Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera

This is about as far removed from a traditional camera design as it’s possible to get. It’s the Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera, made in 1915 by English manufacturers Thornton Pickard. The camera was an exact replica of the American Lewis Gun, which was adopted by the British military during the First World War. But instead of shooting bullets, it shot pictures. Its purpose was to train pilots in air-to-air combat. The camera was the same size and weight as the real gun, and handled in a similar way. So when an airman ‘shot’ at another plane, the position of the resulting image on the film told his instructors how accurate his aim had been.

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