Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

An Affordable Piece of Motion Picture History

Cine-Kodak Eight

Fred and Stephanie Marriott run a little shop in Hornsea crammed full of old books, cameras and model railway paraphernalia. Luckily, they also offer their wares on the Internet. The F. & S. Marriott Cine Catalogue offers a wonderfully esoteric selection of vintage motion picture cameras. One device in particular jumped out at me, a Cine-Kodak Eight Model 20 -- the first 8mm movie camera -- introduced in 1932 for the princely sum of $34.50.

Cine-Kodak Eight The Cine-Kodak Eight featured a wind-up spring motor and a simple parallel viewfinder built into the handle on top of the case. Everything was completely manual -- you set the exposure by hand and fancy zoom lenses were still decades away. None of that mattered, because aspiring filmmakers suddenly had an affordable and compact camera to shoot home movies. It remained on the market until 1947.

Believe it or not, amateur movie makers started off using 35mm film, making it a hobby for well-heeled gadget fiends. There were many attempts to shrink the format, including 17.5mm, 9.5mm and 16mm Kodak film (now regarded as a fully professional format, thanks to dramatically improved modern film emulsions and optics).

Amateur filmmaking truly took off following the arrival of Double 8mm film in 1932 (it's also referred to as Regular 8mm or Standard 8mm). The format was based on 16mm film with twice the number of perforations. Two tiny 8mm film frames sit side-by-side on the reel. You exposed half of the film before flipping it over to expose the other half. After processing, the film gets sliced into two 25 foot long 8mm strips.

The Double 8mm format remained at the forefront of home movie making until 1965, when Kodak and Fuji unveiled the immensely popular cartridge-based Super 8 and Single 8 formats. These offered a 50% larger frame size than Double 8mm by shrinking the film sprocket holes. And, believe it or not, you can still purchase Double 8mm film today.

Explore the Marriott Online Cine Equipment Catalogue

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