De Vry 35mm portable motion picture projector, type ESF: ANZAC Division, British War Relief Society of the USA

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL30803.001
Collection type Technology
Object type Optical equipment
Physical description Alloy, Asbestos, Bakelite, Leatherette, Steel, Wood
Place made United States of America: Illinois, Cook County, Chicago
Date made 1939-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Large dark grey case lined with asbestos containing a portable De Vry motion picture projector. The hinged lid is secured by three catches. The incoming film cartridge sits on top of the projector on a special mount. The projector operates from within the case, with the projector light, lens, film gate and the receiving reel contained within the case. The sound jacks recevie cables from the separate amp which is joined to the separate speaker.

The projector runs on 110-120 volts at 6.5 amps, DC or AC operation. Serial number: 31905. For use with slow burning film only. Includes a film reel for 1,968 feet of film. Two switches are mounted on the side of the projector, motor on/off and lamp on/off.

History / Summary

This projector unit made by De Vry was presented by the ANZAK Division, British War Relief Society Inc of the United States of America, New York. It was used by the Mobile Cinema units (part of the Army Amenities Service) to screen movies, cartoons and shorts to troops in remote operational areas such as the Pacific during the Second World War as well as in Korea during the Korean War. They were sponsored by the Red Cross or the Australian Comforts Fund; with this example, the funding for the equipment was provided by the ANZAC Division of the British War Relief Society Inc, USA. Films were usually screened from a jeep or a specially fitted out truck.

The set up of the projector (a projector, a speaker box, the sound control unit and a feeder reel mounted on top of the projector box) is illustrated in AWM photograph 079290. The advantage of this unit is its portability; its quick set up and ease of operation.

A plaque on the projector reads: "Donated by the ANZAC Division of the British War Relief Society of the United States of America for use by the Australian and American Forces in the Land of the Diggers" When acquired from the National Film and Sound Archives, thirty two nitrate 35mm films were offered with this projector on which they were shown. The Memorial selected four films from this offer and the rest were offered back to the NFSA. The films date from 1940 to 1954 and the latest relate to the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War.