all aboard the gravy train …

Ad for Corsair II camera in the September, 1941 issue of Popular Mechanics

Toronto. In September of 1941, America had not yet joined in the War in Europe that had been underway for two years, in spite of Churchill’s pleadings and the US President’s empathy. The loss of German cameras to America seemed imminent, sparking an out pouring of unique designs – that and the introduction of a rather fussy and pricey Kodachrome transparency film a couple of years earlier.

One of the protagonists of this design cornucopia was the fabled ‘Universal Camera Company’ of NYC (soon to become a Chicago entity). The firm identified all the pitfalls affecting colour photography and 35mm cameras.

To solve these identified afflictions, they announced a remarkable camera called the ‘Corsair II‘ that purported to ‘think for itself’ – and for just $20 US.

The company portrayed the camera as being the camera for colour, ‘ “Mistake-proof” features make it the ideal color camera. The essentials of successful color photography … accurate shutter speeds … correct exposure over entire picture area … and exposure meter … are all built-in features. Nothing more to buy, except film!’

If this Bakelite wonder is unfamiliar to you , check out the instruction manual here courtesy of Mr Butkus in NJ. And visit our fairs and auctions to find this and other Univex cameras.

And a thank you goes to my good friend George Dunbar for suggesting both this and the ad in the previous post on the Kodak Medalist.

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