Feb 26, 2012

Video & bicycle clamps

I have made an English translation of my video about the early years of photography and uploaded it to Youtube. I made the original video for a general audience that knows virtually nothing about the history of photography. In a nutshell it tells the story of Niepce, Daguerre and Fox Talbot. No details, not much explanation, just headlines and pictures. Here it is:

During the past week there were some interesting items for sale on eBay. First of all there were two Kodak boxes with clamps to mount bicycle cases on your bike. I believe these a quite rare, certainly with the original box. Both were sold for a nice sum, one box for US$ 147 and one for $ 178.

Bicycle cameras were fashionable around 1900 and Kodak offered several styles of cases for a number of their cameras. They even made a booklet called Bicycle Kodaks, with all the cases and cameras. Here's a  page showing a case for the Folding Pocket Kodak.

Also for sale was a plain wood Boston Bulls-Eye box from the period 1892-1895. This camera is a landmark camera because it incorporated several inventions that were used for the first time together in one instrument: front roll design, red window and daylight loading film. See my website for details.The one for sale was a Buy it Now item and it was sold during the first day for $ 285. The strap and one screw to hold that is missing.

I was thinking about buying it, but waited too long.
Just a day or two later another plain wood Boston Bulls-Eye appeared. It had its strap and looked good, so I did not hesitate long and bought it.
It will make a nice companion to my ebonite model Bulls-Eye. Now I have to find myself a leather covered model, to make the set complete.

Have a good look at both cameras. Notice the difference? The one I bought (left) has a pull strip on top. I guess you can select an aperture with it. I will find out when it arrives.

Feb 15, 2012

Blair Baby Hawk-Eye camera

I received a question about the Blair Baby Hawk-Eye camera and here is a link to an article in Photographica World 2008, issue 1, number 123. Download it if you want to keep it, because I will delete it at any moment from my Dropbox.

Feb 13, 2012

Kodak roll films

I received a question about Kodak roll films and found lots of info in "the Photographist" number 98 of 1993. Here's a PDF of it.

Feb 12, 2012

The early years of photography

During the last two weekends and sometimes in the evenings I have been working on a video about the early years of photography. I needed it for the file on http://www.wikilimburg.nl/ and could not find a video that suited me. So I made it myself.
I started with Adobe Premiere Elements 10, but changed to Windows Movie Maker after a number of frustrating hours. Windows Movie Maker could not do what I had in mind, so I changed to Power Point. There I could make a background of early 19th century wallpaper, hang a picture frame on it and use the space in the frame to show my pics. When ready I saved the file as a video and then imported it in Windows Movie Maker to finish it. Some passages had to be stretched and it needed some background music.
Here it is (in Dutch, but I think I will make an English vesion as well):

Feb 4, 2012


Today "Tailboard", the communications publication of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain, PCCGB, dropped into my mailbox (the physical one, that is). On the front page two very Victorian looking box cameras cought my attention. They were two of the three known examples of the Tambosa camera.
Well, I don't blame you if you don't know what the Tambosa is. But in an old filing cabinet somewhere in my head a bell rang. In 2001 I had written an article about the Kodak Bullet cameras. In it I told about the front roll design (placing the film spools in the front of the camera box, just behind the lens panel). One of the inventors is Henry B. Good, who got a patent on the design on January 23, 1889 in England. In the article I wrote that Good's camera with the name Tambosa was never produced. Until today I knew no better.

Here's a pic of the front of Tailboard showing the two examples that cought my attention.
The example on the left is typical of the detective cameras of the day. It is wrapped in thick paper, like a ordinary parcel. In the early 1890's no one associated such a parcel with a camera or photographer. Cameras were used on tripods and photographers did mysterious things under a black cloth. With the disguised camera in hand s/he could walk the streets and take secret snaps of people and street life. Maybe not so very nice, but it was the start of a new kind of photography.
Here's the link to the Good US patent of 1890. You need a tiff reader to see the images. See the instructions on the US Patent Office website where the patent comes from.

By the way, you are a member of the PCCGB, aren't you? Yes? OK, so I don't have to tell you what a great journal the PCCGB publishes four times a year and that you miss a lot of interesting stuff if you don't get Photographica World. To be sure I provide the link to the site here.

The Brownie box of films that I mentioned in the previous blog was sold for US $ 333 and received 19 bids. Not bad and it shows the growing interest in this kind of additional items.
The No. 1 Kodak was sold for the buy it now price of $ 1795 and the whole collection of 4.5 x 6 cm plate cameras attracted not one bid. $ 52,000 is not what the average camera collector has in his wallet. The rare No. 3 Kodak Jr did only get $ 388.
At the moment there is a No. 4 Bullet Special Model of '99 for sale. After 3 bids the price is $ 225, but it is a naked example! Someone stripped the leather off and polished the bare wood body. Maybe it looks nice, but it is far from original. Still one day to go.

In my job I am working with public libraries to set up a series of training courses for the public about information skills. Trainees are asked to make content in our special wiki. To give them an example I made a file about the 19th century photographers in the city of Roermond. It is not ready yet, but here it is.