By Lance(lot de Giberne) Sieveking (1896-1972).
First appearance: The English Review, November 1922.
Also published in The Living Age, January 13, 1923; The Strand Magazine, February 1923; and reprinted in Strange Tales from The Strand, 1991 (HERE).
Short short story (7 pages).
"I'm positive it ain't no good knowing the future unless it's pleasant."In his wife's absence Mr. Muffle is attending their pawn shop when a "miserable-looking man" convinces him to take a decrepit camera for five shillings; when she returns, Mrs. Muffle is not pleased, expressing her feelings with a snort and a "contemptuous little laugh"—but, as we'll see, neither of them could ever have imagined just what that old camera is capable of.
. . . "Object known as a camera, vintage uncertain, origin unknown. But for the greedy, the avaricious, the fleet of foot, who can run a four-minute mile so long as they're chasing a fast buck, it makes believe that it's an ally, but it isn't at all. It's a beckoning come-on for a quick walk around the block—in The Twilight Zone." — IMDb HERE
- Lance Sieveking was quite active in the halcyon days of radio; see Wikipedia HERE.
HERE, IMDb HERE, the ISFDb HERE, and the SFE HERE.
The bottom line: The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality.
— Susan Sontag