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Chelsea Flash Light Pistol, c.1900

In Cameras > Camera Accessories > Show & Tell.
Vintage Camera Accessories31 of 33Amateur's Enlarging Camera No.1: S. Wing & CompanyOrigins of Flash Photography: Prosch Igniter
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    Posted 11 years ago

    (325 items)

    Camera accessories are sometimes odd and fun. Early flash equipment is often scary looking apparatus, and even scarier when ignited.

    This Chelsea Flash Pistol is definitely odd and was found in its original box with the retailer’s label including instructions, ignition caps, and a sealed bottle of Scovill’s Electric Flash Compound. What is especially amusing is the advertising tag line stating: “Doubles the use and value of your camera – beats daylight …”

    For some reason, the Chelsea Manufacturing Company created a photo flash resembling a pistol. Its handle and trigger look like the real thing, but a bowl that holds flash powder is at the ‘business end’ of the device.

    Pulling the trigger pops open the lid and a hammer strikes an ignition cap, which in turn ignites the flash powder. I think of this as a 'cap gun' for photography.

    I’m not sure if the Chelsea Flash Pistol will double the value of my wood & brass cameras or beat daylight, but it's a terrific accessory.

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    1. Hardbrake Hardbrake, 10 years ago
      Very nice: It looks new it is in such good shape, but thank god for electronic flash. How many people were hurt by flash powers not to bring up the fires started. You have an Outstanding collection. Hardbrake
    2. rniederman rniederman, 10 years ago
      Thanks Hardbrake for the comments. I was fortunate to be able to acquire something like this in fine condition. Also check out the Prosch Ignitor in my Show & Tell collection ... talk about a potentially big flash ... whoa! - Rob
    3. rniederman rniederman, 9 years ago
      Thanks AR8Jason and AntigueToys!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 8 years ago
      Thanks, pw-collector!
    5. rniederman rniederman, 8 years ago
      Thanks, tom61375!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, aghcollect!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, oldpeep!

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