Big enough for an eight-year-old child to walk through, a camera that can use any plate from four by five inches to four by four feet, has been designed for the U. S. Geological Survey. It is suspended from an overhead track twenty-five feet long and four feet wide. This suspension prevents vibrations from the ground or building interfering with the apparatus. The great size provides for copying with the greatest precision and accuracy.

Of the total weight of practically three tons, the bellows alone weigh 450 pounds.

Its length, closed, is thirty inches; fully extended, it is eight and one-half feet. Even this is not enough for some of the work the camera is required to do, and additional length is provided by a thirty-six inch cone. The camera can enlarge eighteen diameters, or reduce a ninety-six inch drawing to two and one-half inches. The copy holder, weighing 1,000 pounds, moves on the track in either direction, and both it and the camera are mounted on roller bearings. Wet plates, dry plates, or paper may be used in the cameras.

  1. Toronto says: June 28, 201111:06 am

    I’m waiting for the polaroid back for this.

  2. GaryM says: June 28, 201111:19 am

    I wonder if any of those 48″ x 48″ plates are around today. They’d be quite a challenge for a photo preservation lab.

  3. Hirudinea says: June 28, 201111:58 am

    And here’s the protable version…


  4. Michael, N5RLR says: July 1, 20115:21 pm

    I’d like to see the flash for this behemoth. 😀

  5. Toronto says: July 1, 201110:14 pm

    Re: Camera truck – In 1974 or so, I happened to be helping with set/sound/lighting setup for an amateur musical production that went on the road to the next county over. Riding back from delivering the sets, I opted to lie in the back of the t-tonne truck rather than squeeze into the cab. What I didn’t expect was that a small hole in one side of the truck turned the whole cargo box into a ‘camera obscura” – basically a giant pin-hole camera with the passing world outside projected on the opposite wall of the truck (only upside down and backwards.) Besides being something almost perfectly designed to induce motion sickness, it was a really trippy ride.

    I told the director/driver about it when we got to town, and he insisted on having someone else drive him around the block before we returned the truck.

    Sadly, I didn’t happen to have any 72″ wide movie film with me to capture the images in the style of the camera above.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.