(1936) The Merlin was an early, odd-looking, cast-iron submini.  It was made by the United Optical Instrument Company in England, and was one of the first attempts to make a viable small camera.  But actually, there were several other subminis of the same period that had similar, odd film styles and body shapes.  The Merlin came in three colors -- black, blue or green -- and produced 20x20mm images.  The film was loaded into tiny cassettes that resemble 35mm cassettes (which didn't even exist at the time).  The camera was tiny -- only two inches wide -- and very basic.  It had a pop-up viewfinder, a single speed shutter and an f16 lens. There was a small "ruby" window on the back to read the film exposure number on the back of the paper-backed film.  The Merlin was also used as the "guts" of the Erac Pistol Camera.

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