Weekly Photo Challenge: Old Fashioned


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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19 comments

    • Thank you for the comment. I’ll have a look at that site and maybe have a go at using that old brownie. It would be interesting to see how the images come out and would make a great blog post….

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  1. you can definetly get film for it and use it. i’ve never used one of these box cameras but i do use a brownie hawkeye on a regular basis. it’s loaded with 120 film (which is the same size as the old 620 size that these cameras were meant to take) which you can find very easily. i develop the film myself in my garage. good stuff!

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    • Had a quick look today, film doesn’t seem to be a problem and my local camera shop does sell it. I’ve got to do a little research as there’s no instructions with the camera. So I need to find an online manual, which shouldn’t be too hard and then I’m going to give it a go

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  2. Your normal original finishing to an image Mike. The set up and lighting work really well, like the folds in the backing fabric gives a contrast to the sharp edges of the camera but matches the soft curves of the case opposite.

    My mother had one of these either bought before or during the war. Need to check with my brother it was among her effects when she died.

    I had good old Kodak Browne 127 as a kid in the mid fifties. You had to be careful what you shot as there were only 8 shots per roll if I remember correctly and it took all my pocket money to get them processed. It’s got me wondering where that went.

    Great website I took a stroll around a few days back.

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    • Hi Dave – I’ve got to go away for a week but when I get back I’m going to try and get the camera working. Thanks for the comment about the website….

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  3. Hi Mike, well done on this picture. Most importantly, you have a very nice and informative blog! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I will definitely be back to visit your blog from time to time!

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    • Thanks for the input about the blog. I have just spent the last week, re-designing it, new theme, slideshow, calendar, getting all the images hosted on WordPress, rather than Flickr, Fhotoroom or Skydrive. It’s made it a lost faster….

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  4. B&H has some 127 film… which is awesome, as i’ve got a 127 holiday brownie and only 2 very old rolls of film. how fun!

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