1900 Optigraph No. 2 Motion Picture Machine — Enterprise Optical, Chicago


1900 Optigraph No. 2 Motion Picture Machine

Early and very uncommon Optigraph No. 2 Motion Picture Machine, manufactured at the turn of the last century by Enterprise Optical Company of Chicago.

Enterprise was founded by Sears & Roebuck magnate Alvah Roebuck, who had designs on overtaking Edison’s stranglehold on the motion picture business with a compact, affordable 35MM projector that was simple to use and could be assembled and broken down in a matter of minutes.  The No. 2 Optigraph is almost identical to the No. 1 Optigraph (of which there are no known survivors) with the exception of the film magazines, which were not included with the No. 1 Optigraph.

Condition is very good to excellent throughout, and the apparatus includes an acetylene tank and gas regulator, which were used to fuel the  lamp house. Lenses are clear and undamaged, and as you can see in the photographs, almost all of the constituent parts are stamped with the manufacturer’s name. Enamel on the projection head is original and clean, with minimal wear, just scattered minor marks consistent with age and authenticity. Lamp house is original and complete and correct. Shutter mechanism is working and running well. The drive mechanism is working, too, but it’s a bit stiff and could use cleaning and lubrication. All gears mesh cleanly and exhibit minimal wear.  The later made baseboard is in excellent condition, with no issues.



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