Thomas Skaife, British inventor

Thomas Skaife, British inventor

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Skaife (1806-1876), British inventor. Skaife is most famous for his pistol-shaped camera design. Such designs, which were generally called pistolgraphs, were intended to be held like a gun, and pointed at the subject of the picture when taking the photograph. Skaife designed his pistolgraph around 1856. It is said that he was arrested by the police when he aimed it at Queen Victoria during a procession. This image is a self-portrait taken with one of his pistol-shaped cameras. The ornamental border is that produced by his photographic studio (Skaife's Pistolgraph Depot), based near Regent's Park in London, England.

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