> > > >

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 13 (xiii)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 13
Page 13

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 13

projectors where haphazard use represented a more than ordinary danger of


Joint Growth

As the industry grew, so did the Society. In the decade after 1916 the little group of original enthusiasts had swelled considerably, the semiannual meetings were recognized institutions at which the best brains in the industry gathered to learn, compare and criticize, and the published Transactions reflected the technical progress in so thorough a manner that the old issues can still often be profitably thumbed through for basic information useful in today,s developments.

Looking back, it sometimes seems amazing that the principles of developments which came to fruition only much later should have been so well understood at such an early stage. At other times we are exasperated by the apparent unconcern of the engineers of those days for the vast changes that we now know to have been just around the corner. The 1925-1926 Progress Committee Report, for instance, starts out solemnly:

"A study of the progress in the motion picture industry for the past six months reveals no outstanding developments of revolutionary nature. This industry, like the radio and automobile iields, appears to be entering upon a period of improvements and refinements."

Later in the same report, the brief statement is made:

"A number of patents have been taken

out for talking motion pictures. . . .

A Swiss invention consists of a loud

speaker operated through an amplify ing circuit. A beam of light is controlled by a voice record placed along the edge of the film."

The same report, which finds so little of importance taking place, also notes:

HThe possibility of broadcasting motion pictures is now causing the producers of motion pictures to ask for further copyright protection. . . . A youthful British inventor claims to have produced a machine which makes possible the distinct reproduction of the senders face, whereas almost all of the American developments simply transmit shadow images."

But this must have seemed a very dis tant bogy indeed. I Sound, on the other hand, really was Just around the corner. Lee De Forestls Paper in the Transactions in 1927 about his Vitaphone system was the precursor of a fiood of technical information over the next few years that thoroughly documented the great innovation.

Those old Transactions of the Society contain an extraordinary amount of valuable material. The papers given at the semiannual meetings were published, also twice yearly, in two increasingly large volumes. All work connected with publishing these volumese collecting and editing the papers, and Preparing them for the printer, besides the voluminous correspondence that goes With such a jobuwzis carried out on a Voluntary basis by the officers, the bulk of it by the Chairman of the Publications C-Of'nmittee. By 1927 this unfortunate indiv1dua1 was vociferously complaining in his official reports that the work involved

"54-55 THEATRE CATALOG\n\nam {Ami} M; . t (t

it my grocer g

' I. I; it 43 eschew 7' Tie rim. citizen-r r1 iii-x. din. v 1.. on. e: "

c 4 {gs m wghwg 1; {(3:25 t. Min swim; it

7' 37 i


{can}; ,5,

{I (like m

w Ga we a... a;

FIRST PAGE OF THE FIRST caveat tiled by Edison in 1888 covering his Kinetoscope pertrays an interesting description 0! his efforts to record and reproduce pictures in motion. alter the fashion of

his earlier successes with Round. Eight

was altogether too much to expect anyone to do who at the same time was suppOSed to be doing a full-time job for his own employer. The argument must have appeared a good one, because in 1930 for the first time the Society got itself a paid employee to act as general secre frames

per minute was his standard speed.

tary in charge of its business and to edit and publish the new Journal, which took the place of the old T'I'wnsactions.

The Journal Makes Its Bow

For at the same time that this change took place the old Transactions, which


Reef;m I (MM; (as
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 13