Toronto. My thanks to friend John Linsky for reminding me of the old photographers who used a novelty to attract the attention of smaller subjects (John has some of these too). In the 1800s and early 1900s it was important that subjects sit still for a few seconds – or minutes – to have a decent portrait captured in the studio.
A typical gadget was this small brass bird which was mounted on the big studio camera and would chirp when the photographer pressed his rubber ball to snap the photo.
One of our members had an original birdie which he happily displayed at a meeting for all to see. The little brass bird sparked the popular expression “watch the birdie“. The icon and link will take you to an article on the birdie at Smile for me Toys.