Cameras 1908-1936

Kodak Pocket No 3A
Black bellows; c 1903-1015.

This camera – far from pocket-sized – took 3¼×5½ inch postcard format photos from a roll of film or could be fitted for glass plates. It is marked as a No. 1, which would indicate it was one of the first, produced with a Bosch and Lomb rectilinear lens (later, less expensive versions had different lenses and shutters), but this camera doesn’t have the spring opening described in some documents.

Eastman Kodak Hawk-Eye Shutter
No 2 Folding Film Pack

This delightful little, all-metal camera apparently bridged the gap between glass plates and film. As Chris Eve described on “An interesting cross-over between old and new technology, the Film Pack comprised 12 cut celluloid films, stored in an (initially cardboard, later metal) outer that was simply placed in the back of the camera, packed in such a way that the simple expedient of pulling a paper tab loaded a fresh film into place for each exposure, the previously exposed film being at the same time moved to the back of the pack. Each of the paper tabs, which protrude through a slot in the camera and were torn off after being used, had a number on it which acted as a basic, though perfectly efficient, exposure counter.” There was never a No. 1 version of this folding-bellows camera because the original was made by a predecessor company. Historical accounts differ as to its production dates – anywhere from 1922 to 1936.
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Ansco Memo
c 1927

Ansco was producing daguerreotype plates and hand cameras long before Kodak, according to Historic Camera, which relates how the Binghamton, NY, company grew its company from funds Kodak was forced to pay for infringement of its film patent. This delightful little palm-sized camera, just 2 inches wide, was among the first popular cameras in America to adopt 35 mm film and one of the first half-frame cameras, too. The first Memos were wood; this is a later, leather-clad version.

Agfa Ansco green box camera
c 1930.

In 1928, the German company Agfa acquired Ansco and until WWII, cameras were branded with both companies’ names.

Eastman Kodak Rainbow Hawk-Eye No 2 Folding Model B

Eastman Kodak acquired the folding Hawk-Eye via acquisition of the company that acquired the Boston Camera Company, which introduced the camera. It was the top of Eastman Kodak’s line from 1930 to 1933 and produced negatives about 2-¼ inches x 4 inches – film that is still available, according to

Ansco Shur-Flash

With a water-resistant cardboard body and metal aceplate, it uses 120 film. Its large negatives were suitable for contact prints. The flash contacts are about as high-tech as it gets. Most historians date it to 1953.

Kodak Six-16 Target Hawkeye

This 1932 brown leather version of the popular box camera  is rare; Kodak made several versions, often black and several with Art Deco stripes.

Kodak Six-20 Target Hawk-eye
c. 1933

This rare-color box camera is covered in navy leather.

Jiffy Kodak V.P.

Kodak made this little, light, folding-bellows from1935 to 1942. Design icon Walter Dorwin Teague designed this Art Deco camera. The V.P. stands for Vest Pocket – and it is indeed small enough to fit in a man’s pocket. Phil has two examples in his collection and because they are made of Bakelite, one of them bears the usual scars of this fragile early plastic: a couple of small chips near its lens. Australia’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has a Jiffy V.P. in its collection.

Kodak Bantam

Phil’s f/6.3 Anastigmat with folding viewfinder, a higher-specification version of the Walter Dorwin Teague design. Closely resembling the Jiffy Kodak V.P., it has a metal body rather than Bakelite. The camera was designed to use a new version of 35mm film Kodak developed, which provided a bigger image than the 35mm film developed for movie film.