CLAMSHELL MUTOSCOPE MODEL "B"



Here it is as received, you should notice that it has a "rigged" handle
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 corrected.



A Brief Mutoscope History

 

The 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.


   The  original cards were contact printed from  70 mm film. The first Mutoscope was produced in 1895 and soon replaced earlier machine types. since the cards  were larger and they did not deteriorate with use. 

By I897, the Mutoscope was very popular in arcades. These early machines and reels are sought after as antiques of the early days of Cinema. The original Mutoscope patent was issued in I895 to Herman Casler of Oneonta, New York, and 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 original idea was his. The two men and two other partners formed a syndicate that later became the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Although the card-flipping principle was not new. The circular card reel was an innovation. The viewing time of one rotation (8OO to 85O cards) was about one minute, the same as that of the average thirty-foot film produced by then existing cameras. 

 

The 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, though it continued its life in the arcades. Between 1897 and I907, which is considered the classic age of the Mutoscope, over l,000 titles and 100,000 reels were printed and distributed. How many are still out there is unknown. The early actors and actresses appeared generally without credit. Some reels were made in series such as  "Happy Hooligan," "Rip Van Winkle" and "Foxy Grandpa," others were short plays and comedies, and still others were scenic views like "Niagara Falls” and "Atlantic City Boardwalk". After projected films began to be produced, newsreels, sporting events and Hollywood films were cut to fit the Mutoscope's one minute viewing time. Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Tom Mix and other name actors appeared, including animated features. However the Mutoscope is above all famous for the "Girlies" dance and strip-tease subjects (peep shows). 



Note: The above  information was culled from 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
, since 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 as found condition.



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.