3M Microfilm and the Filmsort Days According to Pete

The Machines That Made it Possible

Created: June 25, 2014
Last Revised: October 20, 2023

1000D Processor Camera and 100 Reader Printer

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Here, I am starting a small (and unofficial) chronicle of the Microfilm Machines produced by 3M and its predecessor, the Filmsort Company.
It's my intent to overview some of those machines for posterity, from the view of people who dealt with them. I'm one of those people, so
you will be hearing from me on this page and from others in the "Anecdotes" link above.

In 1966, the book "The Hole in the Card" was published by 3M
. It documented the progress of Microfilm, particularly the Microfilm Aperture Card from the first inkling of the idea up to the "moment" in 1966, going back before WWII.
The Hole in the Card in PDF format:
It's a pretty big file (6 megabytes) because I made it searchable, so have a good time looking for people and products of interest to you.

Then, in 1975, came the book "MICROFILM:active and vital"
The first 6 chapters of this one are quite similar to those in the first book. But, from there on, its like a super sales and marketing guide to 3M's Microfilm Product Line at that time. Lots more pictures in this one, I think. It is interesting to see that the writers, like most of the rest of us at the time, didn't foresee the internet at all, nor did we imagine the one hundred dollar multi-terabyte drives that were just around the corner. Computers were for indexing and the microfilm was for the actual storage of the data.
Microfilm; active and vital in PDF format
It's a 24 megabyte file, since it is searchable, too.

The Machines:
3M assigned a sequential internal numerical model number for each machine. Then, the marketing department of each manufacturing division assigned a sales name (often a number-name) to it for field use.
I will begin by listing some of them, then I will attempt to write a short essay about some of them.

Int#     Sales                                 Description
23 Filmac 100 Reader Printer
29 Filmac 200 Reader Printer
35 Filmac 300 Reader Printer
38 Hand Mounter
39 SAM Semi Automatic Mounter
41 041 Card Duplicator
49 Diazo Aperture Card Developer
53 Aperture Card Exposure Unit
86 086 Combined Aperture Card Expose/Developer Unit
59 1000D Processor Camera
75 400 Reader Printer
78 2000/2300 Processor Camera
89 Quadrant Dry Silver Printer
102 333 Dry Silver Printer
111 Consultant Microfiche Reader
114 Consultant Microfiche Reader
115 Electron Beam Recorder
??? 1260 ECG Machine             ElectroCardiogram Imaging System Based on the 2000 Processor Camera
183 3M Quantimatic Printer
222 Densitometer
260 600 Reader Printer
261 DupliFiche Microfiche Printer             Vesicular and Diazo Models, from Rensco?
262 Duplifiche Microfiche Developer            
275 500 Reader Printer
295 201 Reader Printer
349 PST (Page Search Terminal)?
352 1050 Step and Repeat Camera
381 Micrapoint 1             Indexing Machine for Page Search Reader Printers
382 Micrapoint 2             Indexing Machine for Page Search Reader Printers
390 480 Data Printer             "Minicats", released in 1973
407 Dupliprinter
419 3400/3401 16mm Cartridge Camera
475 800 Reader Printer
--- 5000? Laser Beam Recorder
--- 510 Autofiche
--- 520 Aperture Card Dupliprinter
597 "1000"? Reader Printer             First Plain Paper Printer. Built on the 598 frame and cabinet design
598 900 Reader Printer
--- 7530/7540 Microfilm/Microfiche Reader Printer
--- 1630 Reader/Printer             Made by KTA (Katsuragawa)
664 630 Microfilm Reader Printer
--- 2800 Processor Camera             I think this device was mfr'd by the German company SMA Electronic Document GmbH, (formerly known as SMA Schaut GmbH).
--- EF6000 Page Search Reader Printer
--- 161 Rotary Camera
--- EF5000 Document Camera
--- FS6 Camera
--- 6500/6600 Planetary Camera
--- 6620 Rotary Camera
--- 710, 715, 721 and 722 Betacom COM Recorder   CRT type COM Recorders
--- 908 Aperture Card Duplicator             We got this series of machines from the British Company Wicks and Wilson Limited.
--- 918 Aperture Card Duplicato
--- 938AS Aperture Card Duplicator with Punch and Print Capability
--- 968 Aperture Card Duplicator with Punch and Print Capability
--- 978 Aperture Card Collator
I know I'm missing many of them, but I will be adding additional machines as I get information about them.

If you'd like to contribute an article about any one of these machines, please use the contact link at the top of this page to let me know.