Le Coultre Compass

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Le Coultre Compass Rear View

1937. Manufactured by Jaeger LeCoultre & Company for Compass Cameras Ltd. of London the Compass measures 2 3/4 x 2 1/8 x 1 1/4 and weighs 7 3/4 ounces. It has a coupled rangefinder, built in lens hood and filters. The view finder converts from normal to right angle. You can overlap 2 frames to take a panoramic picture. Originally designed as a plate camera there is an accessory roll-film pack which holds a short roll of six 24x36 negatives. The Compass has a rotary shutter with a speed range of 4 1/2 seconds to1/500. There is also an optional folding tripod.

All this was design by a one time member of the British parliment, Noel Pemberton Billing. Billing was a jack of many trades. In his youth in South Africa he joined the mounted police, boxed competitively and fought in the Boer War. He was very interested in aviation, getting his pilots license, designing and building airplanes in his own aviation firm. He held a seat in the house of commons from 1918 to 1923.

Publishing his own journal "The Imperialist" he led a campaign against homosexuality. He then renamed his journal "Vigilante" and continued writing articles against people he thought were lesbian. Later he wrote a play "High Treason" which he filmed. It was not successful.

As for his inventions, there was his camera, a recording system meant to record much more on each record than ever before and another camera "The Phantom", a spy camera which never went into production.