an old boxing day box camera

1930 50th Anniversary Box Camera by Kodak

Toronto. Boxing day on December 26th used to be THE day for sales. Then boxing day week, then black Friday, now COVID-19 and total lockdown over the holidays.

Still, it is fitting to celebrate boxing day with a box camera. Box cameras were the simplest of designs – fixed focus meniscus lens (about f/16), simple two blade shutter (about 1/25), simple viewer, and a box to keep out the light and hold the lens and shutter the correct distance from the roll film.

Kodak’s Brownie line saved money by using cardboard and a paper covering instead of wood and a leather covering. In 1930, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eastman-Kodak, Eastman badged a bunch of Brownie Hawk-Eye No 2 cameras with a round gold coloured paper circle and offered a camera free to anyone child who turned 12 that year on a first come basis (until all 550,000 or so  cameras were handed out by the retailers). A Brownie  linked site says “in North America” but the ad shown on the site says “America”. I vaguely remember a member saying the largess of Mr Eastman was limited to 12 year old American children in 1930.

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