So, if you read the teaser post for this posting, did you picture a city park with multiple carousels spinning round and round filled with kids smiling from ear to ear as they rode up and down on wooden horses? I have to admit, that would be a pretty amazing sight to see.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the carousels that I’m referring to are the Kodak Carousel projectors (which was already given away in the title). During my years in high school in the early to mid ’70s, there was a traveling multimedia show that came to our school to show us a slide show. Now this wasn’t just any slide show with one projector and a tray of slides, and a person speaking in a monotone voice…”now class, this is the Amazon rain forest”…this show utilized multiple projectors timed to an audio track using a computer. It was absolutely amazing to see this presentation, because I had not seen anything like it before that time. If I remember correctly, the theme of this slide show was Japan, so there was images of landscapes, people and animals and more.
The screen that the show was projected on, was nearly the width of the classroom that we were in (we were in temporary bungalows at the time) and they must have had at least 40 Kodak Carousel projectors all mounted in a metal framed rig that locked each projector in place.
If there was a single image that filled the entire height and width of the screen, then there may have been multiple projectors projecting a portion of that image. All projectors together made up the entire image. They also were able to fade one or more projectors out and fade other projectors in to give what they call in video editing, a dissolve transition.
If the complexity of aligning and synchronizing the timing of each projector wasn’t enough, they added music to the mix which just layered on more complexity, because it had to be synced with the images being shown on the screen.
The Kodak Carousel slide show was the predecessor to today’s modern day digital multimedia slide shows. When you were talking about a slide show back in the 70′s, you were literally talking about a “slide” show, where you used slide film mounted in slide mounts and used a projector to show them on a projection screen. With today’s modern computers and software, just about anybody; professional and amateur alike, can put together a multimedia presentation with a fraction of the effort and equipment of these previous productions. Ya gotta love technology.
I’m really surprised that I couldn’t find much information about this on the web, because before digital video editing came to be, this method of presentation was pretty common place. The only thing I found was the black & white photo above which shows a typical projector setup.