Distorting Lens Animates Cartoons (Jul, 1932)

Distorting Lens Animates Cartoons

HAVE you ever stretched the drawings on a rubber apron to make them take various shapes and proportions? Or blown up a balloon on which was a design and watched it grow more and more distorted?

This same effect is achieved from a drawing by means of distorting lenses in a new projection machine, shown above, recently invented by Maurice E. Morris, Ogden, Utah. When turning the crank, which revolves the lenses, the object is made to appear in various animated shapes due to the action of convex and concave mirrors.

Home Movies From Phonograph Records (Jun, 1932)

This reminds me of the RCA Selectavision system.

Home Movies From Phonograph Records

PLAY a moving picture from a phonograph record!

When Baird, the English television experimenter, suggested this system several years ago, he did not realize how soon it would be before his prophecy would come true.

Those who have listened to television programs know that the signals become audible in the form of a shrill whistle in the loudspeaker. This whistle carries the picture elements in the form of modulated sound.

MICKEY ROONEY as Young Tom Edison (Apr, 1940)


MICKEY ROONEY as Young Tom Edison

• Original Screen Play by Bradbury Foote, Dore Schary and Hugo Butler
• Directed by Norman Taurog Produced by John W. Considine, Jr.

Big Chemist’s Retort Built for Movie (Feb, 1940)

Big Chemist’s Retort Built for Movie

Four feet in diameter and more than five feet high, what is believed to be the largest chemist’s retort ever made was fashioned from a new plastic material for use in a current motion-picture scene. In the film, a magician “creates” a full-grown woman inside of what appears to be an empty glass retort. The scene is shown above.

Hollywood’s Funny Money Man (Mar, 1952)

Hollywood’s Funny Money Man
LEW O’Callahan turns out millions of dollars each year in his own personal mint and the Treasury Department doesn’t give him a tumble. Although his money is as phony as a three-dollar bill, it never gets beyond the Hollywood movie cameras. For 31 years Lew has been quietly but legally turning out everything from tissue-thin five-pound notes to crisp green pesos, from Confederate money to French francs. And just think—the Internal Revenue boys haven’t been able to touch a cent of it!

Rubber “Actors” Lend Realism to Movies (May, 1924)

Rubber “Actors” Lend Realism to Movies

Comic, Educational and Scientific Pictures Are Worked Out on Miniature Stage with Animated Figures

BY means of a series of ingenious inventions and most painstaking study of anatomy and sculpture, a Los Angeles producer has created a type of animated miniature figures which opens up most interesting fields in the realm of educational and scientific motion pictures.

As in the case of the use of all miniature figures, the process of making motion pictures of this inventor’s figures is a laborious one, each exposure on the film necessitating a re-posing of the “actors.” In producing 500 feet as much as four months is required to set up the various scenes and make the hundreds of poses. The work is not unlike that of the maker of animated cartoons who has to make a new sketch for each exposure in the film.

Underwater Scenes Filmed from Odd Boat (Jun, 1938)

Underwater Scenes Filmed from Odd Boat

Suspended like twin keels from the hull of a specially designed boat, cylindrical steel chambers fitted with thick glass windows enable motion-picture photographers at Silver Springs, Fla., to make a series of underwater movies. When a scene is to be taken, a cameraman descends from the boat deck into the submerged photographing chamber. Swimmers then dive from the deck to perform their feats in full view of the lens, as depicted above. The electrically propelled craft can be moved about during a scene to permit close-ups and various camera angles.


To bring motion pictures into the home, a camera and projector are being made that use tubular films costing a little more
than the average “still” photograph. One strip, which is of noninflammable film, will carry 1,664 pictures. The camera may be loaded in daylight. One reel equals 150 feet of standard film, and can be purchased for 75 cents. In projecting, rewinding and threading of the reels have been eliminated. The device may be attached to any electric-light socket. The camera is made of aluminum and differs little from the ordinary apparatus. The lens is always in focus, making it easy for the amateur to “shoot” pictures.

Movie Sounds from Queer Machines (Jul, 1932)

Movie Sounds from Queer Machines

When horses clatter down the street on the talkie screen, you can wager that the sound of their hoof-beats has been registered by a machine like that shown above. Arms on the two crank-turned wheels strike against metal brackets. The device is used mainly in comedy work.

Earthquakes must frequently be recorded in the talkies, and of course, nature can’t be depended on to supply these sound effects for the director. On such occasions the huge drum shown above is brought into action. Bowling balls are placed inside the metal drum, which is then revolved by a hand crank.

Real Scenery for Popeye (Nov, 1936)

Real Scenery for Popeye


LIKE immense slices of pie on a twelve-foot plate, curious miniature movie sets made of clay, wood, sponges, plaster, and cardboard now add new realism to animated cartoons by creating an illusion of depth. In the New York studios where Popeye, Betty Boop, and other famous characters of the screen cartoons come to life, such sets are replacing the flat, sketched-in backgrounds familiar in the past.