Siegmund Lubin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania           1903-1908


Primary projection lens for a Lubin "Marvel" Cineograph wood-cased model 35mm motion picture projector, probably dating to about 1903-1908. The Cineograph line was manufactured by Siegmund Lubin of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania beginning in 1896.  In 1902, Lubin Manufacturing Company was formed.  Production of the Cineograph in various models, is known to have lasted till at least 1909/1910.


This particular example, was made for that version of the Cineograph "Marvel" which has the lens mounted to the projector's metal framework.  Protruding through a slot in the wooden front panel, the lens can be moved up or down to adjust the framing alignment. Other versions of the "Marvel" move the actual frame up or down, with the projection lens being fixed and vertically immovable, mounted to the front panel:




                 Slotted front, movable lens                                         Solid front, fixed lens



                      Lubin "Marvel" Cineograph wood-cased model from about 1903-1908


The lens barrel has no markings, but the focus knob is stamped (or engraved) "S. Lubin, Manf'r. Phila, PA.".  The lens' dimensions are:  2" barrel mount diameter at the rear, 1-3/4" shade diameter at the front and 3-3/8" in overall length extended.

As seen in the photos below, the lens' center section screws into the rear barrel section which mounts to the projector's internal framework.  Alongside the lens featured here is the lens from the Cineograph "Marvel" shown above:


                             Featured lens                              Lens from Cineograph "Marvel" above


Both lenses, although roughly the same size, are somewhat different in construction with a slightly different thread diameter.  As such, the lens on the right from the Cineograph pictured above, will not fit the rear barrel mount of the lens featured here.

Because of these differences, it's entirely possible that the featured lens is for an earlier Cineograph model.  Another possibility is that, like many other early motion picture and still cameras, no two were ever alike.  Modifications and improvements were often made along the way, in an era when production volumes were comparatively low.  As a result, these changes become all the more apparent in the relative few that survive.





As with just about any component that makes up a Cineograph, Lubin lenses of this particular style are extremely hard to come by.