Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Not quite a camera obscura, in fact more of a projector, but with an interesting story of its own. its actually a fairly standard Business Kodak compact model with a plastic opaque screen at the back so you can project your 8mm film from within the box. it wasn't accessioned on arrival in the collections but the sticker on the side reveals its story, A Cunard label gives the passenger details as John Alcock, travelling on the Queen Mary to Canada in the 1950s, date unclear.
what we do know of Mr Alcock however is that he was head of the Hunslet Engine Company at the time, and in the 1950s they were trying to break into the American market with their underground diesel locomotives. probably armed with this projector and films we now have in store at Yorkshire Film Archive, John headed for the American Mining Exhibition at the Cleveland Show in May 1953. Sadly he made no sales as the americans were convinced that underground diesel locomotives were not safe, opting instead for battery powered models, but i do wonder if he persuaded the ships purser to show some of his films on the ship......
The photo shows the business of cleaning the reverse of the canvas before restretching it. The stretcher can just be seen in the background. The painting by is by John Walker titled Lesson II. To make matters a little more challenging the artist had used a trapezoid shaped stretcher. The painting is now up on the wall in the Silver gallery and I’m in no hurry to get it down again!