|Ansco, No3 Vest Pocket Junior, c1923|
This Ansco No. 3 Vest Pocket Junior dates from around 1923, and is curiously named, for the term "Vest Pocket" had been coined by Kodak and generally accepted to refer to smaller cameras taking 127 roll film. Ansco was a relatively prolific manufacturer from Binghampton, New York, USA whose products were targetted at the mass market. This, otherwise fairly unremarkable No.3 Vest Pocket Junior 6 x 9cm format camera exhibits one or two nice touches. The retractable leg that swings out to enable it to stand on a table top, features a curve, so that the camera balances well. A second leg is mounted to allow landscape images to be taken whilst resting on a surface, this one is less well thought out, however. There is a delightful sprung catch that keeps the back on, but cutest of all is the little hinged mirror in the waist level finder that allows the viewing optics to be kept clean, neat!
Overall the construction is good, the main shells being of pressed aluminiun sheet covered in thin leather. The hatch/lensbed is of steel and smaller parts of black painted brass. The few plated parts are bright and appear to be chrome plated. The bellows construction is unusual, being a thin linen base with cardboard stiffeners as is usual, but instead of an outer covering of thin leather, there appears to have been a layer of rubberised paint, this had comprehensively disintergrated on this example.
The Wollensak Actus shutter is pneumatically governed, though the external appearance gives no hint of this.
This very tired example joined the LICM many years ago but was only put through it's restoration/conservation in September 2007. The badge at the top was put in place by the original reseller, "the Westminster Photographic Exchange Ltd, London", and will not be found on American only models.
Actus, T, B, 25, 50 and 100th sec.
Lens, Rectilinear f/8
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