16mm Film Reel – “Astronomer”


Accession Number: 2019.ast.199


This is a 16mm film reel in a grey metal case with some old bits of fabric tape attached to the top. The word “astronomer” has been written on the lid of the case.

The film included is called “Astronomer” and appears to be a documentary about 15 minutes long.

Primary Materials:

Film, Metal: Iron Alloy, Fabric Tape (Cotton, Plastic)


Handwritten on the lid of the box: “ASTRONOMER”

In raised lettering on the centre of the film reel: “FRONT”

Dimensions (cm): Diameter = 18.1, Height = 2


This appears to be an educational film about astronomers. Early scenes depict parts of a telescope, possibly that at the David Dunlap Observatory.


Good: The case is in good condition, although slightly smudged. Three pieces of old tape have at times been affixed to the lid of the case; these are decaying, leaving loose fabric strands emerging from the plastic tape. The film is in good condition, although the first two meters or so have broken off the rest of the film. The rest of the film’s condition is unknown.

Manufacturer: Film House, Toronto; Locally made?

Date of Manufacture: 1960s-1970s?


This film may have been locally made at the David Dunlap Observatory, perhaps as an educational tool. Since its purchase or making, it has been stored at the David Dunlap Observatory. The film was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017 when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.