Go up a levelExpo Police Camera

introduction | Expo Police Camera | Post-Card Enlarger for Expo Police Camera

From the makers of the Expo Watch Camera which had a production run of 34 years is the Expo Police camera. This camera is called a "miniature detective camera" and according to William White, in his book "Subminiature Photography", this camera was the precursor to all the "matchbook" cameras of the late 1920s.  This makes it one of the "milestone" subminiature cameras. 

There are two models of the Expo Police Camera. The first was sold between 1911 and 1924.

The second model is known as the focal plane Expo Police camera. There are a few internal differences but what marks it out from the earlier version is the swivel waist level finder.  The focal plane model was advertised for 7.50USD, compared to the 5USD of the original model. The second model is rare, one being purchased for 300USD and resold in December 1991 for 1500USD.

Both models use special daylight loading cassettes to make twelve 30x28mm images. They are about the size of a box of kitchen matches, made of stamped out metal, painted in black. The two shutter settings are marked as T and I with the two waterhouse stops operated by a sliding plate. 

The film winding knob has a "D" winding key and there is a film counter. The counter balance of the shutter release is engraved with the logo Expo.  The chrome nameplate on the back states "Patented throughout the world, EXPO POLICE CAMERA, Expo Camera Co. NY, USA.  Inside is a decal  stating about the same as the nameplate and incorporating an Eagle, Stars and crossed rifles. 

The box has a drawing of a police man, stylized printing declaring "Expo Police Camera" and the logo "Expo" is on the bottom of the box.

Model First Expo Police Camera
Serial #  
Finish/colour black metal body with nickel fittings
Purchased 2003/08/12
Date of Manufacture  
Cost 550USD (box, with boxed post card enlarger)
Current Value  
Auction Price  Ebay 2003/06/16 657.95USD, 2003/10/17 412.01USD, 2004/06/13 592USD (12 exposure film), 2004/09/01 700USD (box), 2004/10/18 1025USD (box), 2004/11/17 247.50USD, 2004/12/17 225USD, 2005/08/15 89GBP (fault on shutter, tatty box), 2005/06/25 433.88USD (box, papers), 2005/08/06 200GBP (box),  2005/10/10 293.88USD, 2005/12/12 285USD, 2006/05/20 280EUR + commission
Auction 2003/05/22 550EUR (box), 2006/07/27 482USD (case, box)

Last Updated on 30th July 2006