MODEL M-38-T 35MM FILM MEASURING MACHINE
Neumade Products Corporation, New York 1930's - 1940's
This Model M-38-T 35mm Film Measuring Machine was manufactured by the Neumade Products Corporation of New York, New York.
The Neumade Company was started by Oscar Frederick Neu (1886-1957) in 1916, after he retired as an actor. Neu performed under the name "Oscar Nye", appearing in 14 silent films between 1914 and 1916.
This particular example is a 3-hub (or 3-gang) unit. Per the Neumade Catalogue No.4, and Price List dated December 1, 1950, the gear housing and roller supports were finished in black enamel, while the tension rollers and other trim were chrome plated. Each machine was supplied with an acid-resisting, light-reflecting white porcelain base.
Having a brass outlined manufacturer's tag with smaller script (versus the chrome outline and larger script seen on later units) and light colored enameled hub races (versus bare, chrome plated or anodized metal races) seems indicative of earlier production. These attributes most likely date this unit to sometime between the late 1930's and the early 1940's. This guesstimate is supported in part by Neumade's 1950 catalogue, by which time the Model N-38-T is still being offered but with the later style manufacturer's tag and with what appears in the catalogue's depiction of the M-38 series to be a bare or polished metal hub race.
The unit's "M-38-T" designation might lend some insight into its timeline, if the meaning behind each character can be confirmed. This is pure speculation on my part, but the "M" probably represented "measuring" as Neumade's 35mm Film Measuring Machines and Synchrometers all had "M" prefixes, with the "38" possibly being the year this particular model was introduced (1938?). The "T" no doubt referred to the unit's triple hub configuration, as "M-38-S" was designated for the single hub model, "M-38-D" for the double hub and "M-38-Q" for the quad hub. Like those found on most Neumade measuring machines, the hubs are slotted to facilitate cutting film when needed.
This example features a patented Veeder counter capable of registering up to 9999 feet of 35mm film, with a 5th digit calibrated for 16 frames per foot. The 35mm film width, together with 4-perforations per frame along both edges of the film (resulting in 16 frames per foot), became the international standard gauge in 1909. This standard remains unchanged for flexible film, which is still seeing limited use despite the film industry's migration to digital cinematography. Digital now accounts for probably 95% of all major motion pictures being produced.
During Hollywood's Golden Age, Neumade Products was initially known for a wide line of cinema equipment that included film counters, synchronizers, rewinders, theater equipment, film storage and lighting. In the ensuing years, Neumade would engage in the manufacture of radio and television equipment as these industries emerged. The company is still in business today in Newtown, Connecticut, manufacturing and supplying a diverse range of theatrical and motion picture film servicing and production equipment.
The tonal quality of the hubs really highlights this machine, giving it that "old Hollywood" look. It's what drew me to this particular example, making me wonder, what great films from a bygone era may have passed through these rollers!
Here's a link to the Visualnet website with a more comprehensive history of the Neumade company:
And another link to the Internet Archive with a digitized copy of Neumade Product's 1950 Catalogue No. 4:
Earlier style manufacturer's tag