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Camera, ICA Icarette Model D


This object is a leather case with lock and strap containing a flat, wide camera case and a key in zip lock bag (stored at the base of the case).

An opening on back of the camera, opened by simultaneously depressing two silver latches, allows film to be loaded on a pair of wooden rollers. The back also features a small “autographic” window to inscribe information directly on the film. When a small raised bump on the side of the case is depressed, the front opens to allow the lens, with black concertina skirt, to come forward approx. 20cm. Around the circumference of the lens increments from 4.5 to 32 are marked. The lens front has two circular dials, one marked “T, B, I” and other with five-pointed star and arrow with “1,2,5,10, 25,50,100,150” on circumference. A shutter release button on a short cable is attached to the lens mount.

The lens comes forward to an “infinity” focus position, and can be adjusted from there. On the side along the track for lens, there is a bone or ivory plaque marked “Feet” with the increments: “6, 10, 13, 20, 25, 40, INF.” The camera has a collapsible viewfinder with metal mirror located immediately to the left of the main lens. Adjacent to the view finder is a miniature level. A wire frame folds out from lens to right of camera and metal view finder on top of camera pops up to allow viewing through frame. There is a tripod mount screw at the bottom of the camera.

Accession Number: 2012.ast.15 (DAA-0097)

Alternative Name: Vest pocket Camera

Primary Materials:

Aluminium, Nickel, Leather, Glass, Bone/Ivory


On back five pointed star logo: “Ica”.

Around lens front: “Ica, Dresden, Compur. D.R.P. No. 258646 D.R.G.M.”

On lens itself: “Carl Zeiss Jena Nr. 559253. Tessar 1:4,5 f=15cm.”

On lens circumference: “No. 357965.”

On camera case: Purple moving label, “dept.”

On inside of case label: “C. A. Chant, University of Toronto, Canada.”

Attached to the key: label, “Ica camera, key to case, Sept. 1924.”

Dimensions (cm):

Closed: Height = 13, Width = 26, Length = 4.5; Open: Height = 13, Width = 26, Length = 20

Function: Field photography.


Good: The case is in fair condition, with worn corners/edges, and with stitching coming apart on one side. The leather strap is broken in one place, and cracked/worn elsewhere. The latch pin has broken off.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Ica, Dresden, Germany.

Date of Manufacture: 1912-1924


This camera belonged to University of Toronto Astronomer Clarence Augustus Chant.

At some point, it was stored at the David Dunlap Observatory. It was likely moved from the Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: