This artifact came to the attention of the Warehouse when an unidentified woman suddenly died of old age at a fashion show in Milan, Italy. The local police checked the serial numbers on the woman's breast implants and discovered she was a Russian supermodel who had been reported missing two days earlier, but when she went missing she was only 19. The Warehouse did some investigating and discovered dozens of super models have gone missing in cities all over the world only to be found days later dead from old age. Pete, Myka, Claudia, and Artie discovered a 22 year old photographer was using the camera to steal the youth of models so he could then sell the youth to old rich people so they would become younger. Also, he appeared to be 22, but really he was 98 years old; he was a model for Man Ray in 1930's and the camera was a gift from Man Ray to him; he didn't discover the cameras powers until later.
When used normally, the camera appears harmless. However, the camera actively captures the youth of whoever is photographed with it. When a photograph of one person has been 'double-exposed' over a photo of another person, youth is transferred from the first person to the second. The first person ages very rapidly over the course of a very brief period until they die of extreme old age. Essentially, this camera can be used to let its user be young forever. The only telling sign, besides the rapid aging, is that the victim is found with particles of silver nitrate in the blood, a chemical which dissolves out of developed photograph paper.
Prior to being "body-snatched" by Pete and Myka using HG Well's Time Machine, Jack and Rebecca were about to be assigned to hunt down the camera in 1961, as it had been sighted around Calcutta. Due to Myka and Pete's intervention, and the fact that they convinced the lead warehouse agent to allow them to continue on the Glass Girl case, the camera and the owner slipped away for another 30 years, until they tracked it down in New York.
Man Ray is mostly known for his fashion photography, but was also deeply involved in surrealist painting and other artistic endeavors. During the Dada, or 'anti-art movement', he developed unique mechanical and photographic methods for creating images.