AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, FIRST WORLD WAR
- Catalogue number
- MH 33751
- Part of
- Production date
- Subject period
- Alternative names
- object category: Black and white
© IWM (MH 33751)Purchase & License
Williamson 'L' Type vertical aerial camera installation as fitted for external use on an aircraft. Connected to the camera body is a propeller and flexible drive shaft for automatic operation, and a remote shutter-release attached by a Bowden cable. The camera body was a light aluminium casting, containing the plate changer, gear driving mechanism and the focal plane shutter. To this, a cylindrical metal lens adapter was fitted which, on initial models, contained a lens of 6 focal length (seen here): subsequently lenses from 8 to 10½ became standard. The shutter was the same Goertz-Anschutz roller-blind type as that on earlier models, fitted with a sliding saddle to adjust the width of the opening, and an internal lens-cap which was mechanically removed during exposure by the shutter release. The magazines were of the same build and capacity as those on the C and E Types, and were placed in similar donor and receiver positions on the plate-changing apparatus. The L Type could be mounted in any vertical position, either inside or outside the fuselage, and could be operated manually or automatically. For manual operation the first models were fitted with a plunger release, but because of the camera-movement caused by its operation at the moment of exposure, this was often disabled or removed and a Bowden cable used in preference, as seen on this example. When in automatic use, the power came from a small propeller turned by the air stream and connected to the camera by a flexible drive shaft. The operator depressed the release lever to actually take the photograph, the exposed plate was then changed and the shutter was reset by a pinion drive activated by the propeller every four seconds. The L Type weighed 37 lbs.
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