the little Ansco Panda

Ansco Panda from an ad
in the December 6, 1948
LIFE magazine.

Toronto. In the mid 1900s the vast majority of folk bought Kodak cameras and films. For the rebels (and second string stores) there were Ansco cameras and films. The Kodak Baby Brownie came out in 1934 and was made under various names and in various configurations. Early versions sported a folding frame finder while later ones had a tiny eye level optical finder. They all took the size 127 film with small contact prints of about 1.5 x 2.5 inches. The one I had in 1948 was the style made about 1936 – 1954.

To compete, Ansco sold the Panda model made from about 1939 to 1950. While it was still a box camera with a very basic shutter and lens, it used the bigger 620 film (about 2-1/4 inch square contact prints) and had a large, bright  waist level viewfinder, aping the very expensive twin-lens reflex cameras of the day like the Rollei.

My thanks to Toronto’s Goldie for suggesting this December 6, 1948 ad from LIFE magazine showing the Panda as the ideal Christmas gift. This model was comparable to my then new Baby Brownie which went with me on a grade six bus tour to Midland, Ontario.

This entry was posted in camera and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.