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View Full Version : Help identifying a "Black Box"



Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 05:36 PM
Howdy: I picked this up in a box of old cameras I bought at a garage sale recently (my home is decorated in "old camera" motif) and haven't a clue what the beast is. I can't get it open and the only writing anywhere on the exterior is on the back and reads: "Use Film No. 130." I Googled that film and found that it was a Kodak "non-curling" film that produced negatives of a size to give my RB67 an inferiority complex. The shutter is interesting, too. It's mounted in front of the lens and is actuated by each throw of the lever. If you take the first picture by pushing it down, you take the next picture by pushing it up. Anyone have any idea what this thing is? Thanks, Doug.

Markok765
07-26-2006, 05:37 PM
Could be a kodak brownie

Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 06:06 PM
Marko, ol' buddy, do you hover over the keyboard, waiting? Note my post time: 03:36 PM. Your post time: 03:37 PM. Actually, I hadn't discounted Kodak as the possible origin of this beast. However, I have never known Kodak to be reticent about plastering its marque on anything it produced. And there were bunches of different "Brownies." I guess we'll have to wait for input from someone as much older than me than I am of you. No, wait a minute...anybody fitting that bill would be of GREAT interest to science...:D

Smiles, Doug

Mike Kennedy
07-26-2006, 06:30 PM
Evening Doug.
Goggle BoxCameras.com

Lots of ole' cameras and information.

Mike

donbga
07-26-2006, 06:50 PM
Howdy: I picked this up in a box of old cameras I bought at a garage sale recently (my home is decorated in "old camera" motif) and haven't a clue what the beast is. I can't get it open and the only writing anywhere on the exterior is on the back and reads: "Use Film No. 130." I Googled that film and found that it was a Kodak "non-curling" film that produced negatives of a size to give my RB67 an inferiority complex. The shutter is interesting, too. It's mounted in front of the lens and is actuated by each throw of the lever. If you take the first picture by pushing it down, you take the next picture by pushing it up. Anyone have any idea what this thing is? Thanks, Doug.
I have a camera exactly like this one. I'm not sure but it may be a 616 roll film format.

donbga
07-26-2006, 06:51 PM
Marko, ol' buddy, do you hover over the keyboard, waiting? Note my post time: 03:36 PM. Your post time: 03:37 PM. Actually, I hadn't discounted Kodak as the possible origin of this beast. However, I have never known Kodak to be reticent about plastering its marque on anything it produced. And there were bunches of different "Brownies." I guess we'll have to wait for input from someone as much older than me than I am of you. No, wait a minute...anybody fitting that bill would be of GREAT interest to science...:D

Smiles, Doug
I beleive it is a Kodak model but not a brownie.

naturephoto1
07-26-2006, 07:02 PM
Doug,

I have a camera very similar to the one that you posted. When I opened the camera, by taking the lens and front of the camera apart, it says on the right side of the removed insert with the lens- No. 2A Brownie Camera Model B.

Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 07:21 PM
First of all, give Marko a cigar - well, a bubble gum cigar, if they still make them. The camera is, indeed, a "Brownie." Mike, I can't thank you enough for turning me on to that site - I'm going to have alot of fun there. I got the camera narrowed down to several similar ones on that web site but none of them matched up perfectly, smaller film sizes, generally, and the camera that matched the closest was the Kodak Hawk-eye No. 2A, Model C. I decided to have another go at getting this camera opened and remembered that on many of the more "modern" 35mm cameras, you pulled the film re-wind crank up to open the back. I tried it with this one, it came up (not easily) and the camera came apart smoothly. Imprinted on the inside is "No. 2-C Brownie, Model A", with patent dates in 1916. This camera looks like it could take pictures if film could be found for it. An observation: on these older cameras, Kodak's nomenclature is more complicated than the cameras themselves!

Thanks for the help!

Doug

Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 07:33 PM
First of all, give Marko a cigar....well, a bubble gum cigar, if they still make them. The camera is, indeed, a Brownie. Mike, I can't thank you enough for turning me on to that web site - I'm going to hava a lot of fun there. I narrowed the possibilities down to a couple of different cameras but there were some differences, most notably the film size. I decided to have another go at getting the camera apart and remembered that on many "modern" 35mm cameras, you pull the the film re-wind crank up to open the back. I tried with this and the crank came up (not easily) after which the camera slipped apart. Imprinted on the inside is "No. 2-C, Model A" with patent dates in 1916.
You weren't too far off, Richard. Kodak's nomenclature is more complicated than these cameras!

Thanks again,

Doug

Markok765
07-26-2006, 07:34 PM
Your welcome

Markok765
07-26-2006, 07:36 PM
I think the brownies are worth a lot these days

Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 07:38 PM
The reason for the two slightly different variations of my last post is that the first one, when I punched the "post" button, vanished into the ether, and I had recreate it. I'm not really that absent ----, uh, something that begins with "m." :D I think this computer is messing with my, something....begins with "m", I think.

Markok765
07-26-2006, 07:57 PM
"Memory?"

DKT
07-26-2006, 08:05 PM
Imprinted on the inside is "No. 2-C, Model A" with patent dates in 1916.
Doug

In McKeown's "collectors guide to Kodak cameras"-- it's listed as a "No. 2C Brownie". production dates were 1917-1934, original cost $4.50. another reference book (Kodak Cameras--First 100 years).... speculates that over a half million were made. The description reads: "Leatherette covered card case; metal frame carrier; case removed for loading by releasing two pivoted catches and pulling out the winding key; two reflecting finders; tripod socket; trigger guard."

and yet another description, this time from the 2006 edition of McKeown's...they ID it as a No. 2C Model A. current value is $5-$15.

some of the Brownies are worth some money, most aren't--because they were so common place. the special models--boy scout, world's fair, colored editions etc--with their cases and the like are generally worth more as a collectible. some of the box cameras are really interesting though, with range focusing features and the like--they can be very deceptive from the outside, but are rather sophisticated in some ways on the inside. the original kodak (only one or two maybe still around) and the models immediately after it--these are the ones worth money, and the ones historically important as far as the transition from plates to rollfilm---professional to mass market photography.....

Doug Knutsen
07-26-2006, 09:16 PM
DKT is quite correct. I spend a lot of time haunting eBay, garage sales, flea markets, etc., because I love cameras. I have over a dozen varieties of the Kodak Brownies, all of much later production than the camera in question in this thread and, altogether, they'd probably bring about enough for a couple of rolls of decent film. Something I learned this afternoon from that site Richard referred me to was that in one of their anniversary years (I think it was 1912 - I'd have to go back and look for it again - Kodak produced a run of cameras to be given - free - to every child in the U.S. who acheived the age of 12 in that year. Henry Ford wasn't the only one to develop mass production to a fine art.

Doug

DKT
07-27-2006, 03:15 PM
it was their 50th anniversary--1930--the child had to be born in 1918. they made 500,000 special edition cameras and gave these away, along with a free roll of film, in less than 3 days.

Doug Knutsen
07-27-2006, 03:28 PM
Thanks, DKT. I knew they made a bundle of them for that purpose but, between discovering this give-away item and getting back to APUG, I spent so much time drooling my way through that site that I forgot the model and details. I'm nuts about old "non-collector-interest" cameras, paticularly rangefinders but just about anything short of Polaroids. I added a pristine Canon QL17 with case and a nifty Kodak Brownie Starmatic (WITH genuine Kodar f/8 lens:D) this morning. Total cost for both, at Goodwill: $5. I'm running a short roll of out-dated Plus-X through the Canon this afternoon.

Doug