The Case family also had a summer home a dozen miles away on Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. The home was called Casowasco and was originally only accessible by train or boat. This summer home was one of the first in the area to have electric lighting, powered by a small hydro-electric plant on the hillside above. After Case's death, the property was donated to the Methodist church by Case's widow, closing the history in Cayuga County of one of its founding families. It now functions as a conference center and is still named Casowasco.
With the profits earned from his sale of the Case Research Lab's invention of sound film to William Fox, Case built a new home in Auburn that was, and is, the largest house in that city. The house featured an indoor swimming pool, a ballroom, a hidden room with a secret entrance, and living quarters for the many servants needed to manage the property. Behind the house were two identical buildings, one for horses, one for automobiles. The Case mansion is now used as a mental health facility while the buildings on the street behind it have been converted into homes.
Case was a man of action and sport so he owned many boats and cars and traveled often. A descendant of another of Auburn's wealthy families remembers that during the depression there were often parties at Case's new home, despite the national climate of belt tightening. Case also purchased a custom made Cadillac in the early 1930s, something that few of even the most wealthy did during that time. That Cadillac was made into a hot rod in the 1950s by its then owner. Case's Cadillac is now being restored by its latest owner. But Case might very well have had a measure of his worth because he died a wealthy man and his widow was well funded for the duration of her life.
On 15 April 1923, DeForest presented 18 short films made in the Phonofilm process at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. The printed program for this presentation gives credit to the "DeForest-Case Patents". However, shortly after DeForest filed a lawsuit in June 1923 against Freeman Harrison Owens, another inventor who had worked with DeForest on sound-on-film systems, Case and DeForest had a falling-out.
The dispute between Case and DeForest was due to Case not being properly credited for his lab's contributions to Phonofilms. Case attended the April 1923 presentation of Phonofilm and was never mentioned during that presentation. By this time, DeForest had already been repeatedly warned by Case to present the truth of the inventions, to no avail. The films shown at the Phonofilm presentation used the Case Research Lab AEO Light for recording sound, were filmed with a camera designed by the Case Lab, and used the Case Lab's Thallofide Cell for reproducing the sound. Shortly after this presentation, Case stopped providing DeForest with his lab's inventions, effectively puttting DeForest out of the sound film business, but not out of the "claiming to have invented sound film" business.
The Case Research Lab then set about to perfect the system of sound film they had provided DeForest, now that DeForest was no longer able to inhibit their development of this new technology. One of the first things Case did was to change the location of the sound head on a modified silent projector to 21 frames upstream from the projected image, ensuring that no Phonofilm could be played on Case equipment. This standard was adopted by all subsequent sound-on-film systems and still applies to this day.
Titles filmed by Case in his process, all made at the Case Studios in Auburn, New York, include Miss Manila Martin and Her Pet Squirrel (1921), Gus Visser and His Singing Duck (1925), Bird in a Cage (1923), Gallagher and Shean (1925), Madame Fifi (1925), and Chinese Variety Performer with a Ukelele (1925). Gus Visser and His Singing Duck was nominated to the National Film Registry in 2002.
There were hundreds more test films made at the Case Lab that were lost in a fire in the 1950s. The Case Research Lab is now a museum open to the public. Adjacent to the lab is the estate's carriage house where sound-film tests were made on its second floor. That sound studio is also open to the public and its collections include a seven-foot square balsawood box that housed the camera and operator during filming. The original amplifiers and many more items used in the development of sound film at the Case Research Lab are also on display, as well as an early Wall camera used by Movietone News. The museum is currently searching for the first sound camera built by the Case Lab, believed to be in a private collection.
Drug Testing In Pa. Schools Might Not Pass Challenge ; Court Decisions Have Been Balancing Acts In Favor Of Government.
Jan 31, 2010; There's a good chance that mandatory drug testing programs in Pennsylvania schools could be struck down if challenged in court....