Stirn's waistcoat camera

Made:
1886-1896
manufacturer:
Rudolph Stirn
and
C P Stirn

Flat circular camera, for 14cm diameter glass plate for six circular pictures, 4cm diameter. Rapid rectilinear lens, fixed focus and aperture. Rotating instantaneous shutter, wind on knob tension shutter.

Stirn’s waistcoat camera, made by Rudolph Stirn for C P Stirn in Germany, from 1886.

In 1886 C P Stirn bought the rights to a camera invented by Robert D Gray. The camera was manufactured by Stirn’s brother, Rudolf Stirn. 15,000 examples of their 'waistcoat camera' were sold between 1886 and 1888. An advert from the time stated that ‘This camera is carried under the coat or vest, invisible to the eye. Stationary or moving pictures taken unknown to the object’.

Details

Category:
Photographic Technology
Object Number:
1990-5036/1189/1
Materials:
glass, metal plated (unknown)
type:
waistcoat camera
taxonomy:
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment by process
  • image making equipment
  • camera (form)
  • miniature camera
  • detective camera
credit:
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

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