Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Science and Society Picture Library prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

Bull's Spark drum camera, 1903.

Science Museum Photo Studio

Bull's Spark drum camera, 1903.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm


This camera, invented by Dr Lucien G Bull in 1903, takes stereoscopic pictures at rates up to 2000 per second and was the first machine to analyse the wing-beats of insects succesfully. Dr Bull imprisoned the insect in a glas tube so that, when it flew out, it lifted up a tiny flap at the exit. This automatically closed the electrical circuit operating the camera shutter. In effect the insect was photographing itself.

Image Details

Image Ref.

© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

buy a print

Select size
Select finish
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas