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Camera, Telephoto, Langley

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This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum, it is either on loan or in storage.


Samuel Pierpont Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1887 to 1906 and an aviation pioneer who designed and flew unmanned powered aircraft, used this long-lens camera to study birds in flight. Langley installed photographers with cameras in two towers at the zoo in Washington's Rock Creek Park to take simultaneous photographs of bird wings from different angles. The photographer tripped the shutter with a trigger on the leather-coated wooden gun stock. The lens is missing.

Transferred from the Smithsonian Institution to the United States National Museum.

Manufacturer: Smithsonian Institution

Date: 1887-1903

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: 13 x 9 1/2 x 43 1/4 in. (33.0 x 24.1 x 109.9 cm)

Materials: Wood gun stock, leather covered, and brass barrel (was leather covered).

Physical Description:Gun-like appearance with trigger shutter release on gun stock and long barrel. With magazine, film winder, sighting line/focal length ajustment with two adjustable wheels. No lens.

Inventory number: A19820741000

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