I'd second replacing the belt.
All ( I used to own several different models of Kodascope projectors-
All Eastman Kodak manufacture) and they all had speed controls in the
form of a rheostat. Because of this feature, I could replace the usually
missing belt with a rubber belt which had sufficient tension to run the
machine. Where it ran in the pulleys didn't matter due to the speed
control. And since silent films weren't all shot at a fixed speed, the
speed control becomes even more desirable..Of course, the closer you can
get to the original size and cross profile of the old belt to help
maintain originality , the better.
Some sewing machine drive belts use the same v profile, if you can find
one of the correct size.

If your flims have the odor of mothballs, you have Diacetate based
film, which was developed by Kodak around 1911 , but as George points
out, wouldn't stand up to the intense heat of carbon arc lamps and
constant projection use of theatrical projection.
It was developed mainly for projection with incandescent lamp machines
used in the home or school which generate much , much less heat, not to
mention smoke and poisonous gasses than carbon arc lamps do.
 I suspect that your machine has a notification on it that states " For
Use With Slow Burning Film Only".   That's diacetate film.
 Kodak also made a prismatic color home movie film which will project
well in monochrome, but if you have the lens mounted filter , will
project in pastel colors.

Diacetate shrinks, but it doesn't decompose or suffer from vinegar
syndrome. It was definately used for 16 and 35 mm filmstock. I'm not so
sure about 9.5, 28 mm, etc. I have encountered some film from India
which was 16 mm , but of nitrate base and was decomposing.. Unknown
manufacturer.  I don't believe nitrate was ever used for 16 mm stock in
the US due to fire regulations.

Kodak ( Kodascope ) and  Universal ( Show At Home ) both had very large
16 mm rental libraries of silent and sound- on- disc feature and short
subjects which were available for rental and use in the livingroom- all
issued on diacetate film. This is the reason which we have more early
motion pictures available to us as these prints don't decompose and are
restorable - even to be enlarged to 35mm filmstock for theatrical
presentation and archival preservation.

Sorry to have got off on a tangent, but it's a passion of mine!

Bob Hodge
Sr. Engineer
Belfer Audio Archive
Syracuse University

>>> [log in to unmask] 6/14/2005 2:11:21 PM >>>
From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

RA Friedman wrote:

 noticed the primary
> motor drive belt was flaking. Upon closer examination, I could see
> material that looked like woven cotton and immediately panicked:

----- this is quite unreasonable. Asbestos is a marvellous material
handled correctly, i.e. if blue asbestos, do not crush while breathing
in. It
all depends on the length of small fibers given off when crushing. But
are so many sources of small fibres anyway that running a flaking belt
not contribute significantly.

> I emailed Eastman Kodak to find out if they had any information in
> corporate archives. I was given a polite "no" and given the age of
> product, I should politely forget about it. I wrote back and told
them this
> was not acceptable. Since the company had not changed hands and the
> was still in use by me, I feel an answer is in order. I requested
that they
> direct me to the next level of management.
> I've received no answer. Any suggestions?

----- if you are scared, use another belt.

The reason nitrate film survived for so long, even though it was
inflammable and (if the stock was not manufactured correctly) prone to
destruction, was that it had mechanical properties far surpassing the
acetate and tri-acetate that "safety-mongerers" tried to sell. But
took precautions. Your 16 +mm film is likely to be an acetate, because
forces developed in 16 mm did not require the high strength. Whew, you
safe there.

Kind regards,