Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Albert Summers 'Bert' Howell  



Bell & Howell Company: A 75 Year History, Jack Fay Robinson. Bell & Howell Co., 1982. ISBN 0-675-02555-9

Albert Summers 'Bert' Howell was born April 17, 1879 on a farm near West Branch, Michigan and died January 3, 1951 in Chicago. He was the son of Marquis de Lafayette Howell and Helen Leach Summers.

At age 11, his family moved to another farm, near a lumber camp in Indiana. Where he engaged in reapairing farm and liumbering machinery. The family moved to Chicago in 1895 where he began work as an apprentice mechanic for the Miehle Printing Press Company.

He first married to Effie Viola Brown then Nora L. Beveridge. His descendants were from Warren/Sussex County, New Jersy.

He attended the Armout Institute of Technology now known as Illinois Institute of Technology of a night and eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer. He built carsealing, berry-box machines and also animal traps. Before he began working in a machine shop that built and repaired motion picture equipment.

In 1906 he designed a framing device fot the Kinodrome 35mm theatre motion picture projector, and was awarded his first patent.

An apprentice machinist and tool and die technician in Chicago (1905-1907). He designed a 35-millimetre film projector (patented 1907) and a camera made of wood (patented 1909), and a continuous printer to reproduce films that made the mass distribution of films possible (1911) this is described as:

    A hand cranked all metal body known as the 'Bell & Howell 2708'. It was of cast aluminum, a four lens turret and a rack-over sysem the film magazine was a 400ft twin compartment. A 'shuttle gate' clamped onto the film lifiting it forward deposting the preforations on register pins that were fixed for advancing of a frame, which held the flim steady and in a precise postion. The basic design of the camera remained until 1957.


He created the first inexpensive camera for the amateur photographer (1922) and continued to develop new equipment after his official retirement in 1938. He was elected an honorary life member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Bell and Howell first met at the Cary Machine Works in Chicago.

He went into business with Donald 'Don' J. Bell and that resulted in the Bell and Howell Company. Founded in 1907 and at one time was headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, according to its charter, Bell & Howell Company came into being in Chicago on New Year's Day, 1907, and was incorporated February 17, 1907 with the amount of $5,000. It was d uly recorded in the Cook County Record Book eight days later. The first meeting of stockholders took place in the office of Attorney W. G. Strong on February 19 at 10 a. m. The first board of directors was chosen for a term of one year: Donald Joseph 'Don' Bell, chairman; Albert Summers 'Bert' Howell, secretary; and Marguerite V. Bell (wife of Donald Bell), vice chairman.

In 1914 they moved to a new building in office on LArchmont Avenue in Chicago. Bell became dissatisfied with the policies of the company which lead to a distputer between him, Howell and other managers.

It is said theat Howell supervised probuction and Bell acted as the salesman. Bell had hired Joseph McNabb as bookkeeper and general manager in 1916. Upon return from one of his trips in 1921 it is said that Bell found drastic changes made and accused Howell of taking poart - Bell fired them and gave them their last pay checks.

Howell and Mc Nabb returned the next day and offered to purchase Bell's interests. McNabb had brought with him Rufus K. Kittredge and Charles A. Ziebarth who had been a former employee of Bell and HowelL

Bell sold his interest to the others. Tho his name remmained a part of the company he did not have any role in it after selling out his interest at $183,895; his initial investement in the company in 1907 amounted to $3,500.

Upon Bell's resignation as director and chairperson, new offiecers were electer being: Rufuf Kittredge, president; Albert Howell, Vice-president; Jospeh McNabb, treasurer and Charles Ziebarth, secretary. Kittredge resigned as president in 1923 but remainded on to act as chairman of the board until 1930. McNabb became president. Ziebarth remained with the company until his death in 1952 and Howell who had resigned as chief engineer in 1939 was appointed to the chairmanship of the baord of directors where he served until his death in 1951 thus remaining with the company for three decades. McNabb died in January 1949 but had hand chosen his successor before his death - Charles Percy.

Founded by two projectionists to manufacture motion picture equipment, the firm is currently headquartered in Wheeling, Illinois, the Bell & Howell Company merged with Böwe Systec Inc in 2003 to become Böwe Bell & Howell. Currently, the company provides document processing, microfilmers, scanners, and financial services.

The trademark is also licenced to makers of various electronic consumer products.

Howel was granted nearly 150 patents during his lifetime.

Died. Albert Summers Howell, 71, co-founder of Bell & Howell Co. (movie cameras), inventor, in movie making's pioneer days, of devices and techniques which took the flicker out of movies; in Chicago. - - Time Monday, Jan. 15, 1951

Bell & Howell Company: A 75 Year History, Jack Fay Robinson. Bell & Howell Co., 1982. ISBN 0-675-02555-9

A biogrpahy also appears in Michigan Biographical Dictionary By Caryn Hannan State History Publications, Jan 1, 1998 pg. 336-338

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography Volume 4 J.T. White, 1934 - United States pg. 255-6
    ... Motion Picture Engineers, and Lake Shore Athletic Club of Chicago. He was twice married: (1) June 14, 1906, to Effie Viola, daughter of Albert Vernon Brown, of Miami, Fla.; (2) Apr. 27, 1929, to Nora L. Beveridge, daughter of Norman Brown, of Porthill, Idaho. He has three sons, Vernon Albert, Kenneth Summers and Glen Orvil


Family History :

Albert Summers Howell was born April 17, 1879 in West Branch, Michigan and died January 3, 1951 in Chicago Cook county Illinois

He was the son of Marquis de Lafayette Howell and Helen Leach Summers.
    A. S. Howell, Prominent Industrialist, Dies

    Albert S. Howell, age, 71, died last Wednesday morning in Chicago following a brief illness

    Funeral services were conducted in Chicago Friday afternoon.

    Mr. Howell, who was well known here at Lake Maxinkuckee, is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nora L. Howell; three sons, Kenneth, and Glen of Chicago and Vernon of Hathorne, Calif.

    The Howells have been residents of the East Shore Road for more than twenty years

    Mr. Howell and the late Donald Bell founded the Bell-Howell Company, which produced moving picture equipment in 1907. Mr. Howell was vice-president of the company until 1940 when he was officially retired, but continued to be active in the company, supervising a special engineering project.

    He became chairman of the board in January 1949.


He first married to 14 Jun 1906 - Chicago, Cook, Illinois Effie Viola Brown b. 24 Jan 1885 - Binghamton, New York Death: 3 May 1972 Death:Riverside California married 2nd Ora Lester McNeice daughter of Americus Vespusius Brown & Georgie Anderson They had
    1 Donald Albert Howell Birth : 30 Jun 1908 Chicago, Cook, Illinois

    2. Vernon Albert Howell born 30 June 1908 in Illinois died 17 Feb, 1960 in Palm Desert, California

    3 Kenneth Summers HOWELL b. 6 Jun 1910, Chicago, Illinois d Nov 1995 in Marion, Williamson, Illinois; m. 8 Aug 1965 Mildred ELLIS b. 3 Jan 1915, Union Co., Illinois m 1st 23 Dec 1939 Cape Girardeau, Missouri Robert Glenn Burroughs and had Janet Louise d/o Frank Scott & Emily Elizabeth (DAVIE) Ellis

    4 Glen Orville Howell Birth: 12 Oct 1913 Chicago, Illinois Chicago, Cook, Illinois Death: 17 Aug 2001 probably Cathedral City, Riverside, California ; married 19 Aug 1960 Riverside, California Margaret A Richter


He married 2nd April 27, 1929 Nora Lucile Brown Birth: 20 Jan 1892 Marshall, Calhoun, Michigan. Death: 21 Sep 1963 - Culver, Marshall, Indiana married 1st Edwin Louis (Edward Louis) Beveridge born 9 Aug 1889 Barton Maryland son of John Russell Beveridge and Nancy “Nannie” S Goodwin daughter of Norman G Brown & Grace L. Whitney
    Michigan, Births and Christenings Index, 1867-1911
    Name: Nora Lucile Brown
    Gender: Female
    Birth Place: Marshall, Calhoun, Michigan
    Birth Date: 20 Jan 1892
    Father's name: Norman G Brown
    Mother's name: Grace L Brown
    FHL Film Number: 1008278
They resided Sherdian Road Edgewater Beach Apts. Chicago, Illinois in 1930.






Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 7, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_247; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0404
Name: Albert S Howell
Age in 1910: 30
Birth Year: abt 1880
Birthplace: Michigan
Home in 1910: Chicago Ward 7, Cook, Illinois
Street: E 58th Street
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Roomer
Marital Status: Married
Father's Birthplace: Michigan
Mother's Birthplace: Michigan
Native Tongue: English
Occupation: Manufacturer
Industry: Tools
Employer, Employee or Other: Employer
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Years Married: 3
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Ina Brown 28
Albert S Howell 30
Effie V Howell 25
Vernon A Howell 1[1 9/12]
O'Poznour 24

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_342; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 1472
Name: Albert Howell [Albert Hamell]
Age: 40
Birth Year: abt 1880
Birthplace: Michigan
Home in 1920: Chicago Ward 25, Cook (Chicago), Illinois
Street: Montrose
House Number: 853
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Boarder
Marital Status: Married
Father's Birthplace: New Jersey
Mother's Birthplace: New Jersey
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Engineer
Industry: Machinery
Employment Field: Wage or Salary
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Earle Mullikea 42
Albert Howell 40

Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 494; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 1894;
Name: Albert S Howell
Birth Year: abt 1879
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Michigan
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1930: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Map of Home: View Map
Street address: Sheridan Road
Ward of City: 49
Block: 117
Institution: Edge Water Beach Apts
House Number in Cities or Towns: 5555
Dwelling Number: 22
Family Number: 263
Home Owned or Rented: Rented
Home Value: 275.00
Radio Set: Yes
Lives on Farm: No
Age at First Marriage: 21
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: New Jersey
Mother's Birthplace: Michigan
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Exective
Industry: Mfg.
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
Employment: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Albert S Howell 51
Nora L Howell 38
Kenneth S Howell 19

Year: 1930; Census Place: Hammond, Lake, Indiana; Roll: 603; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0165
Name: Effie Mcmeice [Effie McNeice]
Birth Year: abt 1885
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: New York
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Homemaker?: Yes
Home in 1930: Hammond, Lake, Indiana
Map of Home: View Map
Street address: Van Buren St
Ward of City: 12th pt
House Number in Cities or Towns: 1779
Dwelling Number: 202
Family Number: 206
Age at First Marriage: 39
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: Ohio
Mother's Birthplace: New York
Able to Speak English: Yes
Household Members: Name Age
Orale Mcmeice [McNeice] 45
Effie Mcmeice [McNeice] 45
Vermon A Howell 21
Glem Howell 16

Year: 1940; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana; Roll: T627_1077; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 50-18
Name: A L Howell
Age: 61
Estimated birth year: abt 1879
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Michigan
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Union, Marshall, Indiana
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Farm: No
Inferred Residence in 1935: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Residence in 1935: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Resident on farm in 1935: No
Sheet Number: 19B
Institution: R
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 403
Occupation: Executive
House Owned or Rented: Owned
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 20,000
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: College, 4th year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 24
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939: 52
Income: 5000
Income Other Sources: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
A L Howell 61
Nora Lo Howell 48






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