FRANK CAPRA - CONTRACT SIGNED 06/30/1933 CO-SIGNED BY: SHELDON K. JOHNSON, JOSEPH B. WALKER - HFSID 298721
FRANK CAPRA and JOSEPH B. WALKER Two-page contract regarding the film director's investment in a device for recording secret messages, invented by Walker and his partner, Sheldon K. Johnson. Contract signed: "Frank R. Capra", "Joseph B. Walker", "Sheldon K. Johnson", 2 pages, 8½x11. No place, 1933 June 30.
Sale Price $1,530.00
FRANK CAPRA and JOSEPH B. WALKER
Two-page contract regarding the film director's investment in a device for recording secret messages, invented by Walker and his partner, Sheldon K. Johnson.
Contract signed: "Frank R. Capra", "Joseph B. Walker", "Sheldon K. Johnson", 2 pages, 8½x11. No place, 1933 June 30. Capra agrees to invest an additional sum, not to exceed $2,500, in a development and marketing of "a certain communicating device." Walker and Johnson attest that they have "a working model ready to show prospective buyers, but Johnson must travel to Washington, D.C for the purpose of "disposing the rights" to the device. Having a previous claim on 10% of receipts from sale of the device arising from a previous investment of $2,500, Capra is now promised an additional 10% of the proceeds. He will receive first payment of anticipated revenues, until the sum of his investment is returned, and to receive 20% of receipts thereafter. FRANK CAPRA (1897-1991), born in Sicily, was the winner of three Best Director Academy Awards for It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can't Take It With You (1938). He enjoyed total creative freedom on his sets and also directed, among other films, Lost Horizon (1937), Meet John Doe (1941) and It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Capra was the first Hollywood director to have his name precede a film's title. Cinematographer and inventor JOSEPH B. WALKER (1892-1985) already had a distinguished reputation for documentary and feature films before beginning 25 years at Columbia Pictures in 1927. Among his 145 films were 18 made with Capra, who called Walker his favorite cinematographer. They worked together on all the films mentioned above. In addition to four Oscar nominations, Walker received the Academy's Sawyer Award for technological contribution to film (1982). Walker was also an inventor, who had worked with Lee De Forrest on a wireless telephone and obtained 20 patents on camera-related devices, including a double exposure system, several zoom lenses, and a facial make-up meter. His only patent shared with SHELDON K. JOHNSON filed prior to this contract was a "Method and Means of Recording and Reproducing Secret Messages", apparently the invention in which Capra was investing. That patent called the device "particularly useful for diplomatic messages, as it may be readily transmitted over a wire or by radio", and that its messages had defied interception and decoding by cryptographic experts. No further information is available concerning Johnson, evidently Walker's business partner. Three horizontal folds. Staple at top center. Staple holes at top center. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.
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