That camera appeared in 1931. It was considered a toy back then. It takes 50 foot spools, not 100 ft spools. The spool holes and the inside hub dimensions on the 50 spool are identical to the 100 foot ones, or the Kodak R-90 spool of today. If you get 100ft loads of film, you'll have to wind them down to the 50 ft spool. Double 8 spools will not fit on the round feed spindle, or the squared to round take up spindle.
Where do you get 50ft 16mm spools? I don't know. Kodak stopped providing 50 ft spools in the '60s, maybe into the early 70s, my guess. I've once saw a 50ft spool, but that was a long time ago when I was 1st starting out. Good luck finding those today!!
Dom, as for the pull down claw, according to a page from the instruction manual, it is in the correct position for pulling single perf film. The claw appears to be 2 pins on top of each other, away from the door, not like the very early 2 pin B&H 70 pull down assembly.
How does one hold this camera and crank it? Maybe that was it's demise......
The Vitascope camera was introduced in April, 1931. There was a P.R. piece about it printed in the April, 1931 issue of "Movie Makers" magazine, a magazine for the 'Home Movie' enthusiast........
Vol 6 Movie Makers - April 1931 page 208
Then in May, Vitascope ran a full page ad for the system.....
Vol 6 Movie Makers - May 1931 page 229
Hmmmmm, a Wollensak lens.
You can read the 1931 Movie Makers magazines here. Interesting ads and articles about early movie productions and equipment.....
Vitascope ran ads thru the end of the year, then stopped by Jan 1932. I saw no mention of Vitascope after that. Also, in the middle of 1932 8mm (double 8) started appearing.
A group shot of early 16mm home movie cameras. You can see that the Vitascope is somewhat smaller than the big boys that took 100 ft loads. Oh, the big boys had spring drives.
I found one page of the instruction manual (amazing) in an article about early filmmaking. Not very good quality, but it does describe loading of the camera and shows an illustration of the inside of the camera. Sheesh, only 1 page of the manual, so close.........
It also states that the 50 foot spool only had 30 feet of film on it. The rest of the 50 ft must have been taken up by 16mm perforated opaque paper leader and trailer used to protect the film from exposure to light when loading and unloading. Anyone know why this was done? I do. :-) .....Simon?
(It was Hand Cranking that killed the beast!)