"The Midget is one of the most compact cameras ever made."Looking somewhat like a small English Compact camera, the Midget has
an intriguing folding design in which the entire camera is barely bigger
than its glass plate holder. Although the body is quite unusual and has a
lot of features, it folds into a very small form for coat pockets (1/4-plate
format) or overcoats (4 x 5 inch format).
The Midget is made of polished mahogany with lacquered brass hardware.
This example includes its original rotating diaphragm shutter with rapid
rectilinear lens. From 1895 onward, the rotating shutter was replaced
with Star or Victor models that were standard on ROC's Premo cameras.
While advertised for ladies, tourists, bicyclists, and canoeists, the Midget
had relatively high price: $28 in 1894 for the 4 x 5 inch format model
shown here (about $787.75 in 2016 adjusted for inflation).
Operationally, the camera is not very 'friendly' and was probably quite
difficult to use (i.e. make rigid for sharp pictures). Its cost and odd
design might account for the Midget's relative rarity because only a
couple examples are known.
There are two accessories that make this an exciting camera, but
unfortunately I do not own them. The tripod (sold with the camera) looks
like a cane when folded. The second accessory is a leather case which
turns the Midget into a concealed 'detective' camera.