Howell, Albert Summers

Howell, Albert Summers

(1879–1951) inventor, camera manufacturer; born in West Branch, Mich. He was an apprentice machinist and a tool and die technician in Chicago (1905–07). He joined with Don J. Bell to form the Bell and Howell Company (1907). He designed a 35-millimeter movie projector (patented in 1907) and camera (patented 1909), and a continuous printer to reproduce films that made the mass distribution of movies possible (1911). He created the first inexpensive camera for the amateur photographer (1922) and continued to develop new equipment after his official retirement in 1938. Along with Thomas Edison and George Eastman, he was elected an honorary life member of the American Society of Cinematographers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.