Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Brownie Camera

My sister e-mailed me another photo of our parents. 
[This was the other.]

They're on our front porch here with their third and last child, my brother, born in 1970.

My sister sent it to me because we were reminiscing about our mother's clothes, and I mentioned this dress with a Marimekko-like pattern she wore a lot.  (She's wearing a fisherman's short-sleeved cotton sweater here too.)

Sister asked me if I knew who took the photo, and I do: 
little me, with my Brownie box camera. I remember it was a happy afternoon. Four years later, my parents divorced.

The camera was outdated even in 1970––I'd bought it cheap at the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store (I have a history with thrift stores). 
I loved how you look down into the viewfinder, and I remember threading the fresh film into the take-up spool and the peculiar chemically smell of the film packet. 

A few years ago someone set a box of old cameras out with the trash, and I rescued a Brownie 
< Hawkeye, just because it's beautiful.

Today I looked it over. It's a pretty basic machine and it  seems to be in working order. 

I called a local camera store and they carry 120 film for it, and I found instructions on loading it here, so I'm going to give it a try.

I was reminded of what a great deal digital photography is, though:
the film is about $5 for a roll, and then you have to pay for development too. Of course you don't need an expensive machine to look at the pictures.


Elaine Fine said...

I had the same camera. It had been my grandfather's. I loved that camera. I used to read the directions over and over, but I could never quite figure out what was what with photography. That didn't stop me from taking rolls and rolls of photographs. I can still remember the smell of the film and the inside of the camera.

Fresca said...

ELAINE: Hey, cool--you remember that smell too! I asked another friend yesterday and she did too.

Heh, luckily one doesn't have to understand the directions to take photos––even very good ones!