anything you can do …

Announcing the first Medalist camera

Toronto. … I can do better! Shades of Annie Get Your Gun! In December of 1941 (by the time this issue hit the stands, Pearl Harbor ad been bombed and America was dragged into WW2 kicking and screaming). This issue of Popular Mechanics announced a remarkable new Kodak camera that promised to bring to 620 film the features and benefits found on German imports like Leica, Contax, etc..

Shown here, the photographer has his hand on the ‘fine focus’ knob while using the accessory frosted glass back as a focussing screen. In the article the camera remains unnamed although it is obviously the famous Kodak Medalist (I) which stayed in production from 1941 – 1948 when the (II) replaced it. During WW2, the camera was customized for the military with a black anodized coating. According to McKeown, this coating drifted over to early post war cameras too.

Note. The title is a line from a 1946 song by Irving Berlin featured in the Broadway musical which became a film musical four years later, “Annie Get Your Gun” sung here by Howard Keel and Betty Hutton.

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