Page 3 - OConnor - The Ultimate Supports For Professionals 2014

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OConnor Engineering Laboratories was founded in 1949
by Chadwell O’Connor. Chad, once a designer and builder
of steam power plants, always had a passion for steam
In the late 1940s, he decided to document them on film before
they were all gone, but found it impossible to pan smoothly
with his Bell & Howell camera. To solve this problem, Chad
designed and built a Fluid Head camera support that would
allow his lightweight camera to follow the moving trains
without jumps, and distracting starts and stops. One day,
in 1949 while he was filming the trains at Glendale Station,
another steam train enthusiast noticed this unusual setup
and stopped to ask a few questions. He liked the concept,
and asked Chad to build a Fluid Head that would solve pan
& tilt problems on his new film, ‘The Living Desert’.
The man was Walt Disney.
Disney was so happy with his first OConnor head that he
immediately ordered 10 more. His film, The Living Desert,
won the first Academy Award for Documentary Feature in
1953. To produce his new fluid head, OConnor founded a
part-time business in 1952, first building them in his garage
and then from a small factory on Green Street in Pasadena,
which his wife Regina ran during the day. By 1969 OConnor
Engineering Labs was so successful that OConnor left his
“day job” at Pasadena Power and Light to work full time on
camera heads and steam engines at O’Connor Engineering.
He enjoyed working with cameramen, by inventing solutions
for their needs. He produced thousands of OConnor fluid
heads and legs, such as the ever-popular O’Connor 100,
so renowned for its ruggedness that it is still a staple
of camerawork worldwide.
Today OConnor Engineering specializes in heavy-duty fluid
heads, tripods and camera accessories. As a VITEC GROUP
brand, OConnor has a large dealer networking spanning the
United States and in more than two dozen countries across
six continents.