Film gauges

There have been many film gauges and formats used to expose and project moving images. Identification of the gauge and format can help date the film for archival purposes.

The 35mm motion picture film gauge is now over one hundred years old with many others added along the way. The following is an historical listing of motion picture film gauges and bases:

1888 to 1910

Year Name Film Width, perforation location Support type Inventor or manufacturer
1888 Chrono- photographe 90mm x 2m   Marey
1891 Kinetograph Kinetoscope 4perf/frame 35mm x 15m   T.A.Edison&W.K.L.Dickson
1898 Lumiere Wide 8perf/frame 75mm nitrate Louis Lumiere
1898 Birtac 17.5mm perf. along one side nitrate B.Acres (London)
1900? Biokam 17.5mm perf. in center nitrate Warwick Trading Co. (London)
1900 Mirographe 21mm notched on each edge nitrate Reulos, Goudeau&Co. (Paris)
1900? La Petite 1perf 17.5mm 1 sq.perf. in center nitrate Hughes (London)
1900 Pocket-Chrono 1perf 15mm center perforation nitrate L.Gaumont&Co.(Paris)
1902 Vitak 1perf 17.5mm center perforation nitrate W.Wardell (a mail order project)
1903 Kino 1perf 17.5mm center perforation nitrate Ernemann (Dresden)
1905? Ikonograph first projector that could reverse the movement of the film 17.5mm nitrate E.J.Rector (New York) (Ikonograph Commercial Co. of Manhattan, N.Y.)

1910 to 1920

Year Name Film Width, perforation location Support type Inventor or manufacturer
1910 Empire Cinematograph 35mm nitrate W.Butcher&Son Ltd.(London)
1910 Picturescope 35mm with 2 rows of images nitrate Chas.E.Dressler (N.Y.)
1910 Animatograph spiral film nitrate disk A.F.Victor (Davenport, Iowa)
1912 Duoscope 17.5mm with 2 cnter perf. nitrate A.F.Victor
1912 Pathe K-O-K In France 28mm, 3 perf. on 1 edge; 1perf. on other. safety Pathe Freres (Paris)
1912 Home Kineto-scope 22mm 3 rows of image; perf.between rows safety Thomas A. Edison Inc.(Orange, N.J.)
1913 Pathescope 28mm as for safety Pathescope Co. in U.S.Pathe K-O-K (N.Y)
1913 Spirograph Images on circular film disk in spiral order nitrate Charles Urban Trading Co., Ltd (London)
1914 Atlas 35mm nitrate Atlas Educational Film Co. (Chicago)
1914 Animatograph 35mm nitrate Victor Animatograph Co. (Davenport Iowa)
1914 Ensign Cinematograph 35mm nitrate Houghton’s Ltd.(London)
1915 Animatograph (Model 2) 35mm nitrate Victor Animatograph
1915 Sinemat 17.5mm safety Sinemat Motion Picture Machine Co.
1915-1916? Autograph 17.5mm nitrate?  
1915-1916? Duplex 11mm, 2round perf. on each edge nitrate? G.J.Bradley
1916-1917 DeVry 35mm nitrate H.DeVry Co. (Chicago)
1917 Victor 35mm nitrate Victor Animatograph Projector
1917 Safety Cinema 3perf 28mm, on each edge safety A.F.Victor, Victor Victor Animatograph
1917 Movette 17.5mm, 2round perf. each edge nitrate neg.safety pos. Movette Camera Co. (Rochester, N.Y.)
1917 Simplex 35mm nitrate Simplex Corp.(Long Island, N.Y.)
1917 Cub 35mm nitrate American Cinematograph Corp. (Chicago)
1918 Actograph 17.5mm nitrate Wilart Instrument Co.(New Rochelle N.Y.)

Post 1920

Year Name Film Width, perforation location Support type Inventor or manufacturer
1920 Home Cinema Pathescope 28mm safety Victor Animatograph
1920 Clou 2perf 17.5mm nitrate Firm name unknown (Austria)
1920 Sept. 17ft of 35mm motion pictures or 250 still frames nitrate A.Debrie (France)
1921 Coco 17.5mm nitrate Linhof (Munich)
1921 Defranne 35mm nitrate Bass Camera Co.(Chicago)
1921 Kinamo 35mm nitrate Ica, A.G. (Dresden)
1922-1923 Pathe-Baby or Pathex 9.5mm,1 center perf between frames safety, (dev. to pos. by reversal) Pathe Cinema (Paris)
1923 Baby Standard 35mm nitrate Vicam Photo Appliance Corp. (Philadelphia)
1923 Cine-Kodak 1perf 16mm safety, dev. by controlled reversal Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, N.Y.)
1923 Victor 1perf 16mm safety Victor Animatograph
1923-1924 Filmo 16mm safety Bell&Howell Co
1926 Pathe Rural 1perf 17.5mm safety Pathe
1928 Kodak Lenticular Colour 16mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1929 Grandeur 4perf 70mm safety 20th Century Fox
1930 Vitascope 5perf 65mm nitrate Warner Brothers
1932 Standard 8mm 1perf 16mm split to 8mm safety Kodak
1932 Academy 4perf 35mm nitrate Academy of Motion Picture Arts&Sciences
1934 Dufaycolor 16mm, 9.5mm, std8mm safety Dufay
1935 Kodachrome (early system) 16mm, st8mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1936 Agfacolor 16mm safety Agfa-gaevart
1944 Kodachrome (later system) 16mm, st8mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1950 Kodacolor 16mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1953 CinemaScope 4perf 35mm safety 20th Century Fox
1954 Vistavision 8perf 35mm horizontal safety Paramount
1954 Kodak Tri-X (B&W film) 16mm safety Eastman Kodak Co
1955 Todd-AO 5perf 65mm safety Michael Todd / American Optical Co.
1958 Ektachrome 16mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1959 Panavision 4perf 35mm safety Panavision
1960 Cine System 3 1perf 3mm safety USAF
1965 Super 8 1perf 8mm safety Eastman Kodak Co.
1966? Fuji Single 8mm polyester Fuji
1970 Super16 1perf 16mm safety Eastman Kodak
1970 IMAX 15perf 65mm horizontal safety IMAX Corporation
1971 Todd-AO 35 4perf 35mm safety Todd-AO
1973 OMNIMAX 15perf 65mm horizontal safety IMAX Corporation

For a more detailed look at this subject please refer to Film Identification by Examination of Film Copies by Harold Brown for FIAF.

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References

Happe, L. B., 1983, Your Film and the Lab, 2nd Edition, Media Manuals, Focal Press, London, Boston