1936fleischerdesk480 1936fleischerdesk480

It All Started Here!

Here’s a restored 1936 Fleischer Studios drawing wedge (click photo above to see larger image). It’s made of wood and fitted with ball-bearing’d wheels to ease the rotation of the heavy disc. It also has two inventions of the Fleischer’s employed on it:

1. a lever which when pushed down, will slide the drawings off the pegs in an uniform fashion so as to not rip the peg holes in the paper

2. an inkwell tray with a sliding latch which locks the bottles in place. (This was added later on and wouldn’t have been on an animator’s/asst’s disc)

This contraption began its life in the NY studios at 1600 Broadway, then traveled to their new Miami complex for several years, only to return to Manhattan as the property of Famous Studios. It also comes with Marty Taras’ fieldguide. . .

…and it will be part of It All Started Here, the East Coast animation exhibition curated by Howard Beckerman and J. J. Sedelmaier. Presented by ArtsWestchester in partnership with J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc. and Blue Sky Studios, this citywide celebration of New York’s 103 year relationship with the animation industry will have its opening reception on Saturday, Jan 17th, from 5-8pm at The Arts Exchange, 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains, New York. This is the kick-off for a month of screenings, parties and displays.

For more info regarding all the It All Started Here festivities check the Facebook page. And, to whet your appetite, JJ sent us a very vintage 70s era Wyler’s Lemonade spot by Jan Svochak that will be in the Commercials section of the film program. . .

  • Wow, what I wouldn’t give for that drawing wedge—I’d choose that over a Cintiq any day!!!

  • “1. a lever which when pushed down, will slide the drawings off the pegs in an uniform fashion so as to not rip the peg holes in the paper”

    Aww man… I could have really used one of those today…

  • joecab

    Ahhh flashback! Those Wyler commercials played a lot, and were great. Talk about quintessential 1970s…

  • Did someone ever acquire a patent for the original drawing desk, or was it an early ‘open-source’ project shared by all the studios?

  • That drawing wedge is absolutely beautiful. Now if I can just figure out how to get to the exhibit, that would be good!

  • Masked Stinker

    That’s a beautiful drawing wedge.

    I wish I had one. I’d be so inspired drawing on a historical piece like this.

  • Tony W.

    Can someone explain what the receding squares on the table are for?

  • Re: receding squares

    Tony – that’s a thick acetate field guide on the disc surface. At each of the 4 corners of the 1-12 fields there’s a small triangle of the plastic cut-out to allow the animator to mark the edges/perimeter of the field on the paper underneath. Let’s say you’ve done a layout that needs to have an 8fld cntr field indicated on it – you slap this multi-field guide over it and draw tick mrks in each of the four corners corresponding to the 8fld on the layout. This allows you to lay it OVER the drawing as opposed to bottom lighting it . . .

  • Gerard de Souza

    beautiful disk. I like the ball bearing idea and the paper lifter.

  • Bob McKnight

    I remember seeing this drawing table on one of my visits to J.J’s
    studio some years ago, and fell in love with it. Thought it was a
    great design. One thing I’ve noticed was that the pegs or pins were
    of an unusual size. They seem to be larger that Oxberry center pegs,
    and smaller than Acme center pegs. What is the diameter and spacing
    of these pegs?

  • Hey Bob !!

    First of all, the pegs are all round. They’re spaced at 4″ apart. The other cool thing about the lever mechanism is that they cast it in aluminum and it says, “Patent Applied For Fleischer Studios Inc. 1936”. I only wish I could get my hands on the shelving unit that went with it originally. . .