Pretend you’re James Bond with the Photo Antiquities camera of the month


From the Museum of Photo Antiquities:

The Minox spy camera.  Photo courtesy Photo Antiquities.
The Minox spy camera. Photo courtesy Photo Antiquities.

See and touch James Bond’s Spy Camera–the little pocket one that he used in the movies to copy bad guys’ secret documents. You can hold it and pose for your picture at Pittsburgh’s Photo Antiquities Museum. 531 East Ohio St., Pittsburgh’s Northside. It’s the spiffy Minox-B, of the models made 1958-1971.

The camera is so small it can be hidden in any pocket. Only about four inches long and less than an inch wide. But it takes remarkably sharp black and white or color photos in a 16-millimeter film cassette that can be enlarged to 8 x 10 inches clearly. It has
shutter speeds from 1,000th of a second to a time-exposure delay. The remarkable way it advanced film for another shot is to slide the camera open like extending a small telescope, shoot, and close and open. You can take pictures at the rate of one per second this way.

To help James Bond and our American spies get sharper images, a key chain is affixed to the camera but this chain has nodes (larger
round balls) inserted two inches apart. So to scale the image, all you need do is let the chain dangle to the image, count the nodes and
you can figure the size of the object photographed. And it helped determine focus distance, of course. The camera was sold with a fitted leather case.

In the movies if you counted the number of snaps James Bond made with the Minox B it was 007 shots, of course.

At the same time as the Camera of the Month, Photo Antiquities will display The American Tintypes pictures printed on iron sheets unbreakable compared to glass plates. Tintypes of all sizes, from thumbnail to 11×14. Also featuring hand tinted tintypes and copy tintypes to May 31.

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