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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore


This toy movie projector is part of the LCHS Toy Collection. The size of the machine is 14”x 9” and weighs 3 lbs. It was patented in 1919, 1920 and 1921 and made by Keystone Manufacturing Company, a toy company based out of Boston Massachusetts, and not associated with Keystone Movie Studios. Children took turns cranking the projector at the right speed to watch the movies. It cost $6.95 during the depression which was quite of money for a child’s toy at that time. That would be $99.00 in today's money. A reel of film showing Charlie Chaplin in the short film “Golf Practice was included when the toy was originally sold. Other movies that could be purchased were Charlie Chaplin in "Fun in the Bakeshop," Wm. S. Hart in the "New Sheriff," and Tom Mix in "The Battle on Horseback." Theatre tickets and slides that could be drawn upon were also included.

An electric cord was included "for connecting to any lamp socket that would fit but could also be used for dry cell batteries for those homes without electricity." The inside is open space in which to place a lightbulb, or lamp as it was called then.


The ad states that "every live boy should have, at home or club, a Keystone Moviegraph that shows pictures the same as in the movies."


Editor's Note: What could be safer that a electric light bulb inside a metal box, running flammable nitrate film through a projector by hand for kids to play with? And why the reference to a "live" boy? As opposed to a ...what? Dead boy?

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