The World’s Smallest Camera (May, 1931)

The World’s Smallest Camera

WHAT is probably the world’s smallest camera is illustrated below. This camera was made by the Eastman Kodak company and is a masterpiece of construction; being no larger than a thumb nail, and yet perfect in every detail and capable of taking pictures which are mechanically perfect.

Three months were required in the construction of this midget, every part having been made by hand. A leather case, with a finger loop, has been made to hold it.

  1. Hirudinea says: August 26, 201112:56 pm

    Yea but just what is the market for cameras like among gerbils?

  2. Stephen says: August 27, 20115:41 am

    More likely for spies. There might also be industrial uses, e.g. poking a camera down a pipe to take a photograph of an inaccessible problem site.

  3. Rick s. says: August 27, 20119:27 am

    @stephen. My dad had a full-sized version of that old kodak. It was a folding model with a bellows. If you look closely you’ll see a little silver tab hanging down from the open bellows platform. That was a little folding leg that you dropped down so that you could set the camera on a platform and it would hold itself level. Pretty neat little model.

    As for a spy camera, the film in the 30s was not very fast (around 100 ASA for what would be fast for the time) so it would need extra light such as a flash if used indoors. And with a tiny format as any film in a camera that size would have, it would be mighty grainy. Pretty useless for spying I would guess.


  4. Rick s. says: August 27, 20119:31 am

    For those who are interested in seeing the full-size version of this camera, here it is.…


  5. Hirudinea says: August 27, 20111:49 pm

    @ Stephen & Rick – It was probably just built as a “Gee whiz, look what our company can do” stunt, cool and useless, but it would make people say “Oooo” and remember Kodak.

  6. Seele says: September 2, 20117:13 am

    If it’s a spy camera then it would not have been made as a perfect scaled-down version of an existing camera.

    This camera was actually the camera built by three technicians at Kodak Ltd, the British Kodak operation rather than Eastman Kodak, for Queen Mary’s dollhouse.

    Details here:


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