Thursday, December 1, 2011

You push the button, we do the rest...



My paternal grandfather with camera circa 1940
click to embiggen
It's tradition at Willow Manor to hop in the old green Land Rover and head to the Franklin County Fair Grounds the Friday after Thanksgiving for the season opening of the Scott Antique Show.  Hundreds of vendors set up their booths once a month, from November through March. They happen to have a show in Atlanta, as well, for those of you who live in that southern neck of the woods.  I love to pull my red vinyl two-wheel cart along behind me, in search of buried treasure. 

I picked up a sweet little Brownie Flash Six-20, a 1940 variation of the quintessential American camera for $2.00.  The first Brownie was introduced by Eastman Kodak in February 1900, as a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2 1/4 inch square pictures on 117 roll film. The Brownie introduced the concept of the snapshot, intended as a camera that anyone cold afford, leading to the popular slogan, "You push the button, we do the rest."  The camera was named after the popular cartoons created by Palmer Cox.  



33 comments:

  1. I descend from a long line of photographers in my paternal line. The camera my grandfather is holding in the picture is not a Brownie, but it was taken in 1940, the same year the Flash Six-20 was issued. That's my father, the boy in the background.

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  2. I know...isn't it the best? I wish I had that hat now!

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  3. Such a sweet smile :)
    My grandmother had an early Kodak, when she passed away, we were looking through her estate personal items, and saw all those wondeful pictures she had been snapping away at over the years.
    ~Jo

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  4. As the second child, my parents were tired of taking pictures by the time I came along. My brother has dozens of photos, but my childhood remains mostly in my head.

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  5. I'm a first child...there's hundreds of pictures of me under the age of three...

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  6. Your stirring images helped to
    catapult me into digital photography.
    As we move around the internet,
    it surprised me to find so many
    poets out there are also fabulous
    photographers; something about
    chronicling our world, our lives.

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  7. Is that ALL you got Tess? I somehow doubt it :) Can't wait to see what other treasures you find. OH, and by the way, speaking of hats, quite a few posts back you had an awesome hat my son spied... If your closets and drawers are over bulging, know that hat has a home here with us! :)

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  8. Great find at the antique fair. I didn't know where the camera got its name.
    Love the photo...your dad is wearing a neck tie with his overalls : )

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  9. Margaret, you're right! I got a super cool mod 1950s lamp, a huge ceramic industrial glove mold, and a gorgeous vintage costume jewelry necklace...all for under $50.

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  10. Cat...he is! And a plaid one, too!

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  11. I love antique fairs - we have plenty here in the UK and they are always fun to look round.

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  12. My grandparents had a camera like that - well, SHAPED like that, I'm not sure what brand it was. They were always up on the new technology - they had slide shows of their vacation pictures :)

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  13. over the river and through the woods

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  14. Is it at all possible to use the camera?
    What a hobby it would be to tinker with it. :)

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  15. My dad had a Kodak brownie camera as well...I gave my kid all my old cameras as this is his thing now. Collecting them, and using an old Rollicord. Also an old brownie movie camera 8mm. (not the Super 8. Thinking that I had Pentax K1000 for photography class and my dad had a Canon. I think my boy is looking for a Leica. Pricey! I am trying to get into Canon digital too but some swear by old school. Wow Tess do you have a striking resemblance to your dad! I thought it was you, then I thought..nope, incorrect time frame. The fedora is so classy!

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  17. Took my Kodak on our 7th grade trip to Springfield and New Salem, Illinois - my first travel photos.

    By the way, I just looked at your blog with the flipboard view. That makes for a great college.

    Moe

    deleted previous comment for spelling

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  18. *LOVE* I had a Polaroid Swinger growing up...yeah, I was the stuff...

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  19. This is a sweet little camera. I have been scouring our local antique malls for a decent Brownie to purchase. I confess that when I was in grade school we did a musical performance with a song entitled, "You push the button and we do the rest". Love that phrase.

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  20. I wonder how many families, worldwide, DIDN'T have a box Brownie. I knew we certainly did.

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  21. NB. Before my comment above would register, I was asked to provide a mobile phone number. I didn't of course!

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  22. Moe, interestingly enough, my first class trip with travel photos was also to Springfield and New Salem, Illinois. I had a little Kodak Instamatic.

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  23. Smile please and, hold it...

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  24. Your grandfather was hot looking, like something straight out of 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'!
    Was it a Panama hat? I have (had) one that looked just like it myself. I don't have any modelling pictures but a home 'clicked' image of me in it. They're such lovely hats, and I imagine now quite expensive. Like you, I used to wear hats all the time. They were wonderful, but now I no longer do except for jacketed hoods.
    I remember Brownie cameras, yes. I had one when I was 11 or 12 years old, shooting overexposed squirrels, trees, roads we were travelling on, my year older brother making faces at me, my year younger brother crying...LOL. And then I'd forget by opening the camera and exposing it all - DOH. :)

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  25. very cool--wish I had the one I had as a kid..it took amazing photos...

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  26. I once had a neighbor who had been collecting old cameras for years. He displayed them in a glass-fronted case and they were a sight to see. I'm sure he had one of these.

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  27. em (my daughter)has a thing for old cameras also - i'd love to stumble on a brownie for 2 bucks - what a deal!! you did good!

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  28. Our old box brownie disappeared long ago along with most of the old photos unfortunately, but I do remember posing. There were no candid shots back then; I guess prints were expensive!

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  29. Can't quite seem to see the USB port for downloading Tess. How will you be able to Photoshop your subjects into someone they are not?
    Millie x

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  30. This is awesome!... Just the pic itself is great.... Love it!

    JJRod'z

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  31. My first camera was a Brownie Starflash that I got when I was about 10years old in 1960...I still have it and I am sure it is considered an antique:)

    I love going to antique fairs!

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  32. My grandmother had a Kodak Brownie like a concertina and the photographs were excellent ... film is good ... now every wanker with a digital camera thinks he's a photographer ...

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)