By Chuck Baker
The first Brownie Camera, released in February of 1900, defined the snapshot. It allowed virtually anyone to afford a camera and film to capture family moments. It came at the perfect time…work hours were decreasing, pay was rising and travel was becoming popular.
This article is not intended to go over the history of the Kodak Brownie Camera models, of which there are over 100. Instead, let’s have a look at the interesting 110 cartridge Brownie Camera: Anniversary Brownie.
It was the first Brownie camera manufactured to use 110 cartridge loading film. In 1979, a renamed version of the Kodak Limited Pocket A1 Camera was cosmetically redesigned for the 100th anniversary of the founding of George Eastman’s company. The body of this proposed model was moulded in milk chocolate plastic with gilt nameplate. lens panel and centenary motif. A matching hard ever-ready case was also designed. A small number of these were made for evaluation(not pictured) but unfortunately the decision was made not to market this camera with the anniversary name on it.
Instead, the models pictured here were manufactured without the mention of “Anniversary” on the camera. The cameras made in Australia differ from the UK in the font of the name stamp, silver(England) or no silver surrounding the lens and the shutter release button is orange while the UK model has a black button. There may be other variations out there, I’m not sure. If you know of or have a different version of this camera please drop me an email or a comment.
The gap in time from the previous model, Brownie Fiesta R4 which was discontinued in 1970, leads me to believe that the Anniversary Brownie, released 10 years later, was trying to capitalize on the nostalgia of the Brownie brand and was not intended to somehow bring the Brownie Camera back in any serious way.
Here are some details:
Brownie Camera or Anniversary Brownie
Camera Type: Eyelevel 110 Cartridge Loading
Film size: 110 Cartridge
Picture size: 0.51″ x 0.67″
Manufactured: Australia and England
Lenses: Single Element F/11, 25mm Fixed Focus
Shutters: Single Speed 1/60 Second
Numbers made: ?
Original price: ?
This camera was designed boxier than other Kodak 110 cameras for easy holding. It has a “flipflash” socket and a thumbwheel film advance.
I have a special fondness for Brownie Cameras. I grew up with them and it was a Brownie that helped spark my lifelong love of photography. Even this cheap plastic 110 camera with “Brownie Camera” stamped on it gives me goosebumps!