My day job (professor of Japanese history and culture) involves books. My fantasy job involves cameras. What better way to combine the two than through a book camera? The 1892 Scoville photography catalog advertised just that:

I like the gendered aspect of book camera—a lady with a camera in public might seem a bit unseemly, but carrying a few books would be socially acceptable. Note too the sense of public opprobrium that might be hurled one’s way for simply carrying a “hand-camera” that is “now almost universally recognized and avoided.” I think this “fear” that is alluded to might stem from the frightening prospect of passers-by being caught in the cross-hairs of a stealthy snapshot. Of course, I wonder what passers-by might thing when one starts unfolding these “books” to reveal this:

If you have at least 15,000 euros you could get into the bidding for this one at this auction house. And then gift it to me. Assuming that is unlikely to happen, perhaps I will peruse the old books we have around the house and start hollowing them out….

 

 

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