Ernest F. Moy Limited 1895 - 2013

Manufacturer of cine cameras
born in:
Camden, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Ernest F. Moy Limited was established by Ernest Francis Moy (c.1869-1926) and Percie Henry Bastie in 1895 to manufacture fuses, circuit breakers and switches. However, they were soon introduced to cinematography by a customer, Robert W. Paul, which led to them moving into this industry. From 1897, they began establishing cine equipment patents, and in 1900, they launched their own film camera with daylight loading. Their cameras were competing with those from Williamson, Darling and Prestwich and over the next decade, were being used by filmmakers worldwide. However, despite expanding into this business, they continued manufacturing their fuse boxes, circuit breakers and other routine electrical equipment.

In 1909, they produced their most well-known camera, the 'Simple-Efficient-Reliable', a professional hand crank 35mm motion picture camera in the 'upright style'. In 1911, they also produced the Moy Gyroscopic camera which allowed for aviation photography. By 1911, Moy cameras were in constant use in British studios and by others worldwide.

In the 1920s, they patented many improvements to film cameras but were suffering from financial troubles caused by American competition, the impact of the First World War, and the death of Moy. The introduction of sound in cinema saved them when Gaumont British asked them to make sound heads for their existing projectors. In 1922, they were listed as being manufacturers of cameras, printers, perforators, projectors, arc lamps, film gauges, rewinders, film jointers, automatic developers, and resistances.

During the Second World War, the company made radar equipment, and after the war, began making household appliances. They finally moved away from the film business in the 1950s and instead began producing Braille transcribers for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Seperate from this business, the partners began using their cameras very early on to produce films on the roof of their London factory. To handle this side of the business, they created the off-shoot company Cinematograph Company Limited and had help from William Friese-Greene.