MUTOSCOPE MODEL "B"
Here it is as received, you should notice that it has a
Not seen in the photo is damage at the base on one side, damage
to one bottom door, a missing door latch and
finally damage to the clamshell door.
All of these things will be addressed.
Also not shown in the above photo is the cast iron marquee frame. The
marquee will be refinished
to match the refinished mutoscope.
It is currently not wired for electric light use, this too will be
A Brief Mutoscope
Mutoscope, came before the motion picture, and uses a reel of cards.
Much like how a flip book works, it creates
a moving image by cranking a handle on the machine front.
original cards were contact printed from 70
mm film. The first
Mutoscope was produced in 1895 and soon replaced earlier machine types.
cards were larger and they did not
deteriorate with use.
the Mutoscope was very popular in arcades. These early machines and
sought after as antiques of the early days of Cinema. The original
Mutoscope patent was issued in I895 to Herman Casler of Oneonta, New
the prototype was built in a machine shop in Syracuse, where he worked.
Sometime later,W.K.L.Dickson,an associate of Edison,stated that the
idea was his. The two men and two other partners formed a syndicate
became the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Although the
principle was not new. The circular card reel was an innovation. The
time of one rotation (8OO to 85O cards) was about one minute, the same
of the average thirty-foot film produced by then existing cameras.
Biograph Company developed its own camera, the "Mutograph' and later a
projector, the "Biograph." With this projector, the commercial
motion-picture theater was born, and the Mutoscope lost popularity,
it continued its life in the arcades. Between 1897 and I907, which
is considered the
age of the Mutoscope, over l,000 titles and 100,000 reels were printed
distributed. How many are still out there is unknown. The early actors
actresses appeared generally without credit. Some reels were made in
such as "Happy Hooligan,"
"Rip Van Winkle" and "Foxy Grandpa," others were short
plays and comedies, and still others were scenic views like
Falls” and "Atlantic City Boardwalk".
projected films began to be produced, newsreels, sporting events and
films were cut to fit the Mutoscope's one minute viewing time. Chaplin,
Normand, Tom Mix and other name actors appeared, including animated
However the Mutoscope is above all famous for the "Girlies" dance and
strip-tease subjects (peep shows).
Note: The above information was
multiple sources, please let me know if any errors are discovered
A friend of mine who helped in obtaining this mutoscope, had a
trip scheduled to come down to Florida and was kind enough to bring it
along and drop it off.
It was partially
disassembled for it's journey.
These are small enough to fit into most cars, if disassembled would fit
into pretty much any car, maybe not a "smart car"
The transformation begins
The head unit was disassembled.
The mechanism removed.
The viewer was disassembled and top
light window along with the ID plate were removed.
The handle on the mechanism shaft was
cut off to remove it
no roll pin etc could be located
Here the mechanism after removal
and partial disassembly.
Evaluation , cleaning and whatever needed repairs are need will be done.
The gear that the "J" hook rides on has beed cleaned, along with the
worm gear that drives it.
New grease will be applied later.
The gear seen at the top couples to a bevel gear and is driven by the
cranking of the handle when a coin has started the process.
Each tooth of that gear will be individually cleaned removing 100 years
of dried out impacted grease in those teeth.
At the top middle of the photo is a bracket that will hold the porcelin
lamp socket and light bulb. once it's electrified.
This "B" model could operate without it with bright room light or
marquee frame light on, because it has a window at the top of the case.
All the hardware was cleaned, all paint and rust removed. Below is an
example showing two of the long case bolts rust removed along with 2 in
Here is a transition photo
Here after the paint was removed, and the parts primed, along with
serious issues addressed they were painted this dark green satin color.
Here some other parts after painting
The gold looks great
Here reassembly of the cabinet base has begun
One bottom door was test fit (though not finished yet) Detailing has
begun here, The first coat of gold applied to the "B"
There is dust on the green base panels that will clean off.