James's Camera Collection: Kodak 1A Autographics

Kodak 1A Autographics USA Other Canon Cameras Folding cameras
Kodak 1A Autographic
Film type: Roll film size 116 (2 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches)
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1899 - 1921
Approx. original price: $50
Approx. street value: low

Kodak made a gazillion of these things in a million variations. I have several, but the two that are looking at me now are a Model 1A Junior from 1917 and a 1A Pocket from 1921 (God bless Kodak's insistance in stamping patent numbers all over their cameras). click for larger adThey're the kinds of cameras you see at antique stores for exhorbitant amounts but never sell; at camera shows they're sold by the pound. And the fact that these take long-discontinued 116 film doesn't make them any more desirable. A 120 film spool might fit if you wanted to make an adapter.

They are pretty, though. The folding cameras from this era are particularly stylish and handsome. A lot of people use them for bric-a-brac.

Mine are both autographic models, which was a cute gimmick where you could flip or slide a door on the back, and write a note using a metal stylus that clipped onto the back of the camera. But this took special "autographic" film. Why you couldn't just open the door and write a note on the paper backing is a mystery to me, but I don't work for camera makers.

I have a couple of cameras with the stylus still attached, but several are missing because they were easy to lose. If you know what the stylus looks like, keep an eye out for them and when you find one laying around somewhere, grab it; collectors will pay to repatriate a stylus with their cameras.

Camera manual: Orphan Cameras.com

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