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DeMoulin Trick Camera: Photography Pranks are Priceless

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    Posted 11 years ago

    rniederman
    (322 items)

    "Now then, look perfectly natural, and remain very quiet for just a moment" the photographer says in a deliberate voice after posing his subject and preparing the tripod mounted polished wood camera with brass lens. In a nonchalant motion, the bulb is squeezed and both photographer and subject await the final result.

    It's a scene that has replayed itself since the invention of photography. But if the subject is posing in front of a c1910 - 1930 DeMoulin camera, the outcome is always surprising. Instead of the soft sound of a shutter opening, a strong stream of water suddenly erupts from the lens showering the formerly smiling and now startled subject.

    The rare 8” x 8” Trick Camera looks like the real thing. In preparing of a shoot, the faux pneumatic shutter release is filled with water and attached to a tube in back of the camera. The photographer then goes through the usual ritual by pretending to focus while looking through a peep hole in the lens.

    The Trick Camera was one of many novelty items, costumes, gag devices, and furniture sold to Lodge and Fraternal orders by DeMoulin Bros. & Co. of Greenville, Illinois. (Note: The company is still in business and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1992.)

    And yes, the camera really works! One day, I decided to show off a newly acquired "vintage wood camera" to one of my sons. Yet somehow I failed to mention the true nature of the camera as he eagerly posed for a demonstration.

    Mounted on top of a vintage tripod, the camera looks very convincing even when closely examined. Indeed, a strong stream of water shot out from the lens and drenched my son! I won't describe the retaliatory chase around the house and having to explain a wet son and wall to my wife.

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    Comments

    1. Hardbrake Hardbrake, 9 years ago
      All I can say is Oh Boy "I LOVE IT" What a nice find. Hardbrake
    2. rniederman rniederman, 9 years ago
      Thanks, Hardbrake!
    3. rniederman rniederman, 9 years ago
      Thanks mrmajestic1 and Vwcollector!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 9 years ago
      Thanks, officialfuel!
    5. rniederman rniederman, 9 years ago
      Thanks, Scott!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, farmlady!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, tom61375!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, michaeln544!
    9. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks!
      ho2cultcha
      SpiritBear
      Windwalker
    10. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks, pops52!
    11. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Elisabethan!
    12. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, oldpeep!

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