Camera, Telephoto, Langley


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Camera, Telephoto, Langley

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:



Inventory Number


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.

Credit Line

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

Country of Origin

United States of America


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


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

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum