Berlin: Siemens & Halske AG Wernerwerk, 1931. First edition. Softcover. Large Quarto. 6pp., 8 photos, 8pp., 4 photos, 7 tech. drawings, 4 of them foldouts. Original green track folder with handwritten lettering on cover holding cyanotype block. This incredibly scarce peice is a description and operating manual for the "Klangfilm" equipment for reporters illustrated with original photographs (6 1/2 x 8 3/4") and technical drawings. The equipment was developed by Siemens & Halske for the "Klangfilm -Gesellschaft (Sound Film Corporation)" to improve mobile news coverage. The goal of the design was to provide equipment which allowed for greater mobility and ease of handling, and light weight.
The Klangfilm-Gesellschaft was founded in cooperation with AEG in 1928, each with 45%, and the record company Polyphonwerke AG with 10% of the shares. The emphasis of the company was the development, manufacturing and distribution of movie and sound film equipment. In a 1929 contract with Tobis the Klangfilm-Gesellschaft was bound to produce recording and playback equipment, and distribute the playback equipment, while Tobis was in charge of the film production, the licensing and the distribution of the recording equipment.
The equipment and camera system was custom-built into a Pullman-Limousine in a manner in which it could be operated and transported within the car and easily operated outside of the vehicle. To accommodate the increase in the weight of the car, a more powerful motor was built in (Ca. 80 PS) and the roof was also reinforced. The equipment could be installed on the roof and record while driving (see photograph on page eight). A hydraulic suspension was installed to override any movement of the car when parked. When inside the car, the equipment was suspended by rubber ropes. Based on the Tobis Klangfilm system, the equipment was operated with separate, synchronized picture and sound recording, facilitated by "start signs."
The eight photographs which accompany the detailed description show the unique Pullman-Limousine ready to start, the limousine ready for sound-recordings, the camera on a swing tripod atop the limousine with sound recorder next to the car, the camera with synchronizing attachment and motor on swing tripod, the amplifier, sound camera and splitter suspended in the limousine, the suitcase with microphone cable, synchronization cable, microphones and tripod and battery, the charger for the batteries, and one suitcase each with spare parts for camera and amplifier.
The operating manual covers the preparation for the recordings, a short test before recording, the recording itself, and the service and monitoring of the equipment. All four chapters include one official Siemens & Halske photograph (10x7") with descriptive text.
All photographs for the description of the equipment are pasted to cyanotic pages with company schematic schedules printed underneath, the photographs for the operating manual are printed onto photo-paper, including the schematic schedules. All photographs contain official company stamps with handwritten date, (1931, IX, 10) and signature. The four photographs for the operating manual contain additional handwritten notes: "Invalid, will be replaced by new edition!" Following the description of the equipment and the operating manual are 7 detailed technical drawings, five of them foldouts, describing the technical details of the equipment.
This camera and sound system seems to have been way ahead of its time, prefiguring more modern mobile filming and news units, and it is unclear, given how obscure the technology is, whether and to what extent it was used during that period.
Text in German. Track folder sunned, rubbed with pencil notes and drawing; wear along edges and light soiling with chips, medium and small tear at head and tail of spine. Track rusted. Two of the foldouts with some ceasing at edges. Binder in overall fair, interior in very good condition.
Fischer, F.; H. Lichte. Leipzig. S. Hirzel. 1931. First edition. Quarto. ix, 455 (1)pp. Rebound in three-quarter blue buckram over textured purple and white buckram with handwritten descriptor on label of spine. Textured endpapers. Publisher's device on title page. Extensive collection of contributions dealing exclusively with the Klangfilm Method, presenting material relating to this particular sound film operation. Beyond that the compendium attempts to offer to the reader guidelines for the practical operation of the Klangfilm Method. All contributors to this book were relevant in the development of the Klangfilm Method itself.
The book provides an overview of the development of the sound film industry in general by M. v. Lolhöffel, and a detailed description of the physical basis of sound film systems, including an outline of three variant methods, the density, the amplitude and the sheet method (plattenverfahren). Every single part of the system is described, e.g. microphones and speakers, amplification considering rectification, linear and nonlinear distortion, and the audibility if nonlinear distortion, with a special section on the photographical basics of the density method. The second part treats the technical arrangement of the sound film equipment, part three general space and construction acoustics, and part four the Ufa sound film studios Neu-Babelsberg. The book is profusely illustrated with in-text technical drawings and b/w reproduction of technical photographs throughout. Index, erroneously called table of content, at rear.
Text in German. Binding with light wear along edges and small chip at label on spine. "Revision" stamp in red on title page and few other pages. Light foxing on title page. Reinforcement with tape at gutter of first and last few pages. Leaf page 449/50 bound in twice, duplicate with date stamped to upper right corner, May 28, 1931. Block age-toned. Binding and interior in overall good to good+ condition. fair to vg. Item #45132