Kodak Folding Brownie Models 1904-15

Tomei Collection


There were many specific models of the Folding Brownie camera as well as many variations during the life time of these cameras between 1904 and 1915.  Red leather bellows were fitted until January, 1912, when Kodak stopped and began using domestic black leather.  The wood bodies of the Folding Brownie models were covered with textured black imitation leather instead of the heavy real leather coverings that were used on more expensive cameras produced by Kodak through the 1940's. 


As the marketing of the Folding Brownie models evolved following the introduction in April 1904, Kodak introduced a number of changes including the addition of the word "Pocket" in 1907 to suggest that these cameras could be carried in the large pockets of the overcoats that were popular in that time.  The changes also permited Kodak to introduce an expanded line of rollfilm sizes including 120 (21/4 x 31/4 in.), 116 (21/2 x 41/4 in.), 124 (31/4 x 41/4 in.), and 122 (31/4 x 51/2 in.).  A 125 rollfilm (2 x 31/4 x 21/2 in.) was used for the stereo model.



The No.3A Folding Brownie was available with either the single meniscus achromatic lens for $10.00, or the double Rapid Rectilinear lens for $12.00.  The carrying case was an extra $1.00.  All were covered with what Kodak proudly called "durable imitation leather" - and it was.


The earliest folding Brownie model is shown to the right, the No.2 Folding Brownie. It is marked by the wooden lens board, a sliding latch back release, and the Brownie Automatic shutter which was used only in 1904-05 during the first year of production. In 1905 the Pocket Automatic shutter replaced it. The camera shown here was produced between April 1904 and about May 1905 during which time about 26,000 were sold.





The No.3A Folding Brownie shown here was introduced in April 1909 and used 122 rollfilm. This example is equipped with the Rapid Rectilinear lens and F.P.K. Automatic shutter which was used through 1913. A fitted carrying case was offered as shown.  It was a very popular model selling for about $9.00, and over 114,000 were produced through 1915.