Richard Samuel Roberts was certainly a talented photographer (“Finding a Lost World,” October/November 1986). But having worked in my father’s photographic studio for more than forty years, 1 would like to question a caption in the article stating that Roberts probably used a cable-release shutter for a picture in which he himself appears. In his day most shutters could have a cable release attached if the owner wished. However, I am sure that there was never a cable release long enough to reach to the hand of a man who put himself into the picture. It sometimes was done with a studio camera that had a long, supple hose with control bulb.
The cable release had to be used with a timing gadget. You could wind this gadget up and hang it on the end of the cable release, and then run to get into the picture. When the gadget’s little spring unwound, it set off the cable release that operated the control on the lens. The device was very easy to operate, and we used it for family groups out of doors.