Cool Stuff! – The Tondo Projector

A streamlined plastic world

tondo italy space age projector polistil
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Above: A grouping of both the CT1 and CT80 models and well as the three available colors of the Tondo Super 8mm projector designed by artist G.L. Cernuschi and made by Polistil of Italy in 1969. Photo: DC Hillier

By James Grahame of Retro Thing
It looks more like a set piece from ‘2001’ than a projector.

Let’s not mince words; the Italian Tondo 8mm projector is a mechanical work of art. Made possible by the wonders of ABS plastic, G.L. Cernuschi’s Tondo Junior CT1 Super 8 projector was released in 1969. It was followed a year later by the CT80 (above + below), which accepted both Super 8 and Regular 8mm formats and came in dashingly modern red, green or blue.

tondo italy space age projector polistil

The inner works of the Tondo Super 8mm projector designed by artist G.L. Cernuschi and made by Polistil of Italy in 1969. Photo: DC Hillier

Of course, the toy-like design virtually ensured that these little machines would never be taken seriously by die-hard collectors, especially since manufacturer Polistil got its start in the early 1960s molding plastic model cars. Nevertheless, the cheery Tondo lineup proved irresistible throughout Europe and remained on the market until the mid-1970s.

tondo italy space age projector polistil

The wonderful graphics of the Tondo Super 8mm projector box. Photo: flickr/bb.plastics

tondo italy space age projector polistil

Reflective of their time the wonderful graphics of the Tondo Super 8mm projector box. Photo: flickr/bb.plastics

With designs like this, it’s no wonder that futurists in the 1970s envisioned people of the 21st century living in a streamlined plastic world. Little did they know we’d just end up lounging around graffiti-infested housing projects, quietly caressing our sleek iPhones while wondering where the future went.

The Tondo Super 8 Projector designed by G.L. Cernuschi and made by Polistil of Italy in 1969. Click on Image for full view

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