My Museum Monday: 9

A tragic story

Vest Pocket Kodak camera, 1915-1926

This is my second vest pocket camera. The first, given to me by a long-ago friend in 1972, vanished a couple of decades later in the chaotic aftermath of a suddenly-ended relationship.

So I was excited to find another identical camera in a charity shop  about 10 years later. I think I paid £4 for it. What was  even more exciting was that it contained an exposed film! What magic might that roll of film reveal? Another couple of decades passed before I managed to get the photography technician at Manchester School of Art, where I was studying for my PhD, to develop the film for me.

I wonder what stories were captured by this shutter and lens…

Then, horror of horrors, another, never identified, student stole it from the drying room. So I never got to see what was on it! 

So now I shall have to search for another camera with an exposed film. Ho hum. Actually both my Olypus OM cameras (OM 1  and OM2) still have films in them, left over from my final pre-digital days back in 2002. I can’t for the life of me remember what might be on them!

The hinged flap and stylus allowing the user to write on the back of the film.

The vest pocket camera dates from 1915-1926, and has an opening on the back, with an attached stylus, with which notes could be inscribed on the paper film backing. Because of its small size, the camera was hugely popular with soldiers during the first world war.

Author: ralphblog

I am a historical archaeologist, writer and editor. I live in Saanich, Victoria, British Columbia.

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