In 1914, DeVry proceeded to manufacture the tools which would be necessary to produce his projector. For now that he was sure of successful performance of his machine, he knew it must be made on a volume basis, as well as on the basis which would permit prices within the range of the public and could maintain a production schedule adequate for a general consumer's market.
In the spring of 1915, with plans well formulated and with sufficient experimental work completed to assure successful operation of his projector, the factory was opened at 117 North Wells Street, Chicago. Advertising was immediately placed before a doubting world announcing that movies were now possible outside of the theatre - indeed that they could now be shown at home and school with the same ease and efficiency that slides were used in a magic lantern. Even during these early days, he insisted on making a projector foolproof, as he expressed it, and so simple that a child could operate it. The complete mechanism was housed inside a suitcase light enough for a boy to carry. These projectors were not toys - every wearing part was made from the finest steel for the same rugged and continuous service required for professional machines. It is interesting to note that there are still some of these first projectors in operation today.
These famous Type E models immediately became tremendously popular with schools, churches, and business firms. Including improved models, over 50,000 of the silent 35mm portable projectors were sold. This total is more than all other makes of similar portable projectors developed.
From this beginning in 1913, the business known as the DeYry Corporation grew and expanded to become the leading manufacturer of portable precision-built 35mm and 16mm motion picture projection equipment. Thus, with the introduction of his portable equipment, was ushered in the era of amateur motion pictures. It took much of the money that Herman realized from the sale of his early projectors to convince the public that so small a projector was practical. but with the persistence that was characteristic of the man, he soon made the DeVry E standard nontheatrical equipment in the schools and churches of America.
Naturally, a number of imitators entered the field, but their advertising only helped along the general idea of home movies. DeVrey kept his projectors abreast of every improvement. A motor soon replaced the hand drive, special incandescent projection lamps grew more powerful year by year. From the skillful hands of this unusual man came, in 1925, the famous 35mm "A" automatic newsreel camera, a camera which became the favorite of newsreel men and explorers like Beebee, Byrd, Buck and Craig.
One of the outstanding examples of its great work was the sensational Norman Alley motion pictures of the Panay bombing.
In the production of Desert Victory. the famous British war film of the World War II North African campaign. 95% of the footage was made with De Vry 35mm motion picture cameras.