Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Kodak, Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak camera, c1920

Trellis strut folding 127 roll film camera with autographic feature. The autographic feature consisted of a small trap door in the back of the camera that could be opened to gain access to the backing paper of the roll film. The idea being that once a picture had been exposed, this trap door was opened and, using a supplied metal stylus, the photographer scratched any details of the picture into the backing paper. This would result in a thinning of the paper, and by directing the open trap door to light - the details would be recorded photographically in the gap between negatives. Fitted with Kodak ball bearing shutter, these seem to last the test of time, nearly all the ones I've come across still worked, this one is no exception. The trellis strut arrangement avoided the problems of the lensboard flexing under the strain of the bellows, it also allows fairly rapid deployment of the lens. This particular camera probably came late in the production run of 1915 - 1926. Acquired in 1998.

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Kodak, Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak camera, c1920

Body No.1376598
Shutter, Kodak ball bearing shutter, speeds T, B, 25, & 50th
Lens, Rapid Rectilinear f/7.7
Condition, 5F

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Open Kodak VPK - slide 1

Open Kodak VPK - slide 2

Open Kodak VPK - slide 3

With the trellis strut folding mechanism fitted to Kodak's Vest Pocket Kodak, the user simply pulls the lensboard forward to the end of its travel, sets the camera up and it's ready to go. It's a neat solution. Closing the camera is equally simple, just push on the lensboard with evenly centred pressure. The trellis struts made the camera rigid enough to serve their purpose well, so much so that the VPK sold in the hundreds of thousands, although later versions went back to the simpler pull along the lens bed method.

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