Motion-picture cameras, Urban Bioscope movie camera used by Essanay Studios, 1902. Metal, wood, and leather. Charles Urban Trading Co., Ltd., London-Manchester-Paris-New York. Chicago Historical Society Purchase. 1975.187.1
Box camera with handle on one side near ague to show pictures per second. On front, telescope lens. Metal labels above and below: THE URBAN/BIOSCOPE CAMERA/MODEL Dx No. 427/MANUFACTURED BY THE CHARLES URBAN TRADING CO. LTD./LONDON-MANCHESTER-PARIS-NEW YORK. Painted in black on one side: ESSANAY
Used at Essany film studio, 1907-18, which was founded in Chicago by George K. Spoor and Gilbert M. Anderson in 1907.
This Urban Bioscope movie camera, one of the world's earliest portable motion picture cameras, was used at Essanay Movie Studios, one of the premier, early movie companies in the country. Hundreds of films were made by Essanay, with actors and actresses comprising a veritable "Who's who" of early film, including Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Beverly Bayne. This specific camera may have been used to film a Charlie Chaplin movie.