Bringing a 140 Year Old Photographic Relic Back to Life

10/21/2020 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments


As this website reports, the earliest sightings of this kind of photographic “tool” was found back in 1879.

An issue of the “Photogarphic News” contained an article from C.W. Davis, that mentioned back then, that photographers were able to buy a mechanical bird that chirped when a pneumatic bulb was squeezed. 



I decided against that bulb, because I need one hand for the lens cap and the second one for the strobe. And I didn’t want to use my feet for squeezing.


Oscar Schwarzkopf labelled his patent 1445362 from 1923 as “toy bird songster”. A “Victory Canary Songster” was also patented that time.


As more portable and smaller cameras were invented, the less “birdies” were seen. But until today most people still know that famous phrase. Lets spread the word to keep this great phrase alive.


Covid19 is again spreading a lot in Austria, thats the reason I had to postpone a wet plate shooting with the brass birdie. As soon as everything gets better, I will catch up with it.


You may also like: How to Make a Darkroom Timer/Thermometer with a Klockis

About Markus Hofstaetter:


Professional photographer for wet plate, portrait, events and virtual tours. You can find more about my work on my website, my blog, on Facebook, on Instagram or on Youtube


Thanks for sharing Markus. Original post on blog.markus-hofstaetter.at | For individual Workshops (starting with one person) please contact me here: www.markus-hofstaetter.at/pages/kontakt



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