a kokopelli camera

Butcher’s 1/4 plate Midg camera c 1917 courtesy of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Licence

Toronto. Before science burst the bubble, many gullible souls believed in ghosts, seances, and fairies This past summer, I did the above post linked to ‘fairies’ covering the infamous ‘Cottingley Fairies’ saga. Many well educated folk like Dr Arthur Conan Doyle, believed in the supernatural since science at the time could not explain things beyond the grave; beyond human vision. In c1817 a couple of kids set up and photographed ‘fairies’ in a garden. The mother of one child discovered the prints; talked to self proclaimed experts et voilà! history was made.

The camera said to have set this all in motion was a quarter plate camera made by W Butcher & Sons of London, England in 1902-1920. The model was called the ‘Midg’.  Like so many events and cameras, these have passed on into history.

The “Science Museum Group” explains, ” ‘Midg’ Camera Used to Make the First Two `Cottingley fairies’ Photographs in 1917. 1998-5138Science Museum Group Collection Online.

My thanks to that good friend of me and the society, George Dunbar, for sharing this find with us. Note that the title stems from the mischievous ‘Kokopelli‘ character well known throughout history. It was a feature of the beliefs of some Southwestern American Indian tribes where I first read about the little guy. Kokopelli’s silhouette also appeared on some cotton fabrics we once sold.


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