Richardson Collection




David Richardson is a collector who has decided to focus - on Babies. This enables him to keep space requirements under control (some hope in my case!) and to develop much greater depth of knowledge and detail than the more flibbertigibbet butterflies such as me. If they could find anyone to do the questions, he could go on Masternerd. He occasionally has a slight fall from grace, (see Toys) but overall seems to have remarkable willpower. He has now sent me so many pix I thought he deserved a page of his own.

We start with a guide to spotting the Model A. Stuff in quotes is from Dave himself.

"I thought for anybody that may be interested I would point out the main points of a Model A Pathé Baby as people get confused.

The main identifying points are as follows:-

Smaller Mirror compared to next Model ( Picture 1),

Smaller projection nozzle ( Picture 2)

Lamp house reflector comes off complete with bulb holder and wiring (Picture 3).

Next Model - only reflector comes off (Picture 4)"

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Next, some splendid pix of Babies with unusual attachments, for which many thanks - these are superb.

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Reading from left to right, we have the Enlarger attachment for making frame blow-ups, a continuous projection attachment, a French patent lamphouse of unknown manufacture and a French-style machine with Souplex super attachments and motor.

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Here we have the not-wholly-unknown rear-mounted dynamo, and one I've never heard of, a side-mounted dynamo with its own special mat. Next is a close-up of the Souplex motor and its friction brake and last, a front-mounted "R" motor, fitted with the optional flywheel for smoother running and its own special resistor, which I'd also never heard of. David promises more pix, too.

And here they are:-


This is a Model A Baby fitted to a wooden base, with the Rotor type B motor fitted in front of the projector.




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This is a Model A Fitted on a board with Rotor type B motor, but rear-mounted. David believes this was a later model, but both by the same manufacturer as the fittings are identical, and that the changed position of the motor was to allow for the fitting of Super arms. The "before" pic above shows just how good David is at this restoration business. The black resistance adjusts motor speed, the other control is to switch on the room light after projection. David says:-

"In the early days, if you were lucky enough to have electricity, each room would probably only have one ceiling light, which was used for plugging in both a light bulb and any other electrical gizmo you had, in this case a Pathé Baby projector. The problem being that, after projecting a film, one had to fumble about in dim light maybe from the hall light and, after finding the hall door and falling over the cat, unplug the projector and plug the light bulb back in. This problem was addressed by Pathé through the two-way switch "for conveniently lighting the room between projections; merely pressing the pear shaped switch changes over the illumination from the projector to the room lamp; another press and the lighting is reversed back to the projector lamp". The owner of the projector in these pictures has added his own home-made two-way switch; with the lever on the wooden box to centre, both lights are off; to the right, projector on, main light off, to the left, main light on, projector off. The base, motor, projector fixings and resistance I believe to be professionally made as I have seen one other the same."

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These show a water-cooled condenser head. David again:-

"This has two nipples, as can be seen in the picture. I assume these are inlet and outlet and that they were connected to the mains water by rubber pipes. There is also a bleed screw at the top. I believe the lamp was 12 volt 60 watt. If anyone has any more infoon this head I would appreciate it." He has since found another, complete with the controller/transformer, giving 12,14 or 16 volt output for the lamp (pic 5).

water-cooled headb

And this is more stuff about the water-cooled condenser set-up. It seems to have been made by a company called Mollier, and come in two versions. First was a new lamphouse to give a brighter light from a new lamp and condenser lens, tho' the voltage and wattage of the lamp seem a bit unclear. The second or "Super" version had the water-cooled jacket. Partly because it's not always clear from my knowledge or not of technical French, and partly because all we have to work on is an extract from a French equivalent of a Wallace Heaton Blue Book, everything else is less than clear, too. The text seems to imply that there is an automatic voltage reduction for still frames, to prevent heat damage to the film. However, looking at the pic shows no way this could happen and Dave can't see how either, despite having got one of them. We shall have to find more info. Note the support bracket in the catalogue.

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These show an amazing attachment with the Rotor type B motor and variable resistance as a single unit for easy fitting to any basic Pathé Baby.


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Pathé Baby with unusual resistance listed in 1926 French catalogue.