Michael Grotticelli /
01.25.2010 02:04 PM
Vinten is 100 years old

Vinten, now a Vitec Group brand, is celebrating its 100th year in business. It was on Jan. 1, 1910, that William Vinten, already widely known as an accomplished mechanical engineer, took over a Wardour Street workshop in London and opened his own business — first repairing, then designing and building cameras.

One century ago, the new company received its first order, for 25 Kinemacolor machines — high-speed film projectors for the Edison color system — at £28 (more than $45) each.

When television first appeared on the scene, Vinten took an active interest. Before the advent of video recording, the only way to archive content was on film, often using a Vinten camera.

By the early 1950s, the new techniques of television production were being developed, where cameras needed to move freely around the studio floor. While others tried to adapt film camera supports, Vinten realized that a totally new type of system was called for.

In 1956, the first hydropneumatic pedestal — a design that many said couldn’t be built — was delivered. The principles in the type 419 pedestal are still in use in today’s Quattro pedestals.

Today, Vinten remains a specialist in camera support technology for broadcast professionals, as well as corporate, education and government applications. Their current products include manual heads, tripods and pedestals suitable for studio, outside broadcast, ENG and EFP.

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