|Kodak, No.1 Autographic Kodak Junior camera, c1922|
Kodak No.1 Autographic camera for 8 pictures on 120 roll film, this example made by the Canadian Kodak Co. Toronto but the Rochester factory built them too. Made from 1914 to 1924, this one was made around 1922. Composite construction, the sides of the camera are of wood, machined with slots and channels. Into these are pressed the stamped and folded aluminium part, forming the fim chambers, focal plane aperture and main body. Hinged to the front, forming the front and lens bed is a pressed aluminium panel with a riveted rail to run the lensboard out. The back is formed from aluminium sheet cleverly rolled to form the back and ends, and detaches completely to gain access to the film chambers. The bellows are natural leather over card stiffeners and linen liner, as was usual. The whole camera is wrapped with coarse patterned natural leather. Fitted with a Kodak ball bearing shutter. The camera was fairly complex to manufacture due to the mixed materials and Kodak would seek to transition to all metal cameras in due course. To give Eastman Kodak their credit, the camera was a decent performer for the day.
Donated in 1984 by C. M. England, it was a little tatty and unusable. In 1994 the camera was completely stripped and rebuilt. The bellows were replaced, although the original linen liner and card stiffeners were reused. This camera was rebuilt because I wanted to know what sort of results could be obtained with it, it was a relatively common camera and its wooden body would be easy to dismantle. Although the effort far outweighed its worth, it will continue to take pictures for many years. Kodak ball bearing shutters seem to last forever, the one fitted here required no work and is still merrily clicking away a century after it was made. The manual is the original and makes interesting reading, quoting one part in particular, "The Kodak Amateur Flashlight Outfit gives a minimum of smoke,"! The processing tank is a much later donation, arriving in 1999.
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