I scored a beautiful folding camera not too long ago, a Kodak Junior Six-16 Series II. Doesn’t it look like it was hardly ever used?
From 1934 to 1936, Kodak produced a camera with a gorgeous art-deco body called the Six-16 that, true to its name, used size 616 film. It was expensive at $40, so in 1935, Kodak put the same works inside a more pedestrian body, lowered the price, and called it the Junior Six-16. They made a few improvements to the camera in 1937, added “Series II” to the name, and charged $12 for it until it went out of production in 1940.
Kodak also made a Junior Six-20 camera that was very similar to the Junior Six-16 except that it took size 620 film. Kodak hasn’t made either 616 or 620 film in years, but if you have a spare 620 spool, you can roll still-available 120 film onto it and take pictures with any working 620 camera. There’s no such luck with 616 film, and so my poor Junior Six-16 will have to be satisfied with looking good on a shelf in my living room.
Kodak made a bazillion folding cameras in about the first half of the last century. They’re very easy to come by and, with a few exceptions, won’t put much hurt on your checkbook. But most old folders I find are significantly worn, sometimes with the leather chipping or peeling off or the bellows brittle or torn. I don’t get around too awful much compared to more serious camera collectors, who may think my camera is dime-a-dozen, but this folding Kodak is in the best condition of any I’ve ever seen. It also came in its original box.
Update 27 Jan 2010: Go here to see a photo taken with a Kodak Junior Six-16, Series II.
Do you like vintage cameras? Click here to see my entire collection.