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17 July, 2020

The Herberton Spy and Camera Museum reopens

Michael Peterson is the owner of what he calls the largest collection of spy and subterfuge cameras in the world and he is now reopening his unique business after COVID.

By Phil Brandel

Michael Petersen is the owner of what he calls the largest collection of spy and subterfuge cameras in the world and he is now reopening his unique business after COVID closed his Spy and Camera Museum at Herberton.

The museum was started over forty years by ex-spy and Intelligence Operative Roy Jacques who was in the special forces in the Korean War and his own personal spy cameras are still on display today.

In 2007 Michael bought the museum from Mr Jacques after he wanted to retire.

“I had my own camera collection and I used to talk to Mr Jacques whenever I was passing through town. At the time he wanted to retire from the business so I bought off him.”

Michael is still involved in his passion for buying and selling cameras but he has to slow down “as the place is nearly full.“

Michael said there are thousands of cameras are on display and in storage including some of the rarest cameras in the world, “We have a 100-year-old spy camera from Scotland Yard, secret KGB cameras and there’s also the history of photography on display,” he said

“The most unique camera we have here from 1884 that was owned by a gentleman called Alan Tullington it has a serial number of 001.  George Eastman from Kodak bought the Tullington Company and copied that camera.

“Kodak then mass-produced their folding camera from a copy of that design.

“Some of the cameras here have never been on the market for sale. I also have a packet of John Player cigarettes with a camera hidden in it and also the world’s smallest camera.”

Pre COVID Mr Petersen said he would get a few thousand visitors per year.

“Normally we got visitors from across the world but at the moment its only Queenslander families who are visiting which I’m very grateful for.”

“I was closed for over 3 months during COVID and only reopened last week.

“I’m also a wedding and commercial photographer and all of that stopped during COVID so all of my businesses stopped, so it’s nice to finally reopen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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