THE MAMIYA “FAST ACTION CAMERA”
According to some reports, over 740 police officers were injured in the violent riots that broke out on May Day, 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. Many police officers were injured while simply trying to take photographs of the protesters and as a result, authorities demanded a camera that would be easy to aim without raising it to the eye. The Mamiya “Fast Action Camera” was their answer. Thirty units were delivered to Osaka police headquarters in 1954 but in the trails surrounding the riots concern was raised that the Fast Action Cameras could be confused with real weapons, frightening future subjects with unpredictable results (ie. hurling stones at the photographers), and thusly, the whole idea was scrapped and the pistol cameras were never put into any real on-the-street use.
One of these turned up on E-Bay a few years ago – the asking price? $25,000. (Via)