Antique Optigraph Projector

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Lampman

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Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 8:01 am

Please help.
I'm a new collector of vintage projectors and I have recently come across an antique Optigraph Projector. I'm trying to locate someone that can appraise it.

I’ve searched the internet but have come up empty handed. I’ve stumbled into your site and humbly ask for some expert assistance.

If some of you can point me in the right direction, I’d greatly appreciate it.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 8:41 am

Lampman wrote:Please help.
I'm a new collector of vintage projectors and I have recently come across an antique Optigraph Projector. I'm trying to locate someone that can appraise it.

I’ve searched the internet but have come up empty handed. I’ve stumbled into your site and humbly ask for some expert assistance.

If some of you can point me in the right direction, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Pics please!

Was there any film with it?
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 9:27 am

Thanks for the reply, Spiny.
I've tried several times to post photos but get an error message....Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached.

Is there another way to post photos? I'll be glad to email them to anyone who is interested.

No film was with this projector but I do have a Keystone Moviegraph 198W that has a small amount of 35mm film on it. I'm also interested in finding more about it.

Thanks again for being willing to help me.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 10:09 am

Lampman wrote:Thanks for the reply, Spiny.
I've tried several times to post photos but get an error message....Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached.

Is there another way to post photos? I'll be glad to email them to anyone who is interested.

No film was with this projector but I do have a Keystone Moviegraph 198W that has a small amount of 35mm film on it. I'm also interested in finding more about it.

Thanks again for being willing to help me.
Well, the best way would be to post the pics elsewhere, on http://postimage.org/for example.
There's a member here who scans nitrate film for a hobby. Perhaps he might borrow it from you? He is reliable.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 10:10 am

Meanwhile, it's not that I don't want to help you with your question, it's just that I'm not the expert here.
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 11:00 am

Thanks.
Here's a link to one photo of the Optigraph:

http://s28.postimg.org/yj0qdc2p9/optigraph1.jpg

Image
Last edited by silentfilm on Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedded the photograph.
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oldposterho

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 11:07 am

Lot's of fascinating info here:
http://lantern.mediahist.org/?q=optigraph

Among them this might help figuring out what model you have:
http://ia800909.us.archive.org/BookRead ... 4&rotate=0

I join the ranks of them's what can't help you put a price on this, but you can post pictures by first loading them up to Photobucket and then link them here. Would love to see it, seems like it might be a cool thing.

--Peter
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silentfilm

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 12:07 pm

Where are you located? You will need to find an appraiser that is local and can examine the projector.
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 12:11 pm

silentfilm wrote:Where are you located? You will need to find an appraiser that is local and can examine the projector.


I'm in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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Jack Theakston

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 1:03 pm

The Optigraph was invented by Alvah Roebuck of Sears-Roebuck fame commencing in 1896. Roebuck set up the Enterprise Optical Company in Chicago the year before and continued to produce Optigraphs until about 1911. The company sold their first "Motiograph" model projector in 1908. The company eventually became Motiograph, a company that was popular across the country, but certainly had a stronghold in the midwest.

Does your Optigraph have a serial or model number or any markings whatsoever?
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostWed Nov 12, 2014 1:52 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:The Optigraph was invented by Alvah Roebuck of Sears-Roebuck fame commencing in 1896. Roebuck set up the Enterprise Optical Company in Chicago the year before and continued to produce Optigraphs until about 1911. The company sold their first "Motiograph" model projector in 1908. The company eventually became Motiograph, a company that was popular across the country, but certainly had a stronghold in the midwest.

Does your Optigraph have a serial or model number or any markings whatsoever?


I'm not sure where the serial number would be but here's what marking's I have found...

Image
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostThu Nov 13, 2014 11:59 am

Thanks for all the help so far. I'm still looking for answers but you have really given me some good information. I've started doing some light cleaning and it's looking very nice.
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostTue Nov 18, 2014 2:46 pm

Hello again...Here's what it looks like after a light cleaning. I also have a small video of it operating if anyone would like to see it.

http://postimg.org/gallery/1bk3n6vy8/

Still no luck with finding anyone who can tell me if this is a No. 3 or No. 3 1/2.
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Darren Nemeth

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostSun May 10, 2015 8:42 am

Lampman wrote:Hello again...Here's what it looks like after a light cleaning. I also have a small video of it operating if anyone would like to see it.


I would like to see this video! :D

http://postimg.org/gallery/1bk3n6vy8/

Still no luck with finding anyone who can tell me if this is a No. 3 or No. 3 1/2.


Hard to tell if it is 3 or 3 1/2. If there is any patent numbers on it or under that wood base it may be found out.

This is one of the first motion picture projector heads made available to the exhibitor trade. The Optigraph didn't last long. They were first offered in 1898 and the company who made them switched over to another design and branding in 1908 called the Motiograph.

Yours is quite valuable.

An equally rare, but incomplete, Motiograph No. 1-A recently sold on eBay for $510.00.

Here is a link. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Improve ... true&rt=nc

Image

The first ads for the Motiograph came out around late 1907 to early1908, IIRC. It was the Enterprise Optical Co.'s (later renamed the Enterprise Optical Manuf. Co.) upgrade to the Optigraph which was phased out in 1908.

Nickelodeons were starting to pop up around urban areas which in the past were the territory of the traveling motion picture showman. Movies were shown more often, sometimes nightly, in nickle theatres and the Motiograph was designed for this more heavier, frequent use.

Optigraphs were sold wholesale to dealers only (for instance from the Enterprise Optical Co. factory to the Chicago Projecting Co. mail order biz).

The variation of your projector may be described in this catalog linked below. It is hard for me to say what model you have but it is cool to see that yours is painted green with gold pinstripes.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 2334837606


Here is an image of the Model No. 3 1/2 and Model No.4.

No. 4 was the last of the Optigraphs. Both images appear in an upcoming book I am publishing soon.

Image

Image
Last edited by Darren Nemeth on Sun May 10, 2015 9:17 am, edited 7 times in total.
Darren Nemeth
Crowdfunding page for my book How to Film Moving Pictures in the 1910s!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/120756153/cover-and-illustrations-for-a-new-book-on-early-ci
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Darren Nemeth

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostSun May 10, 2015 8:51 am

Image
Darren Nemeth
Crowdfunding page for my book How to Film Moving Pictures in the 1910s!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/120756153/cover-and-illustrations-for-a-new-book-on-early-ci
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Lampman

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Re: Antique Optigraph Projector

PostSun May 10, 2015 3:41 pm

Thanks for the info! During my research, someone made me a offer that I couldn't refuse so I no longer own that piece. It was a lot of fun researching about it.

I purchased over three hundred projectors from the estate of a projector collector. I brought them home and I put them in storage and I haven't made my way through all of them yet. I hope to start cataloging them soon.

Thanks again for everyone's help!

Mike

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