Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/91

This page needs to be proofread.

As Easily Handled as a Rifle

��A Revolutionary Motion Picture Camera

��By Charles W. Person

��The camera opened to reveal the inte- rior arrangement. The film box for the storage of the nega- tive is shown at the left and the film leads from it to the exposing or camera mechanism oppo- site. To operate the camera the two parts are locked to- gether to form a compact unit

��CARL E. AKELEY of the American Museum of Natural History has evolved a motion-picture camera so novel in its constructional and opera- ating features that it gives promise of revolutionizing at least one of the di- versified fields of motion-picture photog- raphy — that of the naturalist and big game hunter. It is the first motion- picture camera equipped with the neces- sary mechanism to enable it to enter the hitherto unexplored realm of the hand or still camera and thus place within the scope of the operator all the vast possibilities of quick action and instantaneous photography.

It is only natural that Air. Akeley should accomplish something permanent- ly valuable in motion-picture photogra- phy, since his wide experience as explorer and inventor has enabled him to dis- cover at first hand the many limits and inherent deficiencies of the modern apparatus. As an inventor he is identi- fied with the cement-gun and with many accessories to the hunter's craft, but he is perhaps best known as the man who has elevated taxidermy from the up- holstery trade into an art. Many animals which form the most valuable

���exhibits in our museums he has hunted and killed in their nati\e haunts, sculpturing their bodies in clay before he covers them with their own skins.

As a hunter of big game in the wilds of Africa he has used the ordinary motion-picture camera, to find it deficient and even useless. He has attempted time and time again, and at risk of great personal danger, to photograph a herd of charging elephants, or an alligator stealing on its prey, or a trapped lion in its death throes, only to be disap- pointed in the finished film. He once had the rare opportunil\- to photograph a real battle between giant ants of the tropics, but before he could adjust the intricate mechanism of the camera and set it up it was too late. It was dis- appointments like these that stimulated him to concentrate his technical knowl- edge on plans for a new camera.

There are parts of the Akeley camera which have yet to be named — they are. so new. Indeed, the instrument is such a radical departure from the newest of the old-style machines, that it has few features in common with them. Primar-

�� �