Monday, September 19, 2011

inside the black box

inside the black box
a woman gazes through books
reflected in glass

My mother met my father when they both worked for their college yearbook. They got married in 1939 and started having kids in 1942. We have lots of black and white pictures of us from those early childhood years, which may have been taken with a Kodak camera like this one.
The Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20 was a folding camera made in the USA and Canada by Eastman Kodak Company from 1940 to 1948. It took 6x9cm images on 620 roll film. It has a folding frame finder incorporated into its top housing and another optical finder near the shutter. It was similar to the Kodak Vigilant Six-20, but with a simpler lens and shutter. There was also a larger model, the Vigilant Junior Six-16. The camera was equipped with a simple fixed focus, single speed Kodet meniscus lens (approximately 1/100 sec, plus B- and T-settings) in a Dak shutter with f-stops from f/12.5, f/16, f/22 and f/32. It was also made with a better three-element Bimat lens in a Dakon shutter.
My first camera did not look like this cool Kodak. It was a Roy Rogers and Trigger snap shot box camera, made in 1950 by the Herbert George Company of Chicago. The camera used 620 film. It did not have the nifty bellows, but I loved it because Roy Rogers was my hero. He sent me a photo of himself when I was in the hospital in 1948 for third degree burns. This happened when my cowgirl outfit caught on fire while my older sister and I were playing "campfire" near a trash incinerator. The autograph said, "Always be good for Roy Rogers."

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