Gear

 

9.5MM GEAR

 

I have said somewhere on this site that 9.5 was a "gear" hobby; that is to say, Pathé and others made available huge amounts of stuff for you to spend your money on piecemeal as your pocket money mounted up or your wages came in, with colourful packaging to tempt the unwary. It is now time to demonstrate the truth of my assertion. This is just part of it; I bet there's a lot more out there I don't got or haven't got access to. All additions gratefully received. Trouble is, much of it was designedly ephemeral, and survival in good condition is less frequent than one would hope. And all of this is quite apart from the more serious and expensive direct projector add-ons featured under Babies.

I thought a good place to start would be, first the famous Coq logo, in a nice Art Deco style version, then the classic Baby projector.

 

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This is a Baby with quite a few of the add-on bits you could buy. Motor, super reel attachment, rewind attachment, magnifier lens (often referred to as an enlarger lens, but that name properly belongs to the attachment for making enlargements of individual 9.5 frames).  To operate, you naturally put it on a special mat, as it had no rubber feet to keep it still or stop it scratching. The rubber ones (which themsdelves show considerable variation) tend to harden, discolour or warp, but the card ones (for Lux as well as Baby) seem to do better. Why so many types? So you spend more money! And having put your baby on the mat, you need a way of tilting it (in case you actually want to show a film, rather than just playing with your Gear). Presumably the posh wood one was just too expensive and was replaced by economy metal jobbies.To this must be added unseen items like various lamps and special condenser and projection lenses, and other stuff I don't got (all offers gratefully received) like tilting attachment, slide copying thing, dynamo, colour wheel. And none of this covers the extensive range of variations in the design of the machine itself, like the cartouches on the side of the mech housing, focussing arrangement and all the myriad minor design changes that accumulate for a machine in production over a prolonged period.

There were, of course, far more accessories and associated things than this. Here are a few.

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 Notable features are four (and very possibly more) different models of notcher, an early wooden-based splicer (I am told there was an even earlier all-wood one) and the incredibly deceptive rainbow packaging for B&W film. As Paul van Someren notes in his History of 9.5mm, there were far too many types of film charger and other loading systems, what with Baby-size, motocamera and H, plus Rio and all sorts of other manufacturers' variants on the basic charger. And everything was packaged, sometimes doubly so, as in the case of the little alu pot of film patches with tweezers, which in turn came in a cardboard box (see last pic above). In the same pic are tiny pots holding lenses and filters, a little black box which contained an improved projector lens, and a couple of little metal things bottom right which I have no idea whether thay are even 9.5, let alone what they are for.

The big idea, of course, was that you would make your own films, and would therefore need a camera. I've never been big into cameras, so these are just odd bits I have accumulated over the years.

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Reading across, we have a basic (and battered) Baby and a motocamera, an H and something that looks like an austerity model - I think it took the H charger - another H and motocamera, a Coronet and a Pat and finally the Prince. Below is a more comprenensive look at the Baby, courtesy David Richardson.

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All of these cameras came in cases, usually of that same stuff they made suitcases out of - shoddy by name and shoddy by nature - which gets hard and inflexible with age. Mostly the cases I have aren't fit to be seen, but I have included one because it's unusual in being a "solid" box rather than mock leather. I just love the Prince camera - it's the prettiest of the lot and the only one I have ever used (strictly family home movie stuff) and one of these two I actually won at a raffle at a 9.5 do somewhere in about 1970. I love this kind of colouring and styling - how they came to pair it with the bizarre - but not unattractive - Princess is a mystery.

Users of the Baby soon found the advantages of a motor. I know you like inside bits, so here is a Baby camera motor, courtesy Tony Reypert. There were at least two quite different clockwork mechs, but I ent looked at the other in detail.

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A few more bits.

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Here we have a circular exposure guide, a much more elaborate squarer thing called, with no foreknowledge of the different meaning poser has today, the Posagraph, with a set of portrait/close-up lenses and the variety of different spools (including one from Film Office) your films might come back on after processing. Then an illustration of the entrenched Poverty Row nature of the cine hobby, a reel made from one of those in the previous pic with glue-on plastic rims for DIY larger spools. I ask you! I have a number of different oil cans, with little to tell which gauge sold them (other gauges also did gear, of course); this one is almost certainly Pathé. The last pic is of the box and instructions for a Super Condenser Lens, alleged to pass more light (and heat?). The actual lens shown is probably the one it replaced, still kept in the new on'e box. Same thing with the projection lens, I guess.

There's no doubt a lot more of this stuff, eg the Lido, Rio and Webo cameras, so I defy anyone to say 9.5 (and no doubt other gauges, too) was not a "gear" hobby. For more proof, see under Pathé Catlogs.

Most of the lamp boxes et al below are David Richardson's.. I do not know why I inserted the opening German ad in the first place, but I thouight I'd keep it. The 18v one mite be a bit of an intruder.

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Yet more bits. Naturally one needs to keep one's Baby clean; here are the things you need, all in a neat, expensive package. I bet the tin cost more than the contents. I have showed you the first splicer before; compare with the much more elaborate - needlessly? - version and the good old utilitarian metal one in the good old utilitarian packaging. A lot of early French stuff used this style, eg 300' film boxes and spares such as the Super Arms below. I think the Muray splicer is unused - Ken Valentine was selling off a batch he had found. But what is with that chrome one on the wooden base? There is no provision for cutting the film to length or csraping the ends. yet it's a solidly-engineered thing - it is held onto its wooden base by four large nuts which are presumably on screwed rods welded to the flat base. Why go to all that trouble and miss basics?

 

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The penuiltimate item was a new one on me - I believe it is for putting the clips which hold the end of a film into the centre of a cassette.      

 

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 You can find catalogues et al via this link.