|Kodak Six-20 Model C folding roll film camera, c1934|
Kodak Six-20 Model C, a self erecting, folding 620 roll film camera, with a nod to the Art Deco movement. In modern parlance, Kodak were keen to keep supply chains short, through a significant degree of vertical integration and distributed manufacturing bases. Kodak Limited, London was one such location and responsible for the manufacture of this Six-20 Model C. The camera's construction is nicely executed and consists of two pressed metal (possibly aluminium) trays hinged to form the main body and back. Hinged to this is the front hatch and lens bed, itself a tray pressed from steel sheet. Decoration plates are attached either side of brass plate chrome plated and black enamelled, the covering applied is natural leather. Natural leather bellows with short tight pleats are fitted. A flip up "sports finder" is mounted on the top and styled to compliment the camera, a small waist level finder is mounted off centre on the lensboard Shutters of Kodak origin could be mounted or the more expensive Compur shutter as per the collection's example. Kodak bought in sufficient numbers of F. Deckel made Compurs to justify a bespoke front retaining plate to give the impression it was all Kodak. The camera is "self erecting". that is the front opens and lens deploys with a single press of the release. Powered by a fairly robust spring, this should not be allowed to spring open unrestrained however - as the volume of air required to fill the bellows is likely to suck the film into the bellows which will very definitely ruin the picture. The 620 size film was introduced by Kodak in the early 1930s as part of a drive to make cameras slimmer, it also allowed Kodak to patent the size and ensure camera owners would only buy Kodak film. Choose whichever motive you deam fit. The 620 spool centre is significantly narrower, when coupled to thin sheet metal construction made the 620 film cameras usefully more compact than their forebears. 620 film didn't ultimately survive the test of time, being discontinued in 1995 whilst 120 continued.
This near pristine camera was donated by its original owner, Mr. F. Stock. It had seen little use at the time of its retirement, and subsequently spent the next 40 years in a drawer, before joining the collection in 1986. Although 620 film is no longer available, the film itself is identical to 120 which is still is. Since the only difference is the size of the spools, all that is required is to wind 120 film onto 620 spools, a relatively straightforward exercise. This camera had a seized delayed release and slow speeds when received, but was perfectly serviceable after cleaning. A picture of the shutter partially dismantled can be seen in the workshop area of the museum.
|By the early 1930s folding cameras evolved into the self erecting type, epitomized by this handsome Kodak Six-20. Pressing a button released the hatch, and a spring deployed the lens in a beautifully choreographed mechanical ballet. Closure is made initially by pressing two buttons fitted to the main struts to unlock them, the lens bed is then pushed up and backwards, collapsing the camera elegantly.|
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