Today was a good day.  Several months ago my grandmother passed away at the grand old age of 95 and my sister was tasked with the cleanup.  She asked me if there was anything I wanted.  I knew immediately what I wanted, any and all cameras of any type she could find.  My grandmother never threw away anything so I knew there had to be something there!

Today at the post office there were two small boxes waiting for me with my sisters return address.  I could hardly wait to go home and open them up.  So I didn’t.  I stopped at a closer restaurant and along with a friend and my son opened up the boxes to discover what was hidden inside.

 

Something I was really hoping for was a Kodak Eastman Brownie.  I’ve seen them, but never had one.  In 1939 they sold for $1 new.  Today not much  more. :O)  Made from Bakelite plastic they were very simple, but they were also the “common man’s camera” most families owned during that era.  This would include a long span of US history.  They were also marketed in other countries.  Lucky me, there were two in the box.  One had a label that simply said “Danny’s Mother’s Camera.”  Danny was my grand fathers name.  Now I have a piece of my great grandmothers history.  Unfortunately there was no undeveloped film inside, but it appears perfectly usable and I plan on giving it a whirl!

Kodak Eastman Baby Brownie Special, circa 1939

 

Something I was really hoping for was a Kodak Eastman Brownie.  I’ve seen them, but never had one.  In 1939 they sold for $1 new.  Today not much  more. :O)  Made from Bakelite plastic they were very simple, but they were also the “common man’s camera” most families owned during that era.  This would include a long span of US history.  They were also marketed in other countries.  Lucky me, there were two in the box.  One had a label that simply said “Danny’s Mother’s Camera.”  Danny was my grand fathers name.  Now I have a piece of my great grandmothers history.  Unfortunately there was no undeveloped film inside, but it appears perfectly usable and I plan on giving it a whirl!

 

This is almost made of a tin can.  It’s in working condition but the viewer wings need repair.  It has two built in filters, one yellow, one close up, only one can be used at a time.  I twill e interesting to try it out.

Anscoflex, circa 1950’s

 

This is almost made of a tin can.  It’s in working condition but the viewer wings need repair.  It has two built in filters, one yellow, one close up, only one can be used at a time.  I twill e interesting to try it out.

There was a Mikona 00135 35mm point and shoot that must of cost less than $5 in its day.  I suppose it still works but I’m not that interested in this one.  It’s a 1960’s era camera.  Another was a Minolta Freedom 50n with batteries still in it.  It’s another P&S 35mm.

There was also a trio of Kodak Instamatics that took the old 126 cartridges and flash cubes.

 

There was also a trio of Kodak Instamatics that took the old 126 cartridges and flash cubes. There was also a trio of Kodak Instamatics that took the old 126 cartridges and flash cubes.There was also a trio of Kodak Instamatics that took the old 126 cartridges and flash cubes.

 

A real treasure was a Japanese made Kowa Model E with a fixed F2 lens AND a wide angle and telephoto adapter as well as several close up filters.  These 35mm cameras were popular as one of the first SLR’s to hit the American market and I’m eager to give it a try and see how it works!

 

A real treasure was a Japanese made Kowa Model E with a fixed F2 lens AND a wide angle and telephoto adapter as well as several close up filters.  These 35mm cameras were popular as one of the first SLR’s to hit the American market and I’m eager to give it a try and see how it works!

 

Then there’s a brick like Argus Rangefinder.  Huge and heavy and it appears fully functional.  It accepts 35mm film and should be fun to play with.

 

Then there’s a brick like Argus Rangefinder.  Huge and heavy and it appears fully functional.  It accepts 35mm film and should be fun to play with.

 

And finally there is a trio of Polaroid cameras, a 1960’s Colorburst, a One Step, and a newer Impulse model.  It had film!  We put it in and it works!  The film pack powered the flash and took pictures probably 40-50 years since the case was opened!

There were a few other odds and  ends in the box as well.  I’ll truly enjoy playing with these old relics and experiencing what it was like for my great grandparents, grandparents, and even my parents to capture family images ‘back in the day’.  No one in my family was a “photographer”, these were just inexpensive cameras they picked up because they were inexpensive and available, thought I suspect my grandfather picked up the Anscoflex to photograph the homes he built and perhaps the Kowa for better family pictures.

Two boxes.  Certainly a lot of fun to open and examine and I’m sure I’ll have a load of fun trying out the Baby Brownie Specials during future photo outings.  Just imagine, a friend will pull out the latest Canon 1d Mark IV with the super huge 800mm F5.6 telephoto monster lens, and I’ll reach in my pocket and pull out a small Bakelite Kodak Brownie.  I wonder who will get the most enjoyment from the shoot?

Until Next Time..