After receiving educational training offered in American public schools, this young man began his business career as a salesman for a barber supply concern. He next worked for a while in a retail sporting goods establishment. About 1894,we find him working in a penny arcade in Kansas City for a gentleman by the name of Guth. Mr. Guth had brought over from Europe one of the original Lumiere motion picture cameras. So far as records show, this was the first practical motion picture camera used in America. Young DeVry was delighted. He very shortly learned how to take pictures and to project them with the same machine. Records indicate that limelight was used and that the flicker of the film on the screen was terrible.
We next find him serving as a motion picture operator in theatres at Galveston, Texas and Bisbee, Arizona. In these theatres the Lumiere camera and projector were largely used. The film was approximately 35mm in width, there being two holes under the center of each frame to engage the claws. The performance was anything but standard. A short time later, Herman secured and used a Gaumont machine. In 1900, young Herman engaged in a type of activity which was to bring him considerable fame for the next ten years. During this year he secured and showed at the Omaha Exposition a film entitled The Battle of Manila. The first Edison motion picture projector was used for the showing of this picture.
In 1901 the young showman secured 900 feet of 35mm film showing the President McKinley funeral cortege. This picture was shown at carnivals in Buffalo,Washington and Canton, Ohio. Herman purchased this film from George Kleine, who was then acting as Edison's agent in Chicago. A Lubin projector was used.
It was at this early stage in his career that, from the standpoint of an itinerant exhibitor, DeVry began to evolve those principles of economy of parts and reduction in size of equipment necessary for convenient transportation.
Coming into 1902 or 1903, we find Herman operating a bicycle repair shop in the 1600 block of 16th Street in Denver, Colorado. This building was located at the southeast approach of the 16th Street viaduct, a block and a half from Union Station. It was here that during his spare time he began to work with the rather crude motion picture cameras and projectors then being used.
From Denver he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he worked in an electical fixture shop and for a while served as city electrician. While in