Stirn's waistcoat camera and neck cord

1886-1896 in Berlin
Rudolph Stirn
C P Stirn

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Stirn waistcoat camera
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford
Science Museum Group Collection

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. Containing original plate with neck cord and shutter release cord, plated finishes. C.P. Stirn, c.1891. Overall: 55 mm x 152 mm (dia.).

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’.


Photographic Technology
Object Number:
waistcoat camera
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment by process
  • image making equipment
  • camera (form)
  • miniature camera
  • detective camera
  • object genres
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford
Permanent collection

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