Bell & Howell 2709 #965

Bell and Howell 2809 no. 965

Bell & Howell 2709 serial number 965 was originally sold to the Stewart Warner Company of Chicago, IL on June 16, 1930. Stewart Warner was a major manufacturer of industrial, automotive, and household components. The company was founded in 1905 under the name Stewart & Clark Company and initially made speedometers for the Model T Ford. In 1912, after a series of acquisitions and mergers, the company name was changed to Stewart Warner Corporation. They operated a large factory located on Diversey Parkway in Chicago and employed some 6,000 people at their peak. Stewart Warner made a variety of products, including automotive parts, radios, televisions, household appliances, and stadium scoreboards. They were a major military contractor during World War II as well. Stewart Warner's contribution to the motion picture camera world included tachometers, gages, and power drive components that were used on cameras and camera motors, including the tachometer shown on this page which comes from a Mitchell Peanut motor. The brand name is still active today, manufacturing automotive components. The Stewart Warner name is now owned by British Tire and Rubber.

Stewart Warner tachometer off of Mitchell Peanut motor

The Bell & Howell sales records indicate that 2709 # 965 was later sold to the Atlas Film Corporation in 1935. Atlas Film Corp. was based in Oak Park, IL and was founded in 1913. Atlas was a major producer of educational and industrial films, as well as many major television commercials and feature films. They began life as the Atlas Educational Film Company and changed their name to Atlas Film Corporation sometime during their tenure. Atlas produced mostly industrial and educational films, including a project called "Background For Tomorrow" in 1942 that told the story of exhibits and behind the scenes activities of the most notable museums in Chicago. They were also responsible for television commercials for a variety of products, including home freezers for Borg-Warner Corporation, petroleum products for Pure Oil Company, radios and televisions for Admiral Corporation, electrical appliances for Sunbeam Corporation, bandages for Bauer & Black, clock radios for Zenith Radio Corporation, and bus travel for Greyhound Corporation. Atlas operated a large production facility in the 1950's which offered 35mm and 16mm film production services, 2 sound stages, a lab, RCA sound recording, and a number of other services.

This exceptional camera has been thoroughly cleaned and serviced and returned to good running condition. B&H #965 is all in black enamel finish and comes complete with: a black enamel 400' magazine, 50mm Baltar f2.3 lens, custom made rackover dovetail base with Mitchell matte box support brackets and iris rods, a Mitchell Standard matte box, Bell & Howell high speed movement, critical focuser, and a replica hand crank. This camera would be a show piece in any collection.

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