Vintage Lighting Colortran Trivia

philhaney

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How did Colortran get its name?

Yes, not only did I work there, but I've seen how the company got its name (big hint).

Oldtimers like [user]Steveterry[/user], [user]Derekleffew[/user], et al, are prohibited (or at least respectfully requested) from answering until Monday, October 6th. I'll post the answer if no one else has next Thursday, or at least confirm someone else's correct answer.
 

derekleffew

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ColorTran Industries appears to have been founded ~1955.

Academy Awards® Awards for 1964
Class III (Citation)
* Milton Forman (ColorTran Industries)
Richard B. Glickman (ColorTran Industries)
Daniel J. Pearlman (ColorTran Industries)
For advancements in the design and application to motion picture photography of lighting units using quartz iodine lamps.
Source.

Interesting that "quartz iodine" (T/H, Tungsten-Halogen) lamps began in film studios, but weren't widely accepted on the stage until mid-1970s or later.

As a company, Colortran didn't get involved in theatre until the hiring of Joe Tawil in 1969, who later founded The Great American Market (GAM Products) in 1975.

edit: Once the question has been answered, this thread will be moved into the Theatre History - ControlBooth forum.
 

philhaney

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Ok Folks,

The question "How did Colortran get its name?" is now open for anyone to respond to.

I'll post the answer on Thursday, the 16th of October.

Big Hint #2: When I worked there the name was "Colortran" (ok, "Lee Colortran" actually, but that's a different story), but when the company was founded the name was "ColorTran."

Thanks are due to derekleffew for pointing out our 1964 Academy Award for advancements in the design and application to motion picture photography of lighting units using quartz iodine lamps.

In 1986, one year before I was hired, we got our second Academy Award for developing a flicker-free HMI lighting system. Since we were owned by the Lee brothers at that time (we were Lee Colortran then) the award went to Lee Electric (Lighting) Ltd. Here's the source. Scroll down the list on the left side of your screen and click on 1986.
 

philhaney

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Ok, the answer is contained in a black cube approximately nine inches on a side. There is a six foot ac cord with Edison plug coming out the back, that plugs into your wall outlet. There is an Edison receptacle on the front that you plug your instrument into. The top has a big black knob with a tick mark on it, and it rotates around a scale graduated in degrees Kelvin.

Built for the still photographic industry, the Color Transformer allowed a photographer to vary the color temperature of his floods.

When the company was formed, the name was shortened to ColorTran. And the rest, as they say, is history..... ;)
 

STEVETERRY

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Ok, the answer is contained in a black cube approximately nine inches on a side. There is a six foot ac cord with Edison plug coming out the back, that plugs into your wall outlet. There is an Edison receptacle on the front that you plug your instrument into. The top has a big black knob with a tick mark on it, and it rotates around a scale graduated in degrees Kelvin.

Built for the still photographic industry, the Color Transformer allowed a photographer to vary the color temperature of his floods.

When the company was formed, the name was shortened to ColorTran. And the rest, as they say, is history..... ;)
Now, the next question for all of you: how did the box regulate the color temperature of the lamp?

ST
 

STEVETERRY

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Various densities of Color Temperature Orange and/or Color Temperature Blue correction media? (I'm just not sure how the box held them in front of the light.:rolleyes:)
Err..nice try...and actually, perhaps a better idea!!!

It was an autotransformer in the box that raised and lowered the voltage to the fixture by a few volts, with a corresponding increase or decrease in Color Temperature.

Discussion of lamp life was conveniently omitted.

Seems kinda dumb now, but it got them an award!

ST
 

derekleffew

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...Seems kinda dumb now, but it got them an award!
I don't think ColorTran Industries won any awards for that, but it did launch the company.

The collaborative Article http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/collaborative-articles/7664-mathematical-formulas-lighting.html lists the formula: coltemp/COLTEMP = (volts/VOLTS)^0.42.

Given a lamp with a color temperature of 3200K at 120V,
at 108V (~90%), CT will be ~3061K,
at 132V (~110%), CT will be ~3331K.

One might assume the original ColorTran(sformer) box was calibrated around 2900K, the most common color temperature of an incandescent stage/studio lamp.
 
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derekleffew

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I wonder if this is similar to the device philhaney discusses above?

http://s347.photobucket.com/albums/p456/derekleffew/?action=view&current=ColorTran.jpg

From the item's description:
This sale is for 1 ColorTran Projector Converter. I am not completely sure of it's use but it appears to control and provide constant power to projection & lighting equipment. It powers up and the meter sweeps to 5 different voltages. This was the extent of the testing but it appears to function properly. It is undamaged and has a leather carrying strap on top. It was made by the Natural Lighting Corp. of California in the good ole USA. I can only guarantee this item to match it's description and arrive in good order. I can not guarantee it's application or use as I know little about this item and have no way to test it. Thank you for looking.
I wonder where the seller got ColorTran from?

See also this thread: colortran historical piece - ControlBooth.
 
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Les

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Wow, for $24.99, that's just a cool-looking box that every guy (and girl) needs to have. I mean, who doesn't like the look of a good, old-fashioned hammertone mystery box with louvered vents and a round gauge on the front? I guess I just like having things around that not many people know how to use :) . Kind of like my variac. Just one big ole knob. Couldn't be more simple, yet eludes so many.
 

shiben

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This is slightly off subject but I made myself a tripod reading lamp out of an antique surveyor's tripod and a Color Tran Cine King. I rewired it to take a standard flood bulb and will add a fresnel lens to it.


And if you spent less than 50 bucks, you saved yourself from getting a POS from China at the big box hardware! If ya spent more than 50 bucks, you got a far nicer looking setup, but spent more than a CPOS sells for. Looks pretty nice!
 

Theresa

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I spent less than $50. I've seen similar lamps in high end catalogs for $300 - $500.
 

shiben

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Wow, for $24.99, that's just a cool-looking box that every guy (and girl) needs to have. I mean, who doesn't like the look of a good, old-fashioned hammertone mystery box with louvered vents and a round gauge on the front? I guess I just like having things around that not many people know how to use :) . Kind of like my variac. Just one big ole knob. Couldn't be more simple, yet eludes so many.
If it was less than 25 bucks I would get it and see how it works.
 

derekleffew

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Thanks for posting, Theresa. I never knew there WAS a Cine King. Most know of the CineQueen as the inspiration behind the Altman PAR can (see the wiki link for further history). Now I wonder if there was a Cine Prince?;) What lamp does the CineKing take?
 

Theresa

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Hmm - I don't know much about lighting - it was a huge 500 watt bulb that had a lens type front face. The adapter base was ceramic of some sort but it was broken and the bulb made rattle-y noises so I tossed both of those pieces!

What does "Convertible Key" mean?

I found a couple of references to the Cine King http://books.google.com/books?id=dSHlAAAAMAAJ&q=cine+king&dq=cine+king&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BV8wT5OtHemmsQLStYj9Cg&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBDgK

http://books.google.com/books?id=N3hBAQAAIAAJ&q=cine+king&dq=cine+king&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YF8wT6swprOwArXlvJUO&ved=0CEUQ6AEwAzgU
 
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