Mitchell Camera Corporation, West Hollywood, California           1943





Mitchell GC 35mm motion picture camera with motor No. 1301, Model VS-110.  The motor has been referred to as a "peanut motor" because of its shape resembling a peanut. The GC was a high-speed version of the Mitchell Standard, originally introduced in 1940 for the military. 

According to information provided by, this GC No. 492 was a Navy High Speed movement camera sold to them on March 13, 1943.  The No. 492 appears on the movement, the body interior and the focus unit.  The rackover base, with Serial No. 581, was from an Army Special Silent movement camera shipped to them on September 15, 1943. 




After WW2, when these cameras ended up being surplused to the civilian market, a number of them required repair and invariably parts or components were mixed in the process.  Regarding this camera having a different serial numbered base, per " It is not hard to imagine these two pieces being in the same lot at auction.  It is actually rare after 70 or more years for these cameras to have complete matching numbers as one or the other can get damaged and interchanged."  

The camera's acorn-shaped Mitchell tag has a Glendale, California address, suggesting it would have been manufactured no earlier than 1946.  However, in some instances cameras that were built at one address were sent back to the factory for servicing, at which time a badge with the current address was applied.  As a result, this GC camera which was manufactured in West Hollywood, now carries a later tag with the Glendale address.


The example featured here, mounted on an Akeley Universal Gyro Tripod of earlier vintage, is equipped with its Mitchell variable speed motor, a Mitchell Erect Image Viewfinder (or sidefinder), a 400-foot Mitchell magazine and a Mitchell matte box.



A great piece of Mitchell's history that's not seen very often.


My Thanks to  for providing the historical information for this Mitchell GC.  I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about Mitchell to visit their website, and to consider registering your camera(s).  You'll gain information regarding your own equipment and the ability to interact with others that share your interest, while furthering the development of historical data to everyone's benefit.