Question about flash

Back in the film days I took some shots of the family with a flash indoors. Bloody awful; flash on top of the camera and hard & harsh shadows against the wall. Later I bought a flash bracket (as I’ve pointed to before) that put a bit of distance and raised the flash slightly. I also got a got a flash with a tilt. I still have it.
I also have a similar one from my father’s kit.

My memory is that I triggered the shutter via a cable from the handle of the flash bracket and the off-camera flash mounted on the bracket via a 3.5mm lead from a port on the camera to flash.  The thing is there are a few problems with that memory.

The cable release makes sense, the old Miranda Sensorex and the Canon A1 had that capability and the flash setting meant that you only had to worry about focus and aperture, so holding the bracket right hand freed the left hand to control the lens. I presume the bracket had an aperture or clip to hold the shutter release cable so the right thumb could press it.

The Canon A1 has the threading in the shutter button for the remote cable and has a 3.5mm socket for remote flash trigger as well. Fine so far.

But the tilt-but-no-swivel Canon Speedlight 199 as well as my father’s flash and the fixed head Minolta flash he had do NOT have 3.5mm sockets. So how did they work?

Well, in my father’s kit there was an optical trigger. So presumably he put one flash on the camera and that optically triggered the other.  He had a couple of clamps in the kit-bag that could hold the flash.

Now I _could_ use the optical trigger if it wasn’t clouded with age. But I can’t for the life of me remember how I used the Canon flash other than simply putting it on top of the camera. But I must have, somehow, since I remember using it with the flash bracket.

I no longer have the bracket.
It would seem awkward to use with a modern DSLR since you need the right hand on the camera for all the controls. Perhaps flip it and hold the bracket with the left had and rely on autofocus! To be honest, I’m not inclined to try.

But remote trigger of the flashes I have?

I may need something like this

or is it this in the side?

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