“M” is for Mercury

“M” is for the Univex Mercury CC, a fantastic little 35mm camera that took half-frame shots (that is, it got 48 exposures on a typical 24-exposure roll of film).

The Mercury has got to be my favorite camera. Ever.

It inspired me to draw this little art-deco likeness:

I’ve also written about this camera before, on the main paleopix website.

The Mercury is unique because it has a rotary shutter. Rather than the ‘typical’ shutter with two parts that move either horizontally or vertically to briefly expose the film, two circular, notched shutter pieces spin to cause the exposure.

The arch on the top of the camera is to accommodate the rotary shutter.
The arch on the top of the camera is to accommodate the rotary shutter.

The Mercury CC was manufactured before WWII. We do not yet have a post-war Mercury. We’re still looking!

A shot of our other Mercury CC camera. Notice this one doesn’t have the film advance lever.

This model of Mercury was manufactured from 1938-1942.

With a great-big flash unit, it was especially impressive. Plus, you get to see an inverted view of our living room and my cell phone, with which I took this photo.
With a great-big flash unit, it was especially impressive. Plus, you get to see an inverted view of our living room and my cell phone, with which I took this photo.
Same camera, different shot.

As with many cameras of that time, detailed tables were attached to the camera body to help the photographer determine the perfect exposure.

And if you get bored, there's plenty of reading material on the back of the camera.
And if you get bored, there’s plenty of reading material on the back of the camera.

I think this camera will always be my favorite. We did put a roll of film through it once and got some great photographs. I need to find and share those…

 

Reference: McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th edition, ISBN 0-931838-40-1

The other cameras featured in this A to Z Challenge are linked on this page.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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