Eastbourne has been home to many pioneering people, as well some of the inventions they have created. To celebrate British Science Week, we wanted to find out more about The Burville 16mm Sound Projector and the people behind its curtain (so to speak).
It was designed and manufactured by Leslie Arthur Burville, Tommy Wilson, Jack Penfold and Trevor Dowsett in the 1940s and was hailed as a scientific advance in 16mm Projection.
Leslie worked for the Eastbourne Electric Light Company – later Seeboard – and being in a reserved occupation, was not required to join up when war broke out. After redundancies at the Electric Light Company, he started Burville Industries Ltd in Hampden Park to design and manufacture the Burville 16mm sound projector. Tommy Wilson designed the gate and Jack Penfold (a friend from school days) designed the amplifier.
One of the projectors was donated to us in 2015 by Les’ daughter and was a key object in the 2015 Treasure exhibition.