The photograph in this post is currently being offered on eBay right now. While I have read about the Disney Film Recording Corporation and how the brothers had a fleet of mobile sound trucks, until yesterday I had never seen an image of one.
The following great image shows two converted trucks and another vehicle - the sum of the rolling stock of the Disney's Film Recording Corp. Walt's brother Roy is pictured in the center of the image, which appears to have been taken on a Studio back lot. I'm not sure who the fellows on each side of Roy are.
Walt Disney signed a contract with his distributor Pat Powers for the use of Power's sound recording system, known as Cinephone. In 1927 Powers had hired a former DeForest Phonofilm sound technician and had him create a clone of the DeForest system, which Powers promptly marketed as his own. The sound technician's name? None other than Bill Garity.
Detail from a 1929 trade magazine ad.
After inking an option deal in the spring of 1929 for the further use of Power's sound system, Bill Garity traveled to Hollywood to oversee the installation of Cinephone equipment at the Disney's new sound studio, which was located across the street from Paramount on Melrose Avenue. After the construction of the Animator's Building No. 1 and the sound stage in 1931, the sound studio was relocated to Disney's Hyperion Avenue Studio.
March 7, 1929 The Film Daily article.
March 27, 1929 The Film Daily article.
Garity was later hired by Walt Disney and became the Studio's chief sound technician. He also helped design the Studio's version of a multiplane camera, (for which he holds the patent on), as well as several other pieces of equipment. My friend Hans Perk has written extensively about Garity on his own blog A. Film L.A.
UPDATE - I'm just wondering now if the person on the far right side of the photo might possibly be Bill Garity? Here's another image the person selling the image posted:
Click on any of the images to make them appear larger.