MPP Lightsaber Darth Vader
MPP Lightsaber sold.
MPP Lightsaber ? – We thought it was an MPP flashgun !
Having owned a 3 cell MPP flashgun for a long time; we sold it recently
It ‘s a very rare collectors item from the 1950s.
It was purchased due to its colossal flash output from expendable giant flash bulbs.
These flash bulbs are about the same size as the old fashioned UK 150W light bulbs.
Sadly interest in it wasn’t solely due to its rarity as a photographic icon.
Surprisingly interest in it was because one was used to make Darth Vaders lightsaber in the Star Wars movies.
This genuine vintage MPP lightsaber was made from chromed brass.
For Star Wars the flashbulb reflector (shown below) was ditched
Star Wars creator George Lucas was shown the complete MPP flashgun as an initial concept for the lightsaber. He is reported to have immediately realised the potential of using the flash handle on its own.
The old flashgun handle from the 1950s thus became the modern Star Wars Lightsaber.
The long handle was used to house 3 battery cells which ignited fine wires contained in the expendable flash bulb.
The flashbulbs sometimes exploded when they were ignited, so later ones had a plastic coating to contain the glass.
Exploding flashbulbs could cause serious injuries, which is one of the reasons they are seldom used today.
Wiser photographers used a thick leather glove to insert the bulbs into the flashgun. This was for a very good reason – the bulb could ignite upon insertion and weld itself to your hand.
Photographers of the era often had holes burnt in their pockets after picking up hot expended flash bulbs.
MPP ( or M.P.P. ) stands for Micro Precision Products. London based MPP were manufacturers of 5×4″ large format film cameras. Some of the MPP cameras were based upon Graflex parts imported from America.
This flashgun was designed to attach to field cameras like the MPP Micropress.
Hence it was sometimes called an MPP microflash – but it wasn’t small. The handle alone (with the included flash reflector removed) is approx 30cm (11 1/2 inches) long.
Bill Bagshaw has been a Staff Photographer for multi national companies, won photographic awards, lectured extensively to full time professional photography students, and had his work published worldwide.
Business end of the MPP Lightsaber. Length is approx 30cm (11 1/2 inches) (without the flash reflector).
Ballater Caravan Park Reopens
Ballater Caravan Park Reopens for the 2016 holiday season
Ballater Caravan Park is back in business. Major improvements include a refurbished toilet block, a new campers pergola, and a brand new play park for the kids.
The Park now has 40 brand new pitches for touring caravans, or camper vans.
There is also of course room for campers tents.
All the 40 new pitches have been rewired and re-turfed to make bigger and better pitches than before.
Ballater Caravan Site puts out the welcome mat for caravanners
H M Sheridan Butchers reopens in Ballater
H M Sheridan butchers fly the flag for Ballater, having reopened after flood damage.
Sheridans was fully open in time for Easter 2016.
Ballater High Street comes back to life, led by Sheridans reopening.
Sheridans is a butcher by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.
The old H M Sheridan car on display at nearby Balmoral Castle.
Cairnwell Chair Lift Glenshee
Cairnwell Chair Lift re-opens at Glenshee as a triple.
The old single seater chairlift at Glenshee has been replaced with a French made triple chair.
The old chairlift was closed whilst the chairs were auctioned off, with proceeds going to charity.
The new triple chair is now fully operational, giving additional uplift to red and black runs.
A specialist Austrian helicopter pilot aided the pylon installation during the summer.
The new chair was made by Poma, and will help to minimise queues at busy times.
Unloading point at top of 3 man chair
Turning left off the chair sends you down the famous Tiger black run (experts only).
Turning right off the chair gives you the choice of several red runs.
The Tiger is a steep black run which is usually strewn with moguls.
The Cairnwell Munro tops out at 933m and is the limit of the ski area
The triple chair does not access beginner slopes.
A walker descends from a trip up the three man chair
Ballater Floods wreak havoc on 30th December 2015.
Unprecedented Ballater floods caused householders to be evacuated.
Many residents lost everything they had, and were forced into temporary accommodation.
Flood donations were made at Hope Floats Deeside Flood Response Network, which has now been taken over by The Round Table.
Caravans were tossed around by the floods and washed downstream, smashing into houses, and the Ballater Bridge.
Roads were badly damaged, and emergency services called in.
Cambus O May suspension bridge was submerged and badly damaged by flood debris, leaving a large bend at mid span with many planks missing.
Remains of the green caravan that hit Ballater bridge
The Caravan site sustained massive damage.
Reflection on a dark day