The Bell & Howell 2709 B Serial Number 132


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This is the first camera that William Fox bought for "Fox  Studios".  This is the camera that started it all. Fox studios, Fox Theaters, 20th Century Fox, Fox Newsreels, (the silent news reels), Fox Movie Tone News, (the sound newsreels), Fox  News and Business Channel and Fox TV. This camera is the genesis piece of equipment for all of Fox.

I don't imagine there is anything left of the earliest Fox items except this camera. Tagged the genesis of them all, few cameras posses a place in the history of movie making that this one does. Historically, this is the camera that spawned the one of the largest continuing cash flows in the history of the entertainment industry.

This is the camera bought by Fox Studios to shoot the movies of their huge Vampire star Theda Bara. "Vamp" became the term for cute, sexily trashy, fun loving, man eating, stylish women. "Vamp" came from "A Fool There Was" (1915), Theda Bara's rocket to stardom. Her line, "Kiss me, my fool" became the first movie line to become quoted through out the public and worked it's way into the common language. It was as famous as the Dirty Harry "Go ahead, make my day" line and the "I'll Be Back" line of The Terminator. This set the tone for a World wide fad of young women becoming "Vamps" and uttering Theda's line, "Kiss me, my fool". 



This Twentieth Century Picture's camera and the Bell & Howell Fox camera, seen to the left on this page, belong together and should ideally be owned by Fox or an executive at Fox. For 20th Century Fox, any two cameras together don't get more historically important than this. Today, 20th Century Fox is a special company as over the last century they have expanded to all the new technologies as each became available. They have had what is probably the highest continuing dollar flow of any entertainment company in history.

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