The Brownie No. 2 Model F is a box roll film camera that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY. The Kodak Brownie No. 2 was made between 1901-1933, and the Model F was introduced in 1924. The Brownie name was derived from a series of popular cartoons called “The Brownies” created by Palmer Cox. Kodak marketed the cameras heavily towards children, but their ease of use and affordability allowed the Brownie to have mass market appeal.
Kodak’s Brownie box camera is often credited with popularizing low cost photography and introducing the concept of a snapshot. It’s simple design allowed the shooter to hold the camera waist height, aim and turn a switch to take the photograph. The cameras were also relatively small and lightweight (5.5x3x4” and 13 oz.) making them portable and convenient. With a price tag of approximately $2.00, photography was no longer reserved for professional photographers. The Kodak Brownie No. 2 allowed photography to be accessible by almost everyone.
The Kodak Brownie No. 2 features a simple box design with a Meniscus lens and rotary shutter. The Model F is unique because it has a leatherette covered aluminum frame, replacing many versions made of cardboard. As a result, the Model F was more durable than many previous models. The Model F is also significant because it was the first to use 120 roll film, taking six 2.25×3.25” exposures without reloading. The camera also features dual finders that allow the shooter to take portrait or landscape photos by changing the orientation of the camera. The Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model F is a neat part of photographic history and a nice collectible camera.
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