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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 12 (xii)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 12
Page 12

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 12

into the scattered efforts of the industry that caused the most concern. At the very first formal meeting of the newly founded Society the place of honor at the head of the program was given to an address by the Secretary of the National Bureau of Standards on the universal scientific necessity of conforming to recognized standards, The motionpicture industry was one that was destined to travel to all parts of the world; everywhere its success would depend on the successful coordination of the same basic factors of equipment, lighting and theatre planning. Photography, architecture, illumination, the drama, were all involved, though their eventual individual significance as integrated components of the evolving art of the motion picture was as yet 'but dimly seen. The young Society made it its business to look forward without ceasing to the rationalization and improvement of the industry,

It makes interesting reading, for instance, that among the multifarious objectives so brashly perceived in the year 1916 was the creation of:

ti. . . an ideal atmosphere within the

theatre. It is a problem of hygiene to

ascertain numerically the factors needed by the engineer to provide such a standard ideal atmosphere. It may eventually include the best temperature, abundant fresh air, and also the cooling and drying of the air when required, making it dust free, circulating it, and possibly giving it a healthful trace of ozone and the fragrance of the woods. This may be looking a long way ahead, but vision is required in such matters." It was a long way ahead to .air conditioning, but they had the idea.


But very soon the founding engineers had got down to work on specific problems that demanded immediate attention. Film size, sprocket size, frame rate, had all to be determined for the best. No material change had been made in the mechanism and principle of projecting machines since the first such machine had been deposited in the U. S. National Museum more than 20 years before. Arcs, condenser lenses, aperture, tension plates, sprockets, lamphouse setting, lamp location, all called for development. A Committee on Electrical Devices explored the performance of arcs using alternating and direct current; a Committee on Optics looked into focal lengths and aperture size. By the fall meeting of 1917, one year after the founding of the Society, detailed consideration had reached such a stage that no less than 80 highly technical papers were pre

THE "BLACK MARIA" erected on the grounds of Edison's West Orange Laboratory was completed February 1. 1398. and was the world's first motion picture studio. Above. is Edison's own handwritten note regarding the studio's design.

sented on such subjects as the optical requirements of motion-picture projection objectives, artificial light in the studio, condencers, portable projectors and incandescent lamps. The President reported in 1918: uAnd there is a wonderful collection of data already collated. Do you want to know the percentage of loss of light by reason of the tinting of filmseit is in the Transactions. Do you want to know the distortion error due to angular projection#it is in the book! Do you want to know the source of loss of light at various points in the optical systemeit is in your own printed copy. Do you want to know the cause of the strobscope effect of shutterseit is in the booklet sent to our members. Do you want to know the proper current density for carbon arcs ereach for the bound volume. Do you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of various electric current deviceseit is in the unselfish report of that Committeefi At the 1918 meeting came news of one of the major steps in the march of progrens. Natural color cinematography was still far off in realization, but its principles were being actively investigated. Single-coated emulsion, as in the Dufay patent, the Fox system of two emulsions on one side, and the doublecoated emulsion, were all being tested. The names of Fox, Crabtree and Ives in the United States, and Capstaff in England, began to appear. Among a host of competing systems on trial, Technicolor was mentioned for the first time. Still in 1918, we find preoccupation with the development of a uslow-burning" film, at first meant primarily for use in narrow widths in small portable

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 12