Threesome & Twenty/Twenty

John Linsky, George Dunbar


We started the evening with a 20 question quiz on 20th century photography. Most of the questions where about images making the quiz a real challenge. While George marked our answers, John Linsky provided Threesome -- a mini show and tell about three of his favourite cameras,

John Linsky - Threesome

John's first item was a "Brenda Starr Cub Reporter", a little plastic camera that takes 127 film. It was made in Chicago by Seymore Products (also Seymour Products). The basic camera was made with various faces as promotions. Brenda Starr is a comic heroine from the 1950s/60s. This little camera was created for her fans. What sets it apart from other Seymore/Seymour promotions was its 4 colour illustrated enamel face plate (close-up courtesy of John Linsky).

John's next item was a box camera discovered in an antique shop while on holiday. The shop had no cameras on display but the owner pointed John to a shelf at the back of the room lined with various box cameras including this one with its rather shabby leather covering. It turned out to be a unique 1896 quadruple plate box camera. Ed Warner made a latch pin and plate key to restore the camera to operation. The special feature of this camera is the fact it holds four plates. A key is used to swing a plate into the focal plane and a picture is snapped. The plate is moved back to the side of the camera and a second plate is rotated into the focal plane and so on for four shots. John chose to leave the leather as is rather than trying to clean it up and possibly lowering its value.

John's final favourite was a camera made only in 1956 - the Cambinox. It consists of a pair of 7x35 binoculars with a 16mm still camera nestled between the two objectives. The camera was originally purchased by member Walter Kopacs from Kling Photo in Toronto and is complete with the hard to find special film cassette. The Cambinox has interchangeable telephoto lenses with a choice of four focal lengths from 35mm to 180mm. The camera was made in Wedel, Germany by J.D. Moller Optical Works.


Once the results were tallied, George gave us a slide show of answers and explanations. Each slide generated a discussion about the image and the issues associated with it.

The Quiz began with Robert Capra's famous 1936 photo from the war in Spain and the controversy about its authenticity. It was suspected to be a posed shot.

Next was a question about the two musicians who invented Kodachrome and the suggestion that the famous picture of the two includes a sight gag (the violinist is at the piano and vice versa).

Every one seemed to know that Arthur Fellig's nickname was Weegee, but few knew how he earned it. As a kid, he was a darkroom assistant charged with squeegeeing water off finished prints on demand.

Everyone knew Joe Rosenthal's famous news shot of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima and many also knew of the controversy about it being posed - it wasn't. Joe snapped the act of raising the second flag. The first one was too small and the troops decided to replace it.

George's other questions ranged from "who displayed the first movie at the CNE " to "what company introduced the first still video camera*" with many interesting stops in between. *CAUTION: This link will clutter your screen with a couple of pop ad windows.

The winner of the Twenty/Twenty quiz was Past-President Don Douglas. In addition to his passion for Ansco products, Don is an accomplished amateur photographer and frequent winner of image contests in the PHSC. Don answered an amazing 15 of the 20 questions correctly. Congratulations to Mr. Douglas!

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