Special effect cine-camera, c1900

This is one of the earliest ‘special effects’ cine-cameras ever made. This type of camera was used by Brighton film maker George Albert Smith, a pioneer of the ‘close up’ shot.

What can we see?

Making Your Mark

Alfred Darling’s company logo is stamped inside the camera and on the doors of the film boxes. This was so that he could promote himself as the manufacturer of a camera, even when it bore the label of the distributing company.

Baring teeth

The two sprockets have 16 teeth at each end. These fit into the holes down the side of the film strip and enable the film to move through the camera.

A Peep into the Past

This is the viewfinder and focus tube. The brass cover would be removed so the film maker could see through the lens at the front and adjust the focus.

What’s ‘Special’ then?

These aperture plates could be fitted into the camera, creating a shaped ‘mask’ on the film. They were used with close up shots to give the impression of looking through a telescope, magnifying glass or binoculars.

Author: Alexia Lazou, Collections Assistant

Image credit: James Pike

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