DOVER FILM COMPANY Dover, New Hampshire

COLLECTION Dover Film.j 4x6_resizeDover Film letterhead 2x8
In the late 1940s, located in the lower Sawyer Woolen Mill factory on lower Mill Street, was a company owned by the MARK BROTHERS, Isadore and Benjamin, part owners in the Keystone Manufacturing Co. in Boston.  After WW II they begain producing roll film for medium format cameras and eventually smaller format 35mm film labeled as DOVER FILM. Even 16mm movie film became part of the inventory and shorts of Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, Little Rascals and children’s cartoons were released in coloful DoVer Film packaging. These were from the Keystone Toy Company selling hand crank toy projectors. A company producing a Direct Positive Camera (Speed O Matic) failed once the Polaroid Camera was introduced and the Dover company purchased the molds and began producing a 620 roll film camera that produced 16 4.5 x 6cm images. The camera is equipped with a yellow filter for black & white scenics and a portrait filter mounted on the front. Camera instructions and exposure information was printed on a metal plate attached to the back of the camera. The lens has a built in rotary disc with five openings (f/stops) and the shutter is a single speed. Flash bulbs were used with a flash attachment built onto the camera with a removable reflector. The camera was packaged in a cardboard box with a colorful label attached to the front. The camera was designated as a 620A. However, the box shown has 620B. They offered two package options. One with a hard cardboard case designed to fit the camera…and a second option (620B) without the case. Instead it offered an OD green sleeve for the flash reflector and included a cable release.  The group photo above shows a Hollywood Junior Press kit offered to kids with a special press card, press pin, assignment book and the camera minus the two filters attached to the front. It was offered in a shoe box style container.  Ansco offered a PRESS CAMERA KIT for Christmas in 1949. It is believed that the DoVer Film Company planned to offer a similar kit.  However, there is no evidence that it ever reached the public. It is believed that a few prototypes were produced and in the hands of executives. The kit shown was acquired from one of the executives and is the only complete kit known to exist. A partial kit appeared in an auction several years ago…possibly from another executive’s estate. In my 50 years of collecting, I have never seen another. Isadore Marks was the president of DoVer Film and died in 1951…so the camera was only produced for a few years.                                                                                                                                         Dover Film box

DOVER FILM 120 4x5DoVer Film was available in several medium format sizes and 35mm for the smaller format cameras such as Leica, Contact and Kodak’s .        DOVER FILM 35mm


Items featured are from the Thom Hindle DoVer Film  Collection..images may not be reproduced without permission.

 MARKs BROS sign

                             original sign from Dover, N.H. factory and film counter displays from the Thom Hindle DoVer Film Collection

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2 Responses to DOVER FILM COMPANY Dover, New Hampshire

  1. chris buchman says:

    Hi: Thanks for the nice site on DOVER FILMS. By chance do you know who owned DOVER – and/or arrangements it had to release 16mm home movie editions of cartoons, comedies . . . ?
    Many of its titles were also in the offing from KEYSTONE FILMS . . . the same cartoons, comedies, and so on. I’ve been working on the origins and releases of both companies but always come to a dead end. I was once a media reviewer for FILMS IN REVIEW . . . 1985 – 1995

    Respond when convenient.

  2. chris buchman says:

    Greetings: The Tom Mix shorts issued by Keystone and Dover were not from a Keystone feature; more likely one or two reelers . . . though not necessarily released by the Keystone Film Company relevant to the Chaplin/Sennett period. They are, as indicated, fairly common on eBay and other film sites . . . though not necessarily in great shape – the boxes tend to be well used, missing end flaps and soiled. But they do turn up in good condition and the boxes retaining their (almost) original colours. They are offered at reasonable to outrageous prices but they are worth having.

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