U.S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS FILM MAGAZINE
Bell & Howell Company, Chicago, Illinois 1920's
This 1000-foot magazine for the Bell & Howell 2709 35mm motion picture camera is marked "U.S.A. S.C.P.C." for U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic Center. The S.C.P.C. was formed in 1942 when the government acquired Paramount's Astoria Studio in Queens, Long Island, New York to produce military instructional films and documentaries.
This example represents one of Bell & Howell's earlier magazine styles, being of all-metal construction with a five-hole spool-drive design, table supports around the spool-drives and a brass-finished Bell & Howell maker's tag. The tag contains Serial No. 470 and patent date 2-13-1917. Patent No. 1,215,534 for a "Film Magazine for Cinematograph or Motion Picture Cameras" was granted to Albert S. Howell on February 13, 1917. Bell & Howell sales records exist for their 2709 camera, but I am unaware of any surviving records to indicate whether Bell & Howell's various magazine sizes followed a singular numbering system, or a distinct series for each size. With respect to 400' magazines, a 400' Bell & Howell magazine having Serial No. 3509 is said to have been sold to the Charlie Chaplin Studio, which was established in 1917. Although the Chaplin Studio was operating until 1952, magazines with characteristics like the example shown here, were no longer being manufactured by about 1940. Having a 3-digit serial number probably dates this 1000' magazine to the mid-1920's. Later Bell & Howell magazines made in the 1940's displayed a chrome logo shield. Other than the WWII military metal magazines made under wartime contract, Bell & Howell's magazines were constructed of wood since aluminum and other metals were needed for war production.
This 1000' magazine's manufacture no doubt pre-dates the establishment of the S.C.P.C., and may possibly have been in use by Paramount's Astoria Studio, long before the facility transitioned to the U.S. Army.
As with all early Bell & Howell 2709 components, metal magazines like these are not plentiful today and most will exhibit signs of heavy use. Bell & Howell magazines of this style in the 1000' size are considerably scarcer than 400' magazines, and are seen very infrequently.
Source: Google Patents
Source: Google Patents