My wife’s aunt was a prolific photographer and she was always keeping old things as well. I found this Brownie No 2 Model F in her attic and it still appears to be working.
Brownie is the name of a long-running and extremely popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot. The first Brownie, introduced in February, 1900 was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2¼-inch square pictures on 117 roll film. With its simple controls and initial price of $1, it was intended to be a camera that anyone could afford and use, leading to the popular slogan, “You push the button, we do the rest.” The camera was named after the popular cartoons created by Palmer Cox.
One of the most popular Brownie models was the Brownie 127, millions of which were sold between 1952 and 1967. The Brownie 127 was a simple bakelite camera for 127 film which featured a simple meniscus lens and a curved film plane to reduce the impact of deficiencies in the lens.
Having written an article in the 1940s for amateur photographers suggesting an expensive camera was unnecessary for quality photography, the famous Picture Post photographer Bert Hardy used a Brownie camera to stage a carefully posed snapshot of two young women sitting on railings above a breezy Blackpool promenade.
I’m almost tempted to see if I can get some film for it to give it a go. Do you think I’ll be able to find any?
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