Catching up after Thanksgiving, and needing a breather from the other projects I have been working on, I came back to this mystery camera this week that has been part of my collection for a number of years. It identifies itself as a Pacific Laboratories V-10 camera and has a U.S. Government Property tag on the front. I have always found it to be an interesting looking camera because of its simplicity, but haven’t been able to find too many details about it or the company who made it. Pacific Laboratories is, unfortunately, an extremely common name, so we were not able to learn anything more about them other than their location in 1955 and the owner’s name. They were located at 12808 Venice Blvd. in Los Angeles, and the owner is listed as L.K. Margiot.
The camera appears in “Aviation Week” from January 1953 where it is described as a recorder camera intended for documenting flight tests and instrumentation data. We find it again in the 1962 Alan Gordon Enterprises catalog. The version of the V-10 camera from 1953 looks slightly different, while the 1962 version looks the same as the one we have. The camera also features a Mitchell magazine mount. The motor in this camera appears to run continuously. It looks like an external controller would engage a micro switch that triggers a clutch that drives a Geneva movement to turn the shutter and advance each frame. Without a schematic, I can’t determine what pins on the connector do what. I am curious to learn how the camera controller functions and if I can find or make a replacement controller so that the camera becomes useful again. If anyone out there on the vast internets knows, or has any familiarity with this camera, I would love to hear from you, and maybe you can help me put this camera back into operation! Links to sources on the blog here: