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This thing is a camera!  Specifically a Fusil Photographique, or “rifle camera.”  It was built by Etienne-Jules Marey, who used it to photograph birds in flight, and it’s been called the world’s first portable motion picture camera. 
Pretty stylish, right?  Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “point and shoot.”  You can read more about Marey and his contemporaries here and here.  (Thanks to the inimitable Ben Simington for the heads-up.)

This thing is a camera!  Specifically a Fusil Photographique, or “rifle camera.”  It was built by Etienne-Jules Marey, who used it to photograph birds in flight, and it’s been called the world’s first portable motion picture camera. 

Pretty stylish, right?  Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “point and shoot.”  You can read more about Marey and his contemporaries here and here.  (Thanks to the inimitable Ben Simington for the heads-up.)