The

Story

of the

Vest

Pocket

Kodak

Camera Collecting

My name is Keith Christie, I have been a member of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain since 1983, my collecting interest was initially directed at anything Kodak, mainly on the erroneous assumption that this would be a cheap way of amassing a large collection of cameras. Having collected a fairly large number of Kodak cameras of many different types I realised that my attempt to obtain one of every type of camera that had been produced by the Eastman Kodak company was never going to be realised. The Smithsonian Institution having declined my very generous offer to buy from them the Eastman Cossitt detective camera I was, somewhat reluctantly, forced to reconsider my collecting Aims. I finally settled on all things Retina, initially encouraged by Dave Jentz of the Historical Society for Retina cameras and have now most of the different types of Retina but missing some of the versions with the rarer lenses which only very rarely come up on Ebay. These when they do appear are rapidly snapped up by collectors with far deeper pockets than me. Whilst waiting for these rarer Retina cameras to appear on Ebay, and almost always being outbid, I was able to carry out some research into one of the lesser of the ranges of Kodak Company, namely the first model of the Vest Pocket Kodak. In 1984 The late Ron Lockton published in Photographica, the Journal of the PCCGB, the result of his research into this marque which led me to investigate further and made me realise what a fascinating little camera this was. Whilst I like to think that most collectors regard this little camera as not really worth more than the passing glance, when one persists in the investigation one finds there is far more to it than a simple snapshot camera with a meniscus lens . It is well built, albeit mass produced, and must have been of sufficient quality for many lens manufactures to allow their lenses to be attached to this camera. In my research I have acquired nearly 140 of these cameras many with very interesting lenses by these reputable manufacturers, this research is backed up by details of some 130 other cameras supplied by PCCGB members and friends.

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Keith Christie

December 2006