kodak brownie hawkeye

I’ve mentioned the Washington, LA Old Schoolhouse Antiques Mall before; today was day one of their 3-day semi-annual (they have another one in October) “outside” fair, so called because they have a lot more vendors than usual, and they’re all outside of the building. I went with the ‘rents, although Phil spent most of the time sleeping on the front steps. Mr. Excitement.

Frankly, I thought most of the outside vendors were straight-up junk, except for one booth that had a lot of cool old jewelry. I bought a pin shaped like a blue seahorse from her. But I’ve always made good finds inside the mall. It’s where I bought my Kodak Duaflex last year. It still has the take-up spool inside it, which means I could modify 120 rolls to shoot in it (technically it takes 620, which hasn’t been made in decades). But the lab would have to send the spool back, or I’d never be able to shoot in it again, so I’ve been too nervous to actually use it so far. I will one day, though. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

Anyway, I was hoping the same vendor would have more old cameras, and she did not disappoint. I got the above flash model Kodak Brownie Haweye for $40. It has all the flash bulbs! And a roll of 620 that expired in 1968! And how’s this for freaky: there’s a roll in the camera, exposed up to frame 11. I will definitely be sending that in for development. The vendor told me I had to come back if there was anything interesting or weird on it.

The fact that there’s still a roll of film in the camera tells me that it’s not missing any parts inside, so that’s awesome. There’s a space in the box where something used to be, but whatever it was it wasn’t vital, because the flash still connects to the camera. Maybe it was a little tripod or something.

This camera isn’t as old as my Duaflex. My Duaflex was the first model made — I can tell because there’s no Roman numeral after the name — putting it between 1947-1950. The flash model Brownie Hawkeye was in production between 1950-1961, and this one feels like mid-50s to me. It’s bakelite, not plastic; I rubbed some water on the side and it released the smell of formeldahyde. I learned that from Antiques Roadshow.

I’m building up quite a collection of old cameras. One day I will own a Rolleiflex. Oh yes… it will be mine.

ETA: I put the question of the missing space to the Brownie Hawkeye group on flickr, and the likeliest scenario is it contained the batteries for the flash. It’s the right size, and also explains why they’re missing when everything else — even all the flash bulbs — is still there, because batteries will always get put into something eventually.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria Evans
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 20:38:09

    I’m really very jealous! I can tell you that the camera you’ve bought is mid to late 1950s. It looks like it’s in tip top condition too. You must post whatever comes off the film still inside the camera. And can’t wait to see what you get from the 1968 expired film.

    Wish they had those sorts of fairs here (Australia) – it’s extremely hard to lay my hands on this sort of old camera, especially complete with film.

  2. pinstripebindi
    Apr 10, 2010 @ 08:58:54

    It’s by no means common here, either! Especially not with such old film. I about fell over when I found it.

  3. Lee Hudson
    May 03, 2013 @ 19:13:49

    Did you ever develop the film??? 🙂

    The color process required for this film is no longer in production; the place that develops my medium format told me they could develop it using modern C-41 but they couldn’t guarantee the results. I elected not to have it developed but I still have the film and may one day do so. As for the camera itself, I modified it by “flipping” the lens–taking it out and putting it back in the wrong way ’round–and I use it a few times a year. ~S.

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