The Hidden Pleasures Of An Antique
Photography has always held a special
place in my heart. The ability to capture a second
in time and to have it for all eternity is wonderful.
George Eastman's early camera had a unique "Ko-Dak"sound
to the shutter. George always thought that the letter
"k" was strong, so was quick to spot the
When it came time to name his new camera, George
did not call it an Eastman camera or a George camera.
The world was introduced to the "Kodak"
camera, and embraced it; as George knew they would.
His first camera was wooden and loaded with enough
film for 100 pictures. When you wanted the film developed
you sent him the camera, he would unload it and reload
it for you, and send it back to you. As time went
on, George could trust us with the light sensitive
I smile every time I see a disposable camera; they
remind me so much of the first cameras ever to be
In today's fast paced market, we only get the pictures
back and Kodak gets to keep the camera. It's kind
of sad that cameras are so disposable. Don't get me
wrong they have their purposes. What would weddings
be without disposable cameras?
The really early cameras are not easy to find anymore,
as most of them are all in the hands of collectors
What you can find in the antique stores are the Brownie
Leatherette Box Cameras. The next time you see one,
look at it closely. The lens is mounted in wood, the
view finder lets you take a picture horizontally or
by laying the camera over you can take a vertical
picture. The red window hole lets you read the number
on the back of the film.
I am intrigued by is the two small tabs on the top
(handle portion) of the camera.
The small one is for time laps photography. Take your
fingernail and pull up on it. Click the shutter and
it will remain open exposing the wooden mounted lens.
While it is in this position, slide your fingernail
under the larger tab. A brass plate with a hole in
it slides over the lens. This is an aperture setting.
Pull up some more and you will find a different size
hole, another aperture opening. Slide the tabs back
down and all will return to normal.
The simple box camera was not so simple after all.
A time exposure and three aperture openings. For all
the sophistication of antique cameras it is nothing
compared to modern digital cameras .
One more thing before you lay that camera back down,
for George and I, click the shutter and let us all
hear it say "Kodak".
Do you agree that just maybe our society has become
a little too disposable. I sometimes miss the old
days when cameras were still a mystery. As well as
hearing my father and grandfather discussing how photographs
Way back when point and shoot were terms used for
products other than cameras.
Copyright 2008 by Pamela