Early Hollywood Products Corp. Tripod?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Dale H. Cook, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Dale H. Cook

    Dale H. Cook TPF Noob!

    Oct 23, 2017
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    Roanoke VA
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    Saturday I was at the fall meet at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, WV. I bought a few things in the auction, but the most intriguing thing I bought was a non-radio, non-electronic item - a vintage Hollywood Products Corporation tripod. I haven't been able to find a photo of it online. It is currently greatly disassembled for cleaning, lubrication, and repair. If need be I will post some photos after it is re-assembled. I invite comments from any of you knowledgeable about the tripods made by Hollywood Products.

    When I saw it in the pre-auction viewing it looked a bit sad. It has two-section telescoping aluminum legs which looked fine but there were two obvious problems - the handle was present but broken off of the the tilt-pan head, and the tilt function of the head was frozen, probably why the handle broke. I can fix the handle by removing the broken thread from the head with a screw extractor, turning the end of the thread down with a machine lathe, and tapping new threads. In my disassembly I easily freed up the tilt function - someone probably over-tightened the tilt lock, over-compressing the felt drag washers and causing them to adhere to the mating surfaces.

    The interesting part comes from what I found during disassembly. The top of the spider looks like other Hollywood spiders seen online, bearing the R. J. Pagliuso Mfg Co. designation and the familiar Hollywood logo (with the little tripod image between the Y and the W), but has no model name. The head is an Eastman Kodak head, not a Hollywood head.

    I had seen, on rare occasions, vintage Hollywood tripods, but never this model and, as I said above, I can't find this model pictured online. I did some digging and found eight Pagliuso patents online related to tripods (he had other patents for shower heads, and also made spring-propelled toy vehicles and other products in the '50s under the PAGCO brand). The earliest of those patents, filed in 1946 and granted in 1949, was for a new type of telescoping tripod leg. The patent diagram shows the very legs used on my tripod.

    The spider says "Pat. Pend. U.S.A." Hollywood was apparently Pagliuso's foremost patent licensee and designee. The "Pat. Pend." makes me think that this tripod went into production after the leg patent was filed in 1946, and possibly before it was granted in 1949, though (as someone who has worked in a technological field for nearly 50 years) I know that some technology continued to show Patent Pending (or a variant thereof) after the patent grant, until a later production change. Another thing that makes me think this an early Hollywood model is the Kodak head. Could this perhaps be the first model of Hollywood tripod?

    Does my description ring any bells, or should I wait until it is reassembled and I can post some photos? If you want to see the distinctive legs see the patent drawing at Google.


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