James's Light Meter Collection: Hickok Duplex
Hickok Duplex exposure meter USAclick for manual
Maker: Hickok
Model: Duplex
Designers: Henry Loewenberg and Robert D. Hickok
US Patents: 2421504 and 2529337
Circa: 1946
Price (new): $20
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: reflecting/averaging

Click for larger adIn the early days of light-meter manufacture (at least in the US), the leaders weren't the major camera manufacturers, they were companies that made electrical equipment like Weston and General Electric.

Hickok was another electric instrument manufacturer, and they were once a big name in test equipment. I've got a couple of their rigs on my electronics bench. They made some good stuff.

This was their last attempt at making a light meter. It came out right after World War II. It got its name because it supposedly "duplicated" the 46° field of view that a normal camera lens has. Somehow that was supposed to give you a better average reading.

Really it's just an updating of their pre-war Photrix SS. It's about the same size and weight and configuration. The meter is in the center and the dial rotates around it. The dial is a big and the numbers are fairly easy to read, but very complicated to look at. It's the kind of calculator dial that was fine once people figured it out, but wasn't something you just pick up and start using immediately.

Hickok bailed out after this and concentrated on other things. Why, I can only guess, but I suppose the increasing competetion as Europe and Japan returned as competitors didn't bode well.

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