Photographic History for just a Shilling (picture)

February 1960

South Yorkshire Times, February 1.

Photographic History for just a Shilling

For just a shilling. Conisbrough building contractor, Mr Tom Dunford has bought a piece of photographic history – this 1898 Kodak “Number 2 Bulls Eye Special”, complete with leather carrying case.

Mr Dunford and his family, of Clifton Lane, Conisbrough, have spent many happy hours browsing through heirlooms and fascinating relics of another age offered for sale when historic buildings have gone under the hammer, or have been scheduled for demolition, and it was just such a sale. Mr Dunford visited recently at Jervaulx, close by their weekend cottage at Coverdale.

Amongst faded portraits and antique tables was this well preserved “Bulls Eye Special”

Have Changed Little.

Kodak “box” cameras have changed little over the succeeding years.

This one, beautifully finished, is a wooden construction, 7 inches long, 4 1/2 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches high. The picture area is 3 1/4 in.², the film travelling complete around the three sides of the inner body to the take-up spool on the right and being enclosed at the back by a hinged section containing a central hole an inch in diameter (!) Through which the film numbers can be seen (an echo of the far-off days of slow ortho material).

The brass mounted f4 Lens stop down to f128? and the shutter, which has brief, instantaneous and time setting, has three speeds: fast, medium and slow. They appear to be approximately 1/60th, 1/30th, and 1/15th.

It is necessary to cock the shutter via a cross movement lever on the top of the camera, a release is affected by a plunger close by.

There is only one viewfinder (the picture area being square) and it must have been extremely dust proof, for it is in excellent condition. The inner body of the camera fits easily and neatly into the outer container and is held in place by engaging two panels into corresponding slots.

For some reason not immediately apparent, the front panel of the outer container is hinged to let down. At any rate, when in place it affords an efficient “built-in” lens hood. There is a tripod bush just off centre in the base of the camera.

All in all, a most interesting relic. But the most striking feature of all is the workmanship. Even the clasp on the carry case clips smartly into position after 66 years!

We are grateful to Mr Dunford foraffording usthis opportunity of examining his “find”.

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