I came across this in some boxes of free darkroom/photo stuff. A google search didn't turn up much, except a reference to a "compact stand" that was used in WWII by photographers. This looks to be in too good of condition to be from that era, so I'm still left wondering what it was originally for. Obviously a camera mounts on it, but I'm more wondering what it mounted on. The part on the bottom that clamps onto a post is pretty big.