A past article from the pages of
Calling oneself a collector seems to be an excuse to never dispose of anything that looks even remotely like it may be of interest some day. Such was the fate of a couple of ( what I thought to be ) fairly uninteresting 16mm projectors.
These two -
Some time back a collector friend called to ask if I had heard of a Sakurascope Dual Gauge ( 8mm & 16mm ) projector, he described it as looking similar to an early Bell & Howell 16mm silent projector. His description sounded familiar so the two old machines were retrieved from their very dusty location in the garage. On comparing the two Sakurascopes, we found they were all identical models. My friend’s machine had the 16mm components fitted, plus his had a set of interchangeable parts for 8mm. At this time we believed the machines to be dual gauge projectors.
I thought that the interchangeable components for my machines had long since disappeared,
but a closer and much later inspection revealed something completely unexpected -
The single ( entry and exit ) sprocket and the plate holding it’s guide rollers can
be removed by holding the sprocket and rotating it’s shaft anti-
The removal of a knurled screw releases the cam and claw, which is located in an open housing on the operating side of the machine. The fixed rear section of the gate has four slots in appropriate positions to allow the various claws to protrude to engage the film. The 16mm front sprung pressure plate is hinged at the bottom and has a small locating slot at the top to enable the removable 8 and 9.5mm pressure plates to locate within it.
The offset lamphouse is fairly basic; comprising a reflector, single condenser and a 45 degree mirror. The three blade shutter rotates between the condenser and mirror. The housing containing the mirror slides out for ease of cleaning. The lamp ( in my machine anyway ) is a 300 watt 115 volt type. The motor and it’s rheostat speed control are mounted at the rear of the projector. The machine is for 110 volt operation.
The Sakurascope Tri-
Not being able to find any reference material on this machine I decided to do a little
research myself. A phone call to the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne gave me the
address and fax number of the J.C.I.I. Camera Museum in Tokyo. They were good enough
to answer my fax and provided considerable information on the Sakurascope Tri-
From their letter, it seems the original Sakurascope was a 16mm only machine made
in 1931. The second and third models released in 1932 and 1933 respectively were
The general appearance of the Sakurascope resembles a cross between a Bell & Howell
and a Keystone. The mechanism with it’s rear mounted spool arms and sprocket, off-
The remainder of the projector is fairly typical of similar units of the era. The feed and take up spools ( max. 400' ) are at the rear of the machine and the upper spool arm incorporates a geared rewinder.
Two not so usual features of these machines are a lever to de-
With the first model tri-
Copyright 1997 Mike Trickett. Geelong, Australia