was the Superson - a tri-gauge magnetic sound version. These were all 'Group 1' machines.
Heurtier tri-gauge magnetic sound cine projector
These Monoson and Superson models were single gauge or tri-gauge machines with a magnetic sound base. They were presented for the first time at the Salon de la Photo et du Cinema at Paris in March 1954, we are told in the instruction booklet. There was a fixed speed of 16 or 24 frames / second, and interchangeable magnetic heads for each film size. The six watt valve amplifier has outputs for a 3.5 ohm loudspeaker, whilst the 15 watt version can be internally adjusted for 3, 8, 15, 200 and 500 ohms. These machines could take up to 750 watt pre-focus lamps and had 300 metre / 1000 foot spool arms as standard. In the UK, the 9.5mm Monoson model had been imported by D.M. Bentley from around late 1963, with Films In Miniature Ltd. taking over the distribution a few years later.
Group 9.5 "The 9.5 Review" magazine Dec1963/Jan1964
I notice the advertisment above lists the silent speed as 18 frames / second whilst a French instruction book I have lists 16 frames / second - maybe a later specification change. One of the cases held the projector whilst the other housed the amplifier and loud speaker. Extras included a mic / gram mixer unit and special 110 volt transformer if one wanted to use the more efficient 110 volt projection lamps. Not ever having owned one of these beasts I can't detail the valve line-up but it is probably the same as the H.S.M. below. (maybe you have an example for sale / loan? - gln).
HEURTIER H.S.M. SERIES CINE PROJECTORS
A problem with the Heurtier range of cine projectors was that there was such a choice of specifications that each machine had to be virtually ordered individually. In practice in the UK, the distributors just offered one version with others to special order. The H.S.M. models were the Heurtier "Group 2" series, based on a much larger and heavier cine projector mechanism. The series (mentioned in a 1950 French cine magazine), started with a basic H.S.M. muet (silent) 16mm or tri-gauge silent ("universel") model; then a H.S.M. muet et sonore (optical sound & silent) 16mm or 9.5mm / 16mm optical sound & 8mm silent, a 16mm optical sound / silent plus magnetic record/playback, and finally an H.S.M. Universel Tri-Film muet (silent) and Bi-Film sonore (sound) 9.5mm and 16mm which could be upgraded to magnetic sound in 8mm, 9.5mm, and / or 16mm.
Image shows H.S.M. silent tri-gauge cine projector
This was a much larger, heavier, quality, semi-professional machine; available as silent or sound/silent models, the magnetic / optical sound machines have 6 or 15 watt amplifiers, 10 or 12 inch auditorium loud speaker in cabinet, single / multi-gauge (std 8mm, 9.5mm, & 16mm), 16 and 24 frames / second, asychronous motor, gear box driven, 600 metre / 2000 foot spool capacity, earlier machines have pre-focus mains voltage lamps up to - A1/59 1000watts, later machines (my example included) have A1/242 240volt 1000watt Q17 valve base projector lamp (or has mine been modified?); 32.5mm diameter lens mount - 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm & 70mm f1.5 lenses for 9.5mm & 16mm / 20mm or 25mm f1.8 for 8mm. (typical HSM tri-gauge optical / magnetic serial number: 73164)
Advert in "The 9.5 Review" dated Feb/Mar1965
The asychronous capacitor start motor has a switch which is pushed all the way down to start the motor, but once the thing is up to speed, immediately release this switch which then returns to a centre on position. Keeping the motor switch pushed fully down for even a few seconds longer will burn out the motor windings - be warned! The 6 watt amplifier has a 3.5 ohm speaker output with a 10 inch speaker unit in separate cabinet, and has a valve line up of EF86 (low noise pentode), ECC83 (twin triode), EL84 (output pentode), 6AQ5 (pentode), EM34 ('magic eye'), EZ80 (rectifier). The 15 watt amplifier has internally switched output for 3, 8, 16, 200 or 500 ohms and has a valve line-up of 2 x EF86, ECC83, 2 x EL84, 6AQ5 (pentode), EM34 ('magic eye') and comes with a 12 inch loudspeaker in separate cabinet.
Heurtier HSM 8 volt 4 amp (15mm diameter base) exciter lamp
The optical sound models used a peculiar exciter lamp - 8 volt 4 amp Ba/15s but no locating pins with vertical filament which fits into a special two pin holder (this is removed from the machine by inserting a thin rod into a hole in the non-operating side of the machine - gentle pushing on the rod and easing of the front of the assembly will eventually release the unit); from around 1960 they were fitted with a small germanium photo-diode (OAP12) in place of the older type photo-cell.
HSM six watt amplifier
The photo above shows a six watt HSM amplifier with its lid off. Power supply transformer on bottom right hand side with voltage adjustments, smoothing choke above. The EZ80 rectifier valve is just to the left of the mains transformer with a couple of smoothing capacitors above. The 3.5 ohm output transformer is just to the right of centre (the extra pair of twisted black wires go to a standard jack socket - a modification to allow the use of common speaker cables); with the EL84 output pentode valve just below and to the left of the output transformer. In the centre the black tube covers the EM34 'magic eye' level indicator, whilst just to the left is the erase oscillator 6AQ5 valve. Input pre-amp etc. is on the left hand side. There are about four indicator lamps - two in screw cover fittings and two for illumination of the control panel.- these appear to be normal 6.5 volt 300mA MES (E10) clear tubular bulbs). Problems may be valves and smoothing / coupling capacitors - looks like it may be difficult to remove for any major servicing!
HSM six watt amplifier
The underneath of the HSM six watt amplifier (with cover off!) - nice neat hand wiring - mains transformer on top right hand side. Note earth bus bar running along the top of the wiring - even the loud speaker output is earthed. I suppose after all this activity, I need to actually run the amplifier! (gln 04Feb2015)
I think the amplifier specifications below apply to all the sound models - Monoson, Superson, H.S.M. amd Super-Panoralux
Heurtier UK leaflet probably mid. 1960s
HEURTIER SUPER-PANORALUX CINE PROJECTOR
Basically an H.S.M. model with even brighter light output thanks to a f1.2 lens in a larger mount with scope lens bracket fitting and potential for a 1200 watt lamp if fed via a 110 volt transformer. The Super-Panoralux was supplied with the 15 watt amplifier.
Heurtier UK leaflet probably mid. 1960s
More like a fan heater than a cine projector - the lamp has a pre-heat switch - don't leave it in pre-heat for more than a few seconds - the dropper resistance will either crack or burn out! I only had my machine running for a few minutes and that 1000 watt lamp blew!! Not cheap these days - perhaps a QI low voltage conversion is needed .....
So an interesting range of projectors for ninefivers to seek out. Not really intended to be portable and somewhat complicated to operate - do read the instructions first to avoid damaging the triple claw or burning out the pre-heat resistor or the drive motor! Performance is not to my mind exceptional; the triple claw whilst theoretically useful, is not happy with shrunken film. The 1000 watt lamp is ridiculous and surely was a little ouit of date by the mid. 1960s - I guess the UK may have been buying up remaindered stock. It is as though the machines were designed by a scientist and not an engineer. I can find few advertisements in the French magazines, maybe not top sellers even in France.
HEURTIER CINE CAMERA(S)
I was not aware that Heurtier had ever ventured into the cine camera market, but lo and behold, there is one advertised on French e-bay - looks like a standard 8mm model - a Heurtier FA-58 cine camera with 9 - 35mm f1.8 Angenieux zoom lens, variable shutter etc. (Serial number 15464)
Heurtier 8mm zoom cine camera - very rare I guess!
LATER SUPER 8MM CINE PROJECTORS
Years later of course, Heurtier turned out a number of Super 8mm and dual 8mm designs, which were advertised well in the UK. Again, upmarket technically, but some reviews mentioned sound sync. problems and film not staying on the sound heads. I can't comment because I have never aspired to owning any Heurtier Super 8mm machines prefering Noris and Elmo models for Super 8mm sound film use.
1970s Heurtier Std/Super 8mm P6- 24B magnetic sound cine projector
Interestingly there is a connection with the 9.5mm film gauge as the 1969 revamped 9.5mm Europ from Ligonie in France, with constant speed motor and QI lighting known as the Pathe / Ligonie Europ IM 250S used a modified Heurtier magnetic sound base from the Heurtier P6-24 (Super 8mm) or P6-24B (dual gauge 8mm) for the magnetic record / playback 9.5mm Super Europ sound projector.
1969 9.5mm Europ IM 250S uses the Heurtier P6-24B sound base
Finally in 1979 a new design series of Heurtier Super 8mm projectors were launched - ranging from a basic silent model through to single, dual track and stereo magnetic sound stripe machines.
Movie Maker magazine advertisement April 1979
The Movie Maker UK cine magazine had a full test report of the Heurtier Duo 942 Super 8mm cine projector in the May 1979 issue.
By now of course video tape had reared its ugly head and the use of cine in any gauge began to decline rapidly. The UK Amateur Cine World magazine had morfed into Movie Maker which heavily featured video tape systems, and I think this magazine was merged with another before cine became the province of non-commercial groups - with even today various enthusiast magazines surviving thanks to volunteers. Adverts for the 942 series dropped to half page and then dissapeared as did the actual Heurtier Company by around 1981. For ninefive enthusiasts there are still good examples of the silent Supertri 58 and 60 models available secondhand, although rather more in France than the UK. The more upmarket HSM series are fairly rare and not really portable! Keep looking though!
(©Grahame L. Newnham - 02Feb2015)
HEURTIER SUPERTRI AND HSM NOTES
1. All the examples of the Supertri and H.S.M. projector series that I have come across just use a European two pin input socket. These are not even marked for live and neutral (but then neither is much of French house wiring!). I would recommend fitting a standard Europlug input socket to these machines if you intend to use one regularly.
Heurtier Supertri 60 Euro socket mains input added
If not, ALWAYS plug them in (and any other older electrical equipment), via an Earth Leakage Trip adaptor - these are under a tenner and can save your life! I just cut a suitable hole, removed the existing input socket and connected it with the live going via the internal switches in the machine. (To make the mains socket aperture I had to drill a series of holes and then use a trusty hand file). Maybe on talkie versions the amplifier will pick up a decent earth via the body connecting clips or a single earth wire could be used - there is an earth socket on the amplifier base - marked 'terre'. (In the photo above you can just see the model 60 on the black spec. plate and the voltage change switch for the motor which MUST be set to 220 volts in the UK! - the text says 'fit a projection lamp of the corresponding voltage to the switch below')
Heurtier Supertri 60 with bottom cover removed - the small transformer is for the pilot lamp and motor
- the wiring on that 'Yaxley' multi-position switch looks a bit complicated!
2. I have discovered that on all Supertri and HSM examples I have seen recently, the rear film gate pressure pad has become slightly distorted - I guess it is some sort of casting (mazak?) and is best left alone. All my machines still run fine with a decent sharp picture.
3. The short focus lenses (20mm or 25mm) supplied with the tri-gauge projectors are intended for showing 8mm films. Some will just cover the 9.5mm frame, but certainly there will be vignetting at the corners of the 16mm image and possibly some picture distortion at the extreme edges. The rear element of these lenses is quite small - a short throw lens intended for 16mm will have larger rear element and be quite expensive if you can find one!
4. The use of high wattage pre-focus lamps is wasteful and inefficient and can cause overheating of the machine and films. They are also no longer manufactured (are any filament lamps still in production?) and hence very expensive. It should be possible to fit modern QI low voltage lighting - but I doubt if there is room in the lamphouse to accomodate the necessary transformer, unless just a 12 volt 100 watt QI lamp is used with a small electronic transformer. As the original lamps were so highly rated - 500 watts plus, there should be more than adequate cooling for a 24 volt 250 watt QI lamp, but with an external teansformer. If the condenser lenses are cracked or the reflector is badly tarnished, then an integral reflector QI type (A1/259) lamp will makes these items redundant anyway.
5. My H.S.M. machine - tri-gauge, mag record/playback, 9.5mm/16mm optical sound, 6 watt amplifier, 32.5mm mount f1.5 lens, 1000 watt lamp - has "Super Panoralux" on the specification/serial number plate - but not the 15 watt amplifier, not the larger lens mount and no screw fitting for the 'scope lens attachment - weird! Perhaps they had just run out of HSM spec. plates!
6. The Supertri / Monofilm / Superson (ie Group 1 machines) motor drive belt is the same as the 200B motor drive and the Gem/Son rewind belt. These are currently available on my sales list. My lightweight spring belts will just about work on the feed and take-up on these machines but thicker ones would be better.
7. The pygmy 15 watt 110 volt Supertri pilot lamp bulbs are now on my sales lists, as are specially made HSM exciter lamps. (gln 27Sep2015)
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Created 02Feb2015 .......... Last updated: 03 October 2016 ...........
95gearheurtier.htm ............ ©MMXV Grahame Newnham's Web
06Feb2015 - Model 50 photos added / 08Feb2015 - Exciter lamp photo added 27Sep2015 - minor tidying & typos corrected!
26Sep2016 - Supertri 50 added