Brownies: The Antique Brownie Camera Value and History


Old Brownie Camera Worth and History: The previous century smartphone camera for sale.

 

The term brownie is often used to refer to that popular, simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak. This was the authentic smartphone of the previous century with respect to photography capability. The unique feature of this camera is that it was not expensive and therefore it could be bought for most population. In addition, it had the unique capability that introduced the new concept of the snapshot. The History of the Brownies is long since the first model was presented in February 1900. That first model was very simple since it only consisted of a cardboard box camera, which contained a meniscus lens that took 2¼-inch square pictures on 117 rollfilm. The usage was very simple and people could learn very fast to use it. The price was only $1 so it could be available to most of families. Definitely, it is easy to imagine that the Brownie was our current smart phones for making selfies and photography but with much more glamour of course! In some sense the old brownies were also “smart” because the slogan was: “You push the button, we do the rest.”

 

French Ad on Brownie Camera

French Ad on Brownie Camera

There was no other camera which was so spread, bought and iconic in the history. Tens of millions were made and were operatives. It is therefore no surprising that so they are easy to find and buy even today. However, there are also companies that sell newly constructed models of brownies cameras using modern materials and textures but keeping the old style technology, colors and design.

 

Enligh ad on EastMan Kodak Brownie Camera

Enligh ad on EastMan Kodak Brownie Camera

The first camera was refereed as brownies because of the popular Palmer Cox cartoons. Promptly, and perhaps more than expected, consumers responded, and over 150,000 Brownie cameras were shipped in the first year of production !. This is an amazing number for the production rates of that era. Soon, an improved model, called No. 2 Brownie came in 1901, which produced larger photos. Of course the price increased a bit since it had better features, but it costed still only $2 and it was very popular too.

 

brownie cameras were also purchased by women as an independence symbol showing that a new era  was coming.

brownie cameras were also purchased by women as an independence symbol showing that a new era was coming.

One of the markets targeted by the brownie cameras were the family and children. Parents wanted to have memories of their children and these cameras were the first technology that allowed them to do so. Of course, they were also taken to war by soldiers, which is the inspiration of this article and topic for our website remorika.com. Indeed, many important iconic shots were taken on using brownie cameras. These brownies became part of our present history.

 

Iconic Photography taken in Iwo Jima with a Brownie Camera.

Iconic Photography taken in Iwo Jima with a Brownie Camera.

In 1930s, the cameras continued to be popular, and spawned many different models, types and variants, such as a Boy Scout edition. Improvements continued, such as in 1940, when Kodak released the Six-20 Flash Brownie.The camera was Kodak’s first internally synchronized flash camera, using General electric bulbs. Then in 1957, Kodak produced the Brownie Starflash, Kodak’s first camera with a built in flash.

 

Ladies were one of the targets of the Brownie camera marketing campaigns.

Ladies were one of the targets of the Brownie camera marketing campaigns.

Millions of the probably most popular Brownie 127 camera were sold between 1952 and 1967. The Brownie 127 was a simple bakelite camera for 127 film. Another simple camera was the Brownie Cresta which was sold between 1955 and 1958. It used 120 film and had a fixed-focus lens.Accoding to some reports, the last official Brownie cameras made were “anniversary model”, 110 film models in the early 1980s.

 

Associating a theoretically complex artifact with a woman at that time was a symbol of simple way of using.

Associating a theoretically complex artifact with a woman at that time was a symbol of simple way of using it.

Some models that can still be bought with relatively low price are this Vintage Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Camera. This camera is in good condition. The shutter functions properly and the lens is clean and clear. The camera opens and closes smoothly. The camera could use a light cleaning.

Or for example, this Vintage Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash TLE Camera With Flash.

More unique models are this Hanging Antique Kodak brownie camera clock, photographer photo collector recycled upcycled.

Choosing an example from the 19502, we have this Kodak Eastman, Brownie Bulls-Eye 1950s Antique Camera. Kodak Brownie Bulls-Eye camera in nice condition for its age from 1950s. Shows a mild amount of usage wear with minor scratches on camera body. There is a small crack on the side, also a number code is sketched in the back of the camera – see photos. All the photos are of the camera being for sale.

Let’s take vintage photo again with WWII flavor :)


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