Toronto. The photo at left is from an article in the June, 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics. As the war in the Pacific neared its end (the war in Europe had already ended a few weeks earlier), American techies continued to work on aerial cameras to improve the images taken and reduce film waste.
One idea was this special shutter – on the camera at lower right but enlarged and shown at the centre of this photograph. The shutter saved film by allowing an exposure to be snapped only by the light of the ‘bomb flash’ from the aircraft carrying the camera – remaining insensitive to extraneous lights such as search lights, flak, etc.
A big thank you to my good friend, George Dunbar, for sharing this bit of history with us. Today, digital smartphones have simply made wires, glass photo cells, and mechanical devices forgotten bits of historical nostalgia for those of us who can still remember such things.