Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 45: I'm in Love.

Well, it's true.
At least, as far as it's possible to be in love with an inanimate object.
When a friend heard that I was interested in photography, he said he had some antique cameras sitting around in his basement, and I could have them. Being a lover of both antiques and cameras, I was of course thrilled.
But when my mom brought the box home, and I opened it, I got a lot more thrilled.

14 cameras. 14!
14 beautiful, shiny, old cameras, in great condition.
Oh, yeah.

So of course I had to have a blog post about them!
But first I had to do a little bit of research. It took a lot longer than I expected (mostly because I didn't have a chance to start until a couple of nights ago.) But I got a bit of information on each.

So, here they are. I'm only showing 13 on here, because 2 of them are the same.

My New Best Friends:

1. Ansco No. 1a Readyset Royal

*Sigh.* I can only add one picture per camera... I mean, there are 13 of them... But I have so many great shots of this camera! I don't really like this one (the picture, not the camera) but none of the others really showed a full view of the camera. Isn't it pretty?

   It was sold from 1925- 1931. The covering is "Ostrich grain". No, it's not actually made of ostriches, but it is made to look like ostrich skin. It's a more complex version of the Readyset line, with adjustable focus, aperture, etc., which the others did not have.

2. Brownie No. 2-A

This camera was manufactured from 1907- 1936 by the Eastman Kodak Company. It was originally sold for $3, with a colored version for $4. It was a very popular camera, and sold over 2,100,000 before 1921.

3. The Spartaflex 
Made by Spartus Camera Corp., based in Chicago, IL, in the 50's (I couldn't get very exact info on the date, for some reason), the Spartaflex was an ideal sports camera of its time because of its fast shutter speed of 1/30 second.

4. Brownie Target Six- 20 
This little guy was quite photogenic.

The Eastman Kodak Company's Brownie cameras are famed as the camera that "brought photography to the common people". The original Brownie was the first ultra- affordable consumer model offered by Kodak, or any company for that matter, retailing for just $1 in 1900.

The Brownie Target Six- 20 was a later Box Brownie produced, and sold from 1946- 1952 for $3.50.

5. Brownie Reflex Synchro Model

This Brownie was sold from 1940- 1952, and originally retailed for $6.

6. Argus C3
This camera was manufactured from 1938- 1956, by Argus Cameras, Inc. It has been called the "brick that revolutionized amatuer photography", and was one of the top-selling cameras in history.

 7. Rolfix Jr. Deluxe

Made by a German Company, Franka Werk, the Franka Rolfix was introduced in America through the Montgomery Ward around 1953.

8. Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model

I know this is a bad picture. None of the pictures I took of this turned out very well.
Anyway, this Brownie was sold from 1949- 1961, and originally retailed for $5.50.

9. Ansco Rediflex

For some reason I could find nothing about this camera except that it was sold in the 1950s and made by Ansco. It's one of my favorites, though, because you can look through the top and see out the front through mirrors and it looks almost like a digital screen. I love walking around with it and "taking pictures", even though it obviously has no film. It kind of makes me feel like a little kid playing "house" with an old broken camera, but... that's the brakes. :)

10. Polaroid Land Camera Model 80b
This one was sold from 1959- 1961. It is the third and final version of Polaroid's Model 80 series. I think it's really cool because it can be held horizontally and pictures can be taken through the lens (the little hole in the front...
or it can be set up vertically and be a fancy pop-out camera.
It's actually really big- much bigger than it looks in these pictures. I think it's the biggest one.

11. Welti I
This one was made by the German Company Welta (haha, the Welta Welti...), and sold from 1939 until 1950.

12. Brownie Bulls- Eye
Oh, dear. It would appear that, due to the fact that I was in an entirely artificially-lit room (as in, no windows...), and that I was rushing a bit, these pictures all appear to be pretty bad. Which is sad, because it really does not do these cameras justice. so, I'm sorry about the picture quality. :/

Well, this one, which sold from 1954-1960, was very popular, and also pretty expensive, retailing at $13 for the classic version, and $15 for the gold. It was famed for its great built-in flash.

13. Paillard Bolex
This one is really cool, because it is actually a "movie camera". Made be the Swiss company Paillard in the 1950s, it was very popular when released in America. I had no idea it was a video camera until I started researching... before I was very confused by it. Now it makes much more sense :)

Done, at last. Aren't they beautiful? I just love them. Hope you enjoyed looking at them, even though the pictures aren't that great.

I might not post for a few days. I'm going to Michigan to visit a good friend. Hopefully I'll have lots of pretty pictures when I get back, though!


Grace said...

I like them. And I got to see them in person. Mwahaha....

lisaschaos said...

They are beautiful! Next time I'm in MO I should go through the boxes my dad still has from his camera store and see what's left, lol. :0) Love them!

carlotta said...

Oh my gosh I'm so jealous! It would be a dream come true to have someone give my 14 vintage cameras :)

Elisebeth said...

Wow Stacey! Those are some amazing pictures!

Anonymous said...

Just so you know the spartaflex was introduced in 1940, for $47 (equivalent of $700 today).