Ben Akiba camera cane

"Ben Akiba" cane

So-called "Ben Akiba" camera cane with a silvered metal crook handle containing the mecanism and spare rolls of film, and on which are the key to make the film move forward as well as a self-cocking shutter released by pulling on a small knob placed under the 9/35 mm lens.
Invented by Emil Kronke, made by A. Lehman in Berlin, 1903 (patented on August 13th, 1902 in England, in 1903 in Germany and on May 3rd, 1904 in the United-States).
Hollow black stained wood shaft containing reserve rolls of film.

It's the only camera cane which was manufactured in series and of which a few models have survived. It uses 18 mm by 70 mm rolls of roll-film, rechargeable in day light, allowing to take 24 13 x 25 mm photographs.
As the handle contains 4 reserve rolls and the shaft 10 the cane allows to takes 350 photographs, as it appears in the advertising of the period.
Copies of this cane have unfortunately been made from an original model several years ago and a great attention is necessary to make the difference. As often the provenance is very important.

Bibliography: M. Auer and E. S. Lothrop, « Les appareils photographiques d'espionnage », ed. epa, Paris, 1978, ill. pp. 80-81; C. Dike, « Cane Curiosa », ed. de l’Amateur, Paris, 1983, p. 112, ill. 10/9; P. Gutknecht et al., catalogue de l’exposition « La canne et ses mystères », Musée de Carouge, Genève, March 18th – May 31rst, 1998, p. 103, cat. n° 70.

Ben Akiba camera cane


"Ben Akiba" cane