Produced by the Universal Camera Company in 1947 the Meteor is by today's standards a "Toy Camera" with it's guessed focus plastic lens, simple aperture selections and size. However, that didn't stop Universal from advertising it as a "Economy camera with 15 Professional features" In 1949 this camera sold for $15 when you calculate for inflation that equals $135 in 2010. Basically, the Meteor was an affordable and easy to use camera aimed at the casual photographer.
The Meteor uses 620 film and takes twelve 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inch (6x6 cm) images. The viewfinder is extremely small and actually only shows about 60% of the image that will end up on the negative. It does feature an extinction meter located directly to the left of the viewfinder, however this is also very small and virtually worthless in helping you determine the correct exposure settings.
The aperture is by far the most interesting feature of Meteor. Unlike the majority of cameras the actual shape of the aperture on the Meteor is square! Very odd, but once you see how mechanically simple the aperture is it becomes clear that this is truly a Toy Camera. The other oddity of the aperture is the stops ranging from 11 - 18 - 22 - 32 yeah f/32 at 1/30th that's insanely slow, in fact some photographers consider f/32 to be in the "pin-hole" range. I guess that's why Universal all included a nice rugged tri-pod mount.
Aperture removed from the camera - Aperture in the camera- Aperture Speed Selection
The lens is guess focused with market distance indicators of 5' - 8' - 10' - 15' - 50' - Infinity. I don't know if it's because mine is so rusted and the lens is a bit wobbly or if they are all this way, but there is virtually no difference in focus at any of those settings.
The lens barrel does contract into the body to make the camera easier to carry, but there is such a minimal difference between deployed and retracted that I think this feature was just a gimmick, who knows maybe Universal didn't like the way "14 Professional Features" sounded.
Film is loaded into a kind of removable carriage or cartridge that drops out of the bottom of the camera. The little lever that holds the cartridge in the camera does not "click" in place, so all it takes is a little bump or jolt and the lever will switch to "open" and out will fall the cartridge ruining your film, found this out the hard way.