Monday, April 7, 2014

Kodak Movie Cameras - An American Classic

On October 4th, 1959, in Kansas City, Missouri, Elka Camera was having an Out They Go at Ridiculous Prices sale on the 1958 and early 1959 models of various cameras and projectors. Included in that Eisenhower era blow out sale was a Kodak Brownie Movie Kit, with an 8mm camera sporting a 13mm f2.3 lens, model 77T. Also included was a two lamp light bar complete with bulbs.

I doubt if this particular camera was sold at that store, but if it had been it would have been reduced from $39.95 to the ridiculously low price of $14.98. And it would looked just like this (only new).

Care to see more? Step into the dark room and lets see what develops.

The Kodak Brownie Movie Camera f/2.3 Model 2 was, according to the folks at The Brownie Camera Page, made from March of 1956 to September of 1960, and had a list price of $37.50. This kit probably carried a price higher than that. And of course you know that in October of 1959 they were being blown out in Kansas City at $14.98 (that's $115 in today's money).

I found one for less than $115 of today's money and snatched it up pretty much to create this blog post. I've taken pictures, preserved it for posterity, and played with it all day. Now it's for sale in our thrift store for $45. Get 'em while they're hot!

The lid has a ledge built into it to hold the bottom part up at display height. How cool!

Okay, you've waited long enough. Here it is.

Everything you need to preserve the memories of your Kodak Moments.
The industrial designers in the 50s were just giants. Eat your heart out Apple.

A closer view.

And an even closer view. Isn't this thing gorgeous (for a camera)?

Just like a watch of the same period you wind this machine to make it work.

The (artificial) leather grain on the side is a 1950s touch of class.

Who's the king of cameras? Kodak, Rochester, N.Y. Thank you very much.

The painted wooden handle screws on. Plastic? We don't need no stinking plastic (apologies to Treasure of the Sierra Madre).

What's a home movie without light. This is where light starts. Check out that big ol switch.

Two of these = 600 watts of pure, American made, eye blinding, Sylvania brightness.

I'm going out on a limb and saying - I bet these are the original bulbs.

Take a bow, Brownie. You're an American Classic.

 We'll be right back with . . . more stuff.


  1. Great photos! I remember my own little Brownie still camera very well.

  2. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. camera spy