Collection of camera and projector movements

Unit “I” Shuttle Movements

Over the years, I have collected numerous Unit I shuttle camera and projector movements. I used these movements to build animation cameras, optical printers, and rotoscope stands. The first camera I remember using that featured a Unit I shuttle was a Bell & Howell 2709. Developed by Albert S. Howell and patented in 1912, the Bell & Howell Unit I shuttle quickly became the standard of the motion picture industry, The Unit I shuttle movement was and remains one of the steadiest and most accurate film transport mechanisms ever made. As an example of its popularity, in 1930, after initially custom modifying a Bell & Howell 2709 for Walt Disney, the Acme Tool and Manufacturing Company (later Photo-Sonics, Inc.) decided to build their own version of the Unit I shuttle. The earliest example of this that I have seen is the Acme Model 5, which looks very similar to the Bell & Howell 2709. Later, in 1947, the Oxberry Company introduced its animation stand which featured a camera with their version of a Unit I shuttle movement. Over the years, many other companies have copied the Unit I shuttle, catering to the visual effects and optical printing industries. Pictured here is a collection of Unit I shuttle movements that spans more than 40 years of camera technology. Examples of camera and projector movements in 16mm, 35mm, and Vista Vision are featured.