Title and statement of responsibility area
Mousetrap camera [replica]
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Nassau, Wilhelm E.
Physical description area
1 piece of photographic equipment : camera
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Wilhelm E. Nassau was born in Vienna, Austria in 1922, where he attended public and secondary school. He became seriously interested in film and photography in 1939, when he obtained his first 9 1/2 mm amateur movie camera. From 1940-1942, he attended the Vienna Staatliche Graphische Lehreun Versuchsanstalt, eventually earning a Masters Degree in Photography. Later, he obtained a secondary diploma in Electronic Engineering from a Vienna technical college, specializing in Television.
From 1942 - 1944, Nassau worked as a technician developing colour photography processes and on various feature film productions in Germany. In 1945, he worked for the Psychological Warfare Branch of the British 8th Army, shooting film and photographs.
After the war, Nassau found work at a researcher and photographer for the Third Man, a film production by the London Film Company in 1948. Similar awssignements followed and in 1956 Nassau began work for the newly established Austrian State Television. After coming to Ottawa, Ontario in 1959, Nassau worked for the CBC, CTV and. later, for ABC in Vermont.
In 1969, Wilfren Laurier University (then the Waterloo Lutheran University) hired Nassau to spearhead the development of an Audio-Visual department, where he developed courses in Film Study, Radio and Television Arts and Photograhpy. He also headed the development of the Telecollege program; televised lecture courses for distance education.
Nassau holds a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Archeology and an honorary Doctorate from Wilfred Laurier University.
He has produced many documentaries for various museums in canada and abroad, and acts as a consultant for the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa and the Glass Museum in Baernbach, Austria.
Nassau is a Life Member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Canadian Society of Cinematographers. He is also a Charter Member of the Photographic Historical Society of Canada. He currently lives in Waterloo and works as a volunteer for the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.
Scope and content
Item is a small, wooden camera obscura with a single meniskus lens to demonstrate function of matt glass focusing screen and focal length. It is a replica built in the style of the small "mousetrap" cameras designed by William Henry Fox Talbot in the mid 1830's. They were simple wooden boxes with a single lens used to expose paper negatives, sensitized by silver nitrate (the calotype or Talbotype process). Exposures often took hours, and Talbot had several of the cameras made by a local joiner near his country home in Laycock, Wiltshire.
Immediate source of acquisition
Created by Wilhelm E. Nassau and donated to Ryerson University Library and Archives Special Collections department by Wilfrid Laurier University in 2011.
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Restrictions on access
Open. Records are available for consultation without restriction.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Item is from the Wilhelm E. Nassau/Wilfrid Laurier University donation, accession number 2011.018. Moved to the Heritage Camera Collection in 2013.