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2004/44/10-4 Miniature camera, 'Hit', metal / plastic / glass, made by the Tougodo Company, Japan, 1950-1969. Click to enlarge.

Miniature Hit camera made by Tougodo Company

Made
35 mm film was first introduced for Edison's Kinetograph film but was not of sufficient quality for still film until the early 1900s. Another factor which limited the uptake of 35 mm film was the competition from Kodak's multitude of film sizes. It was not until the 1930's that this smaller film size started to become a popular and it was from this time that 35mm cameras began to dominate the market.

A number of camera manufacturers had attempted to market the format but it was not until 1923 and the introduction of the 'Leica' camera that 35 mm challenged other larger film sizes. This success was due to the high design, construction and lens qualities of the 'Leica' which allowed quality enlargements to be made from the small 35 mm negatives. In 1934 Kodak produced its first 35 mm camera, the 'Retina' and in 1936 the International Radio Corporation made the 'Argus model A' camera the first to be mass-produced in the U. S. A. After the Second World War Japanese manufactures started producing quality 35 mm cameras which became the de-facto standard for film negatives throughout the rest of the century.

'Hit' miniature cameras,first appeared about 1950, several years after the Midget and Mycro cameras of 1939. 'Hit' cameras were made by the Tougodo Company which was founded in 1930 by Masanori Nagatsuka and named after Admiral Tougo of the Japanese Navy. The camera is engraved with 'Made in Occupied Japan' and has a film counter dial, which is rare for 'Hit' style cameras. The packaging and instructions seen with many HIT cameras is also seen with cameras of other names, an indicator that Tougodo Company also produced many of these.

This camera is a part of the Jock Leate collection acquired by the Powerhouse in 2004. Jock managed a chain of 'photography, recording, Hi-fi and optical equipment' stores across Sydney from the late 1960s to 1988. The collection spans the period from the 1870s through to the 1980s.

References
Coe, Brian, Cameras, from the daguerreotype to instant pictures, Marshall Cavendish, London, 1978
http://www.submin.com/17.5mm/collection/hit/index.htm

Geoff Barker, March, 2007

Summary

Object No.

2004/44/10-4

Object Statement

Miniature camera, 'Hit', metal / plastic / glass, made by the Tougodo Company, Japan, 1950-1969

Physical Description

Miniature 17.5mm camera made of gold coloured metal with brown leather covering. There is a simple film winder at the top along with view finder. The shutter is at the side of the fixed lens. The hinged back opens to reveal the film chamber.

Marks

Top: 'Hit'. Around lens: 'Hit/MADE IN JAPAN'.

Dimensions

Height

33 mm

Width

50 mm

Depth

33 mm

Production

Notes

Hit cameras from which all the others are termed even though the first appeared about 1950, several years after the Midget and Mycro cameras of 1939. Hits were made by the Tougodo Co, founded in 1930, by Masanori Nagatsuka and named after Admiral Tougo of the Japanese Navy.

Variations include single shutter speed with a sliding bar door lock and ones with speeds of I (1/50th) and B and all having a fixed aperture of f11 and a snap shut door lock or sliding bar. The front nameplate surround is black or white and different fonts. Variations in the engravings on the top of the camera and a version with gold finish as well as the chrome.

The camera engraved with Made in Occupied Japan also has a film counter dial, which is rare on HIT style cameras. As the MIOJ period was from 1947 to 1951 this was one of the earlier models.

The packaging and instructions seen with many HIT cameras is also seen with cameras of other names, an indicator that Tougodo Co also produced many of these.

http://www.submin.com/17.5mm/collection/hit/index.htm (23/6/2004)

Cite this Object

Harvard

Miniature Hit camera made by Tougodo Company 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 January 2021, <https://ma.as/346141>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/346141 |title=Miniature Hit camera made by Tougodo Company |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 January 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Technology & Innovation at the Museums Discovery Centre.