DiMOLA’S GREATEST PIC YET: Junk removers find Brownie camera in garbage pick up job
Who needs a digital SLR or a Polaroid camera when you have a 1940s Brownie? Oh snap!
Kodak started selling these Brownie cameras in February of 1900, just two years after George Eastman, of Eastman Kodak Company, begged his camera guy, Frank Brownwell, to start designing them.
Oddly enough, Brownwell did not give the camera its name, nor did the delectable chocolate dessert. In fact, the Brownie camera was named after characters created by Palmer Cox, an author and illustrator of the time. The name was used solely for marketing purposes, as it was meant to attract young children and encourage them to take an interest in photography. That way, Eastman believed, film sales would eventually increase.
Because the cameras were meant to be sold to kids, they were all fairly inexpensive, especially the model I found in the garbage pick up job. I have the Brownie Reflex Synchro Model, which was only $6 at the time. Now it’s only worth about $10 to $20.
Here are a few facts about it:
Type: Box rollfilm
Introduced: May 1940 (1946 in the UK)
Discontinued: May 1952 (May 1960 in the UK)
Film Size: 127
Picture Size: 1 5/8 X 1 5/8″
Manufactured: US and UK
Numbers made: ? (in the millions)
Original price: $6.00
Decriptions/Remarks: “Twin-lens reflex” pattern, large brilliant finder with folding hood.
1940-Aug 1941: non-synchronized model.
Sept 1941-May 1952: Syncro Model with 2 pin flash contacts. Approximate worth: $10-20
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
A camera like this…
…could have taken a picture like this…
…and I’ve got ‘em both!