Meikai No.1 – 34/99

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Japan 1940 – Compact – 35 mm – Rare.

Created in 1930, in the Kanga district of Tokyo, the Tougodo brand was named to honor Admiral Tougo who had defeated the Russian fleet in the Baltic during the battle of Tsushima in 1905.

Tougodo produced innovative cameras and participated in the second world war effort by producing aircraft parts. The Tougodo Meikai No.1 is a very peculiar camera. It’s one of the early attempts in creating a twin lens 35 mm in the early 40s. The Tougodo innovation is the horizontal or side-by-side layout which allows a 35mm TLR to be little bigger than an ordinary rangefinder camera.

This was the first appearance of the “Japanese side-by-side” TLRs, which were all in fact Tougodo products. The camera has 2 viewfinders, one from the top to see through the lens and one basic from the back.

The Tougodo Meikai No.1 is a rare and intriguing collectible camera that you intuitively want to tilt to get to a more usual vertical position.

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