The 100th Anniversary Brownie Camera

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.

110 Brownie Camera

left: Made in Australia by Kodak PTY.LTD. – right: Made in England by Kodak Limited – photo by Chuck Baker

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.

left: Made in Australia - right: Made in England - photo by Chuck Baker

left: Made in Australia – right: Made in England – photo by Chuck Baker

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.

This outfit, which included the case, was made in Australia – photo by Chuck Baker

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
Introduced: 1980
Discontinued: 1982
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!

2 thoughts on “The 100th Anniversary Brownie Camera

  1. David Lisk

    HI,
    I thought the last UK Model was the Anniversary Brownie or Kodak Brownie Camera, however another camera bearing the Brownie name was made in 1986 made in Brazil. I have just acquired one of these complete with box and flashbulbs to add to my collection.

    Link to detais:

    http://www.brownie.camera/brownie/brownie2.html

    Kodak Brownie II
    MANUFACTURER: Kodak Ltd.
    PLACE MANUFACTURED: Brazil
    INTRODUCTION DATE: 1986
    PRODUCTION DATES: 1986
    FILM TYPE: 110
    The last Brownie, a plastic camera with shutter speeds 1/50, 1/125 and 1/250 set by filmcartridge.
    Kodar meniscus f11 22mm fixed focus lens with aperture settings of bright and cloudy.
    Similar to the Kodak Cross and the Kodak Star 110 models.

    David

    Reply
  2. Christopher Hosford

    Too bad Kodak has failed to continue the “Brownie” mark. Love these cameras, and a permanent price of history.

    Reply

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