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Böwe Bell & Howell is a U.S.marker-based former manufacturer of motion picture machinery.

According to its charter, Bell & Howell Company was incorporated February 17, 1907. It was duly recorded in the Cook County Record Book eight days later. The first meeting of stockholders took place in the office of Attorney W. G. Strong on February 19 at 10 a. m. The first board of directors was chosen for a term of one year: Donald Joseph Bell, chairman; Albert Summers Howell, secretary; and Marguerite V. Bell (wife of Donald Bell), vice chairman.

Founded by two projectionists to manufacture motion picture equipment, the firm is currently headquartered in Wheelingmarker, Illinoismarker, the Bell & Howell Company merged with Böwe Systec Inc. in 2003 to become Böwe Bell & Howell.

Currently, the company provides document processing, microfilmers, scanners, and financial services. The trademark is also licensed to makers of various electronic consumer products.


Historically, Bell & Howell Co. was an important supplier of many different media technologies.

The firm built its name making products such as
  • a rotary framer on 35mm film projectors in 1907
  • a 35mm film perforator in 1908
  • Professional 35mm motion-picture film cameras from 1909 on
  • Printing equipment used by motion-picture film laboratories since 1911
  • The Standard Cinematograph Type 2709 hand-cranked camera (used in early silent films, it was so expensive that only Charlie Chaplin and three other people owned one [97919]. The rest were owned by studios)
  • Newsreel and amateur film cameras such as the Filmo (end of 1923) and Eyemo (1925), and Autoload EE (1956)
  • Military 16mm film gun camera TYPE N-6A
  • Regular-8 and Super-8 film cameras and projectors (all models)
  • 16mm silent and sound projectors (all models)
  • Slide projectors (2" X 2")
  • Overhead presentation projectors (all models)

The firm dropped the production of movie cameras in the early 1970s.

Bell & Howell has been the leading supplier of media equipment for schools and offices. The film laboratory line is now a separate company, BHP Inc, which is a division of Research Technology International.

The firm added microfilm products in 1946. It purchased University Microfilms International in the 1980's. UMI produced a product called ProQuest. On June 6, 2001 Bell & Howell became ProQuest Company (NYSE "PQE").

Image:Bell_Howell_Filmo.jpg|Bell & Howell 16mm silent film projector Filmo 129Image:Bell_Howell_Filmo_2.jpg|Bell & Howell 8mm amateur camera Filmo Straight EightImage:Zaprudercamera.jpg| Bell + Howell Zoomatic movie camera, in the collection of the US National ArchivesImage:Bell & Howell 8mm video camera.jpg|Bell & Howell 8mm home camera

Consumer products

Currently, third-party companies offer a number of consumer products licensed under the Bell & Howell name, including:

  • Digital camera
  • 35mm camera
  • Handheld LCD TV
  • Portable radio
  • Sunlight Floor Lamp
  • Sunlight Desk Lamp
  • Ionic Whisper Air Purifier and Ionizer
  • Alarm System
  • Sonic Earz
  • Bio7 Pain Therapist
  • Solar Powered Flood Lights
  • Noise Reduction Headphones
  • ZX-7 Shaver

Apple II

Bell & Howell briefly marketed a version of the Apple II in a dark-grey case to educational institutions.

Education Group

Bell & Howell founded an Education Group within their company in 1907. This Education Group created Bell & Howell Schools in 1966. In that same year, the Education Group purchased a controlling share of DeVry Institute of Technologymarker. Two years later in 1968, Bell & Howell’s Education Group, via a controlling interest in DeVry, acquired Ohio Institute of Technology in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, the Education Group has bought and sold large interests in a variety of educational organizations and institutions.

See also


External links

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