Revere Camera Company, Chicago, Illinois          September, 1949 - 1950?

Larger and heavier than the camera itself, this Revere Model 20 Booster Motor was a spring-powered attachment permitting the user to run through an entire 25-foot spool of film without the need to stop and rewind. The unit itself weighs 3 pounds and 4 ounces, with the Revere Model 99 camera weighing only 2 pounds and 5 ounces.

Revere's booster motor was shown but not officially announced at the Trade Show of the Master Dealers and Finishers in Cleveland, Ohio, as reflected in this excerpt from "Tools and Techniques" in Popular Photography, January, 1949. At that time, it was expected to sell for about $15:

As reflected in the "Trade Notes and News" section from Popular Photography, September, 1949, the Booster Motor was capable of 2 minutes of continuous running at 16 frames per second. It was offered at $19.50 which included tax, or about $250 in 2022 dollars. As a comparison, Revere's Model 99 retailed between $107 and $137 in 1948.


The Model 20 Booster Motor, shown here mounted on Revere's Model 88 and Model 99 8mm movie cameras, was available by the last quarter of 1949. The patent covering its design was filed for on July 29, 1949, and the patent drawings depict its use on a Revere Model 88. Introduced in 1940, the Model 88 would remain in production through at least 1952. Revere transitioned to wartime production in 1942, eventually being released by the military of their contractual obligations in 1948 to resume the manufacture of consumer products.  However, as reflected in wartime magazine advertisements, Revere continued to market their existing line of movie cameras and projectors, and to develop new models that were introduced in the 1946-1948 post-war period.


The Booster Motor was designed by Joseph J. Golick and Robert L. Moore under Patent No. 7,613,761 granted October 14, 1952 and assigned to the Revere Camera Company. Per court proceedings filed March 13, 1962 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Revere Camera Company vs. the National Labor Relations Board, documents indicate Joseph Golick was in charge of production for the Revere's Chicago factory. Although Robert Moore's capacity hasn't been established, he is also believed to have been an employee of the company with his name being attached as patentee or co-patentee for numerous patents assigned to Revere in the 1950's and 1960's:



                     Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


                     Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


                     Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


                      Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


                     Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


                     Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


Summarizing the drive's features from the patent's wording, the design:


  - Eliminated the need to rewind the camera's spring numerous times during the course of exposing film contained in a single loading (25 feet)

  - Prevented spoilage of film or a scene due to the camera's main spring running down, slowing down or stopping

  - Permitted an entire roll of film to be exposed without interruption

  - Permitted the drive to be easily attached and removed without having to modify the camera

  - Rendered the drive readily usable with all makes of amateur motion picture cameras commercially available, with the change of a simple base member

  - Provided a simple universal joint to transmit power from the unit's spring to the camera's power train

  - Provided an automatic brake when the unit was attached or detached, thus preventing the unit's spring from winding down

  - Provided a control on the unit itself, to stop and start the camera's action


Although the unit is designated as the Model 20 Booster Motor, other than the Revere name appearing on the winding handle, all the examples shown here are devoid of any external identification. Further hindering research, the company's records were apparently destroyed when 3M acquired the Revere Camera Company in 1960.


Rather ungainly because of its size and weight, it was nevertheless an attempt at improving the capabilities of amateur movie cameras. Compared with the cost of an 8mm Revere camera, the Model 20 Booster Motor was relatively inexpensive. However, based on the few examples seen today, it apparently proved unpopular and was short-lived. Examples do come up occasionally on eBay, and aside from the three featured here, one other can be found on Bruce Jones' "BJ's Movie Camera Collection" website:


One note in a Revere projector instruction manual, the brochure seen below and the aforementioned magazine announcements, are the only references found so far for this external drive. Production of the Model 20 Booster Motor likely ceased well before the patent was issued. Revere's Model 88 appears to have been discontinued in 1952, as it's no longer found in Revere's catalog for 1953. The Model 99 is believed to have been discontinued by 1949, as it disappears from Revere's advertisements by that time.


Sadly, considering Revere's investment in development and tooling, relatively few units were ever produced. But, it's the discovery of an ingenious item like this that keeps collecting interesting!


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Amateur Cinematography

Antique Photographica

                            Model 88                               Model 99

                            Model 88                               Model 99

The Revere Model 99 Camera and Booster Motor outfit below, was accompanied by instructions for both the camera and motor, along with this field case. Lacking fitted supports (unless they are missing), it's probably not a factory case. But, it's of a sufficient size to house the camera and motor, while providing space for film, lenses or other acessories.