Kodak No. 1A Autographic Junior, 1914-1927. Kodak made this folding camera in several formats, and using different films, lenses, and shutters. This one uses 116 film; “autographic” refers to the ability to write on the back of the film with a metal stylus (in a holder on the front of the camera) through a small window on the back, which you then expose to light and leave the writing on the film. You can see the window cover on the back of this camera, you slide it down to expose the writing area. You might write down the exposure settings or the photo location and it will show underneath the photo. How clever! Note the picture of the girl taking a note after a photo (thanks to Mario Groleau for the photo). The image is 2.5 inches x 4.25 inches. Focusing is accomplished by using the distance scale on the bellows, sliding the lens forward or back; you had to be a good estimator of distances to get clear photos! There is a shutter speed adjustment above the lens and an aperture (f-stop) adjustment below, and a look-down viewfinder; you held the camera at waist level to shoot. This camera is a bit larger than the Hawk-Eye, at 8 inches long by 3.5 inches high and 6.25 inches deep when open. It folds to 1.5 inches, and so can still fit in a large coat pocket. The camera is in good shape with just a bit of lifting of the leatherette cover on one corner, and wear to the bellows. $60-$90.
Kodak Brownie Junior Six-16, 1934-1942. One of many versions of the Kodak Brownie box cameras that were made from 1900 to the 1960’s. If you were a kid once you might well have had a Brownie as your first camera. This one was designed for 616 film, no longer available, but 120 film can be adapted if you are so motivated. However, the shutter on this camera seems to be spotty, and the viewfinders quite cloudy. There are two viewfinders, allowing you to take vertical or horizontal 2.5-inch by 4.25-inch photos; the horizontal viewfinder is out of alignment. It is of course a fixed focus camera; there is a metal tab on top that you can pull out to take pictures in bright light (two aperture settings) and a tab on the right that you pull out for low-light (timed) exposures. The shutter release is on the right front. You can download the user manual here. To open the camera you pull the film winder handle out (on the side of the camera) and lift up on the small knob on top, while pulling the front of the camera out of the cardboard case. A very nice art deco design on the front of this camera, with some minor corrosion/rust; the leatherette cover is in good condition with some lifting at the edges. $20-$30.
Polaroid 900 Electric Eye Land camera, 1960-1963. I always thought “Land camera” referred to the use of these cameras on land, rather than underwater(!). Of course, they are named after Edwin Land, the inventor, who began marketing these cameras in 1948. The film was expensive but it was fun to take a picture and then watch it develop immediately right before your eyes; this camera used Type 47 roll film and gave 3.25 x 4.25 in prints, 8 per roll. The film is no longer made, but you can sometimes buy expired film rolls on eBay and elsewhere. This camera has an electric eye for automatic exposure control; you set the focus by adjusting the lens carriage forward or back based on the distance to the subject; again, you had to be a good judge of distances to get the focus exact. There are adjustments for the conditions (indoor, outdoor, bright or dark) and for different film settings; there is a fill-in flash and an additional small flashbulb flash attachment. This camera is big (10 inches long by 6 inches high without the flash, and 8.5 inches deep when open) and rather heavy; it comes with a well-worn leather carrying case. Polaroid went bankrupt in 2001, a victim of digital cameras, followed by Kodak in 2012. If you were a kid in the 1960’s your parents probably had a Polaroid camera like this, and Polaroid had many successful models through the 1970’s.
Kodak Six-20 Brownie and Brownie Target Six-20. There were dozens of Brownies models made from 1900 to the late 1960’s; you can find a website devoted to Brownie cameras here. The Six-20 Brownie was made from 1933-1941, and the Target was made from 1941-1952. Together these two simple box cameras span almost 20 years of photography, largely targeted at kids. Both were inexpensive and easy to use, with fixed focus point-and-shoot from the waist. There is a pull-tab at the top of the camera for scenic photos and a pull-tab on the right for timed exposures (very low light). You really couldn’t go wrong for standard photos of people as long as they were at least 8 feet away, the minimal focal length. You could shoot vertical or horizontal shots with the upper and side viewfinders – how convenient! To open and load film you pull the film winder knob out and lift up on the small knob on top while pulling forward on the front of the camera. Both cameras used 620 film and can be adapted to 120 film that is still available. Both are working, although the mirror in the top viewfinder on the Six-20 Brownie has fallen forward against the lens, blocking that viewfinder. This camera also has an additional lens (“Diway” lens) for distance shots, which you can slide out of the way for close-ups (5-10 feet). The permanently mounted lens is missing, but it is not noticeable here. Both cameras have interesting art deco patterns on the front and are 3 inches by 4 inches by 5 inches deep. User manuals for each camera can be viewed/downloaded here and here. $75-$100.
Unidentified folding camera, ca. 1924. A better quality folding camera with dial adjustments for horizontal and vertical directions. Focus controlled by sliding the lens forward or back on the rails with a distance scale, 4 ft to infinity, on the left. A look-down viewfinder with a level bubble next to it. The silver knob at the top right adjusts the height/vertical angle of the lens, while the lower dial moves the lens left and right. Aperture control under the lens (but is not functioning) and the shutter speed control above the lens is missing. Bellows are in good shape, as is the leather-covered metal case. The film holder does not fit well and may not be original to the camera, and the film cover slide is next to impossible to remove. Well, you probably won’t be taking pictures with this anyway. It’s 8 inches long when open, 7 inches high and 4.5 inches wide. Prints would be 3.25-inches by 4.5-inches, if film were available. $50-$75.
Mutschler, Robertson & Co. “Ray No. 2”, ca. 1896-1899. Mutschler and Robertson founded a camera and lens company in 1884 and began making Ray cameras in 1896. They renamed the company the Ray Camera Co. in 1898, and it eventually merged into the Rochester Optical & Camera Company. They made a number of models including Ray No. 1 through 7. This is a folding camera with a fixed focus, which you set by moving the lens forward or back on the track, with a distance scale on the left. You set the aperture below the lens and the shutter speed on the dial above; you cock the shutter by moving the small knob on top of the shutter speed dial to the right, and the shutter release is on the right side of the lens. The shutter is sticky on this one. There is a look-down viewfinder and adjustments for the vertical and horizontal position of the lens. The red bellows look good, the camera maker and model are clearly marked on the front of the camera. The cherry or mahogany case is covered in leather. You push a hidden button on top of the camera to release the platform and unfold it. It is 7.5 inches long when open, 6 inches wide and 5.5 inches high. The lens is dirty but the case is in nice shape. This is not a common camera; I can find no sales records on LiveAuctioneers or eBay. $200-$250.
Kodak Stereo camera, 1954-1959. Eastman Kodak made stereo cameras early in the 1900’s during that stereo picture craze, and then not again until 1954 with this camera. It came in black or brown (as here). It used a special 35 mm film, K335, which you could print as pairs or have made into stereo slides that were returned in stereo mounts for hand-held viewing; the cost of this processing was included in the film cost. Today you can use 135 slide film. There are slides on top of the camera to set the shutter speed and aperture, and you focus by turning either lens ring; there is a distance scale on the ring and image-type settings on the rings. There is an exposure counter and a film-type dial on top of the camera. The camera is in excellent condition but the shutter is sticking open. It comes with a like-new leather case. Not sure this ever caught on too well, although Kodak made about 100,000 of these cameras. $90-$125.
Kodak “Brownie Starflash”, 1957-1965. This is the first Kodak camera with a built-in flash unit. It is a plastic case with metal trim, 5 inches high and 3.5 inches wide. It used 127 film and there is a toggle on the bottom for color or black-and-white film; the film is still available. The case is in nice shape with some wear to the silver trim around the flash. Shutter works. The box is a bit beat up, but as it says, “Where there’s fun there’s a snapshot”! $10-$20.