Moy and Bastie 1909 35mm hand cranked cine camera

Accession Number AWM2016.756.1
Collection type Technology
Object type Optical equipment
Physical description Aluminium, Brass, Cast iron, Leather, Steel, Wood
Maker Moy and Bastie Limited
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1909
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

1909 model Moy and Bastie 35mm cine camera, patent number 4534; serial number 150. The camera's external case, interior central divider and two film housings are constructed from mahogany. The top of the case is fitted with a leather carrying handle. On the proper right, the brass cogs and cast iron mechanism for the camera drive is chain driven, operated by a crank handle. The cast iron mounting mechanism also carries the cast makers name, patent number, date and serial number. This side also houses the film footage dial with a window in the access door.

The other side holds the film housings (with doors); and the aluminium spools for the film. All wooden surfaces of the interior are painted black.

At the rear of the camera is a sliding door which provides light to the rear of the lens. The lens itself is a Tessar-Zeiss 1:3.5 made by E Krauss of Paris, serial number 89538; this has a manual focussing lever adjacent to it.

All corners of the box are protected with brass reinforcements; all hinges are of painted brass. The base of the case is provided with a screw fitting for the tripod.

History / Summary

Ernest Moy (born 1869) had established his company (Ernest F Moy Ltd) in 1895 with partner Percy Henry Bastie manufacturing electrical components such as switches and fuses, rheostats and starter motors; a customer and inventor Robert Paul introduced them to the concept of cinema and suggested they try their hand at the emerging art.

Making their own films soon highlighted the problems in current cine cameras and in 1900 they produced their first camera, which brought the firm fame when an example was taken on Scott's Antarctic Expedition in 1905. In 1909 they produced probably their most famous cine camera, the patented 4534. Among the breakthroughs this camera employed was the film feeding mechanism, the daylight loading "cartridges" (or black boxes) and the precision of its chain drive.

Because of its precision (for the time) and practical design, this cine camera became favoured amongst the emerging cameramen of Hollywood.

The 1909 Moy and Bastie was famed for capturing the footage that was shot for the film "Battle of the Somme" by Lieutenant Geoffrey Malins, and released to the British public in August 1916. The film set the standards for war photography.

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