Heads up, camera collectors! If you’ve been waiting for our next awesome vintage find on ebay, we’re back with another item to pique the interest of you curious lot out there. This time, it’s an interesting and rare aerial horizon camera (at least what we think it is) with a hefty price tag to match.
The item is question is listed as a “Very Rare Vintage ALL SKY DA-3 camera” which, according to ebay seller norman1809, was made by the Special Products & Applied Research Division of de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. It was said to have been designed for photographing the night sky from horizon to horizon. It records records all-sky images, one frame every minute, on 35mm black and white film. As for the technical details, the listing says it uses a direct optical system as opposed to a folded system. The seller also said it’s not been tested, and looks like it was repaired around 1971 based on his understanding of the stamp on the box.
There’s no other mention out there of what this suspected aerial horizon camera was for, how it was mounted to take aerial photos, or other pertinent information. So, we had to search about de Havilland Aircraft of Canada to try and make sense of this intriguing contraption. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, the aircraft manufacturer was incorporated in Ontario in 1928 and developed both commercial and military aircraft. During the Second World War, it also manufactured a large number of aircraft designed and licensed by its original parent company, the British De Havilland.
With this information, we’re toying with the idea that this “ALL SKY DA-3 camera” could have been a photo-reconnaissance camera of a military aircraft. If that’s the case, it could be worth the $14,000 price tag. But we let you decide; check out the ebay listing to find out more or buy it now.
Photos from the ebay listing by norman1809