History of the C-Stand

History of the C-Stand

Century Stands, also referred to as "C Stands", are extensively utilized stands in the motion picture industry. They are primarily used by the grip department and provide the capability to support various objects on film sets.
The origins of Century Stands and the reason behind their name have been subject to numerous theories... 
Most film industry crew members believe these stands are called Century Stands since they can be used a hundred different ways.
Another old theory states that back in the nineteen twenties, light reflectors were positioned with studio built wooden easel stands.These easel stands were a hundred inches tall and could have been called "century stands". 
Here's a picture of a wooden easel stand from the 1920's, its similar to the first century stands built by studios.
The best theory for the origin of the "C- Stand" comes from New York City where films were born and a company named Century Lighting was one of the first companies to manufacture theatrical or studio equipment. Stands produced by Century Lighting were called Century Stands or C-Stands for short.

In 1974, Matthews Studio Equipment became the first company to create and build the first folding leg C-Stands. This improvement gave them the ability to better stack and stow away. Making them an industry standard, utilized by photographers and filmmakers worldwide.

Nowadays there many different styles and brands of C-Stands available that are typically 20" or 40" tall with a variety of bases to choose from.
The most popular stands prefered by professional Grips are manufactured by American Grip Inc, Matthews Studio Equipment and Norms Studio Equipment.
This article was brought to you by Grip Support and TheGripStore.com
Back to blog

1 comment

The way I heard it, The Century Ironworks made the first century stands.

Jim Takahashi

Leave a comment