Original Optigraph projector poster. Please help date it.:)

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Darren Nemeth

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Original Optigraph projector poster. Please help date it.:)

PostFri Dec 26, 2008 10:29 am

I bought this poster as this year's X-mas present to myself (ain't I thoughtful?). It is a pre-Hollywood projection exhibition poster copyrighted by and featuring Sears' Optigraph projector head.

Measures about 21 x 28 inches. Compared to other prices from this era I paid relatively pennies for it! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I believe this to be original because of the paper stock and the layout and fonts look similar to other examples of period posters found in my 1907 projection trade catalog.

Here is my question. The Optigraph was sold by Sears Roebuck from around 1896 but changed hands and to another brand name around 1907 - 1908.

Do any of the film subjects listed ring any bells enough to place a year on this?

With clues underlined, the text reads..

A2244 A Wonderful Animated or Moving Picture Exhibition Illustrating the Highest Attainment in the Art of Photography, Showing Life-Size Views of Life and Motion and a Magnificent Stereopticon Exhibition, Illustrating Our New Possessions and Free Cuba. The Greatest Invention of the Age , Animated Pictures, Life-Like Motion; Life Size. The Wonderful Moving Picture Machine will Represent Scenes and Incidents from the Late War with Spain, Railway Trains Going at Full Speed, Marching Scenes, Bicycle Parades, etc. The Optigraph Moving Picture Machine will be used. The Philippines, The Ladrones, Hawaii and Porto Rico, Illustrated Throughout with 52 Magnificent Views Projected from the Stereopticon. A Great Combination of Instructive Entertainment and Amusement! More Information in Two Hours’ Entertainment than in Many Days’ Reading. A Most Interesting and Instructive Lecture will be given describing our New Possessions Beautiful Hawaii, The Philippines, the Theatre of the Present War; Porto Rico, the Pearl of the Antilles; The Ladrones, etc., together with some entirely New Scenes in the Island of Cuba; the natural resources and opportunities for Improvement, Development and Civilization of these Fruitful and Beautiful Countries which have lately been acquired by the United States. The Views will be Illuminated by an intense light, magnified by powerful lenses and projected onto an immense screen with 100 square feet of surface, making them so large the Everyone can see while comfortably seated in any part of the hall. There has been a large amount of money spent in collecting authentic and reliable information in securing the Magnificent Photographic Views we promise you a royal entertainment. Don’t fail to come and bring your friends.

I think the part with "Theatre of the Present War" may indicate the Spanish-American War(???). However, this was in mid 1898.

Optigraph projectors seem to have been made from 1896 to around 1907 - 1908.

What do you think? Is this poster from 1898???

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Last edited by Darren Nemeth on Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Darren Nemeth

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PostFri Dec 26, 2008 11:08 am

Other examples of advertizing posters from my 1907s projection trade catalog.

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PostFri Dec 26, 2008 11:15 am

The illustration on the cover of this 1898 catalog found here http://www.xs4all.nl/~wichm/cinelist2.html is similar to the one used for the poster. Both show a large, high class audience watching a "kiss" film on a large screen in a theatre.

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PostFri Dec 26, 2008 1:48 pm

I was going to say that 1898 was a distinct possibility; the language used is similar to adverts in Bristol papers from that time; all the films mentioned are actualities, there's a distinct lack of comedy films. But the time seems to be mid-way through the Spanish-American War as you say; Cuba has been 'Freed', The Philippines still a war zone. Topicality was everything then, so I would suggest no later than Aug/Sept 1898.
But the clincher is that other catalogue cover. In those days of the pioneers, every year brought improvements; the design of the projector is identical; hand cranked, external gears, no obvious take-up spool (I believe the latter also dates it, assuming the illustration to be accurate, to the 1890's)
Nice illustrations from the 1907 catalogues, especially the magic lantern shows of Alice, and The Slums of New York....
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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PostSat Dec 27, 2008 11:47 am

Thanks, Penfold. :) :) :D

This is older than I thought!! Cool to have something from that far back.
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