Monday, April 01, 2013

Gandolfi - Flex prototype (1-4)

Gandolfi - Flex prototype (1-4), originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

 PHOTOGRAPHED AND WRITTEN IN HONOUR OF ALL FOOLS DAY - APRIL 1ST ON 1-4-2013. Revealed at 12pm on that date as a parody of all the worthy photographs of cameras I post with a dull as ditch-water text.
Built at the behest of Chancellor of the Exchequer and photography enthusiast, Denis Healey, as a way of reviving the fortunes of Birkenhead shipbuilders, Cammell Laird & Company Ltd.
The Gandolfi family had no input into the design of the camera other than lending their name - according to Healey in his memoirs "as a personal favour".
The project was abandoned in 1969 after some 7 and a half million pounds of taxpayers money had been spent with little more to show for it than some drawings.
The only other prototype known to still survive is in the collection at Barnard's Castle Museum.
The name Gandolfi-flex is very much a nickname given by enthusiasts and collectors, officially it was known only as project 1-4 and unofficially by civil servants at the Board of Trade as "Healey's Folly".

Denis Healey
Denis Healey - "The Time of My Life" Penguin 1990
The Gandolfi family and their cameras
M L Lynchpyn & P Grieves - "European Camera Prototypes". Hove Foto Books. 1993.

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