Tom Swift was a Retronaut...

Tom Swift built himself a Retroscope, and this is how he did it:

“The camera was based on two earlier achievements of the Swifts. One was Tom’s discovery of a hitherto unknown electromagnetic radiation given off by all matter. This had led to the invention of the Swift spectroscope and the force-ray repeletron used in Tom’s latest spaceship.

The new camera also made use of certain detector features invented by Mr. Swift and used in Tom’s “Eye-Spy” camera which could take motion pictures through a wall or other solid object.”

Hmm. Bit of a lucky break there with the whole “hitherto-unknown-electromagnetic-radiation-given-off-by-all-matter” thing, if you ask me…

Thank you to Ned Newton, Graeme Woods and Roger Ebert.