The It is a simple box camera, with no viewfinder. The name It is inscribed in a diamond-shaped nameplate attached to the front side, above the lens. A button is visible at the top, certainly corresponding to the shutter release. A metal latch is visible to the rear, certainly used to attach the light-sensitive material.
The It is known from a series of advertisements published in Asahi Camera in 1929. It is said that the earliest one is in the April issue. The April and May full-page advertisements are almost the same and show a drawing of the camera. The advertisements dated July, August and September are text-only; the section devoted to the It camera is smaller and is identical in the three of them.
In these documents, the It is mentioned as "not needing a darkroom" (暗室の必要絶対なし or 暗室の必要のない), and it is said that you can watch the image appearing during the development process. The nature of the sensitive material (film sheets or glass plates) is unknown. This is the earliest known occurrence of a no-need-darkroom camera in Japan, appearing before the 1930 Tougo cameras. The April and May advertisements mention a patent (専売特許); this patent was perhaps bought by Tougodo for its own cameras.
All the advertisements give the price of ¥4.30 for a set, detailed as follows in April and May: camera and user manual, six film pieces, one bottle of developer fluid, one bottle of fixer, twelve sheets of photographic paper and a frame for contact prints.
No surviving example of the It has been observed so far.
|Advertisements by Murakami Shōkai in Asahi Camera May and August 1929. (Image rights)|
- Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.317, quoting the book Nihon Shashinshi Nenpyō (日本写真史年表).
- April advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.9 of Camera Collectors' News no.317. May advertisement reproduced in this article.
- Awano, p.10 of Camera Collectors' News no.316.
- This hypothesis is mentioned in Awano, p.10 of Camera Collectors' News no.316.
- Asahi Camera. Advertisements by Murakami Shōkai in May 1929 (p.A37), July 1929 (p.A34), August 1929 (p.A32) and September 1929 (p.A32).
- Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Tougō kamera (3)" (トウゴーカメラ, Tougo cameras ). In Camera Collectors' News no.316 (October 2003). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.9–21.
- Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Tougō kamera (4)" (トウゴーカメラ, Tougo cameras ). In Camera Collectors' News no.317 (November 2003). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.7–12.