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1930s? 16mm sound projector “Sale Producers Ltd”

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  • 1930s? 16mm sound projector “Sale Producers Ltd”

    Please can anybody throw any light on this Sales Producers - London optical sound projector please? It has been sitting in an attic for 50 years, except for a handle and a couple of focus knobs, it seems pretty much complete and has a separate speaker.

  • #2
    Time passes!

    In the 1940s my school had weekly winter film shows with this projector. Educational films like the "The Secrets Of Nature" series, plus a Mickey Mouse. Most films came from the Dartington Hall Film Unit in Devon, with a few from the G.B. Film Library.

    It's the S.P. 16mm Sound Wundatone made by Sales Producers Equipments Ltd. Introduced in 1934 it remained on sale for several years, but the company disappeared before the war. The projector's unique feature was that it had a Maltese Cross intermittent movement, like a professional 35mm projector. It had a 300 watt 100 volt lamp, and a 3.5 watt amplifier.

    The magazine "Amateur Cine World" said We consider the S.P. Projector is a very real contribution to the facilities available for the home projection of talking pictures.

    I thank the late Gerald McKee for this information in his book The Home Cinema 1922 - 1940 on page 85.


    • #3
      THE HOME CINEMA - CLASSIC HOME MOVIE PROJECTORS 1922-1940 by Gerald McKee: Fine Soft cover (1989) 1st Edition | Roger Godden (


      • #4
        Excellent work Maurice! I couldn't find this in my reference books.


        • #5

          I have a long memory, and an extensive book collection (in addition to films !!).

          I bought the above book, and its companion, "A Half Century Of Film Collecting" direct from the author, Gerald McKee, some twenty five years ago.

          At that time I spoke to Gerald and he told me that he was then currently working on part two of his "Classic Home Movie Projectors 1922 - 1940" which would continue the story from after the war. He said he had most of the photographs in his collection and also had the fundamentals of most of the script in his head. I gave it a couple of years and phoned him again. He said he had been ill and had not been able to progress the anticipated book. But, before long, I heard that he had passed away.

          Most of the material is now with the well known collector Patrick Moules (he who has recently published the 9.5mm Vintage Film Encyclopaedia). I have asked him about Gerald's material but he doesn't have any ideas at the moment for it. Apparently there would a lot of work to be done before any publishing could be considered. As you may know, Patrick is the author/producer of the regular magazine called "Flickers", on behalf of The Vintage Film Circle.

          A Half Century of Film Collecting by Gerald McKee, Paperback, 1993, VGC 9780951590515 | eBay


          • #6
            I had the remains of a "Wundertone" until recently. It had originally been owned by the deceased music teacher of the school I worked at. It was donated to the Science department and parts were removed for Physics lessons and the whole thing was cannibalized. It was passed on to me, being a "Cinemaniac" with a view to cleaning it up for display purposes. Unfortunately it was one of many of my projects of low priority and then the wooden casing disintegrated by woodworm despite a whole can of "rentokill" so it went off to the tip last year between "lockdowns". The rear half of the rectangular box contained the amplifier and as Maurice says it had a maltese cross intermittent. Speeds were adjusted via a split pulley. Also, like the early B.I.F Debrie, the sound optics could be moved lateraly to enable both DIN and S.M.P.E. tracks to be read. I was also well acquainted with Gerald through the Vintage Film Circle, and have all 3 of his books. He was also the editor of "Flickers" for many years and a mine of information on films and equipment. Ken Finch.


            • #7
              I have a rather rare 16mm sound film with a DIN soundtrack. This ten minute film was made in 1935 for cine dealers to demonstrate the new GeBescope 16mm sound projector.

              At that time GB Equipments were following the German standard (DEUTSCHES INSTITUT fur NORMUNG), but it was not long before they changed their ideas and went for the sound track position favoured by the American "Society of Motion Picture Engineers" (SMPE).

              For those still with a DIN standard projector prisms were available which enabled the picture to be seen in its correct way.


              • #8
                Maurice, Ken, thank you so much for your insight on the projector. Its been raised to family heirloom status and is now on my project list! Overall the condition looks fair without any obvious dings or abuse, though it needs a thorough, methodical inspection. While being practical and with some experience of electronics I have no experience of Valve amplifiers or of protectors so it will be a cautious journey, before it can be plugged in let alone re-introduced to a film. Interesting that the optical head can be moved for the different format - my knowledge of home cinema is somewhat limited save for the recent digitisation of a suitcase full of 9.5mm Pathe spools that my grandfather filmed in the early 30's. Would you have any recommendations or suggested links that would introduce this Novice to the relevant world of 16mm home cinema and perhaps even the mechanical side of projector renovation?


                • #9
                  ...I have started by ordering the volume you highlighted Maurice (projectors 1922-1940) and from the same seller saw a 1949 "technical" book on 16mm Sound which sounded too relevant to miss. So the arm chair part of the journey has begun.
                  Last edited by Guy Hunt; May 20, 2021, 09:25 AM.


                  • #10
                    Guy, You may find a paperback titled "Build your own projector" by W.G.Rowell, useful regarding the mechanics.It was first published in 1948 byCineluxe publications. Also the "Amateur Cine World" magazines were a mine of information on repairs and modifications to a number of older projectors. Ken Finch.