The Demon Detective camera

1889 in London
The American Camera Company

The Demon Camera
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

The Demon Detective camera
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

O'Reilly's Patent No 10823. Conical metal camera for 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inch plates, uncemented achromatic lenses c.F:1 1/2 inch fixed aperture and focus. Flap and shutter before lens work by elastic band. The American Camera Company, c.1890.

The Demon Detective Camera, made in England by the American Camera Company from 1885.

The Demon was intended to be cheap and simple to use, and was for 2 ¼ inch square plates. It was priced at 5 shillings (25p) when first released. It was designed to be concealed within the user’s garments, and an advert of the time boasted ‘No movement is too rapid for it – the racehorse at greatest speed, the flight of birds, even the lightning flash itself’.

On display

National Science and Media Museum: Kodak Gallery

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Photographic Technology
Object Number:
ebonite, elastic, glass, white metal (unknown) and wood
plate camera
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment by process
  • image making equipment
  • camera (form)
  • miniature camera
The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford

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