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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Bell & Howell Director Series


Bell Howell
Bell Howell  

I received the above item from my grandmother before she past in 1981. I am curious as to the value or how old it may be. Please find attached pic. Thank you.


Other than the obvious sentimental value to you and your family, I'm afraid it's essentially a worthless old 8mm movie camera made by Bell & Howell in the early 1960's, extremely common, basically a $10 flea market piece these days. However, this particular model of camera has an interesting connection with one of the saddest days in American history. It was a Bell & Howell Director Series Zoomatic 8mm movie camera that Abraham Zapruder was using when he unexpectedly filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd of 1963. Therefore, although a common and otherwise undistinguished model, savvy sellers sometimes present it as "the Zapruder Camera" on eBay, and they receive bids in excess of $40. Sad, but true...

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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David Silver


I'm an expert on all types of antique and classic CAMERAS, vintage PHOTOGRAPHS, and the HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm; from daguerreotypes and tintypes to the black & white images by the 20th century masters. I can identify and appraise, explain techniques and processes, offer insights on restoration and preservation, and provide guidelines for buying and selling.


I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for over 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

BA and MA in anthropology

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