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Dead medium: Kids' Dead Media 1937: the Auto-Magic Picture Gun
From: From: Crouch/ (Charlie Crouch)

Auto-Magic Picture Gun

Manufactured by Stephens Products Co., New York City, copyright 1937, patent pending.

This device is a hand-held, miniature filmstrip projector made to resemble a small automatic pistol. It was used to project still pictures from an internal 16mm film loop onto a screen.

Each film loop contained 28 frames, and was advanced using a ratchet film advance mechanism, operated by the trigger. The Picture Gun used a small bulb and two AA batteries to provide the projection light.

The company's literature promotes the Picture Gun for general entertainment and education, but it was also used for business purposes. The one film loop I have was produced for Shell Oil Company. Titled "The Return of Jimmy Whitaker," it concerned a gas station attendant who gives instructions on pump-side selling and merchandising.

(((My uncle ran a GMC truck dealership.)))

An accompanying flyer pictures a line of accessories including:

1. Auto-Magic Film Rolls in sets of 3 (25c per set). Ten sets, or thirty films, are listed in the flyer with subjects ranging from nursery rhymes, to ships of the world, to Cortez in Mexico. Some of the films are available in Spanish. All films are promoted as made from non-inflammable safety film.

2. An Auto-Magic Theater to show pictures in realistic stage surroundings. (25c)

3. A Flash Light Attachment to connect the gun to larger external batteries, either 2-cell or 3-cell models. (25c)

4. Spare lamps available for either 2.5 or 3.8 volts (10c)