My father loved cameras! He enjoyed posing for pictures just as much as he enjoyed taking them. I believe I’m the one in the family that enjoys cameras as much as he did. Since his death, all of his cameras have been passed on to me. So on my list of things to do this year, I will inspect each one and determine what condition they are in at this time. Well, the day to inspect one of those cameras came this past weekend while I was scanning some old photos of my father to my computer. I came across the photo you see to the right of him around the age of 18 or 19 posing for a picture while holding a camera case in his hand. That camera case looked very familiar to me. So I pulled out all the stored cameras and there it was — dad’s Kodak Jiffy Camera (series II), 620 roll film camera for eight 6 x 9 cm negatives that was built around 1937!
According to the UK website – The Living Image Vintage Camera Museum, “The Jiffy is a budget camera but [offers] a little more control than a box camera. The lens has two position focus with the front element mounted in a screw barrel… The Jiffy cameras all share a common design of catch to keep the back closed; whilst it succeeds at keeping the back tightly closed and is unlikely to open accidentally, it is subject to binding after a few years of inactivity. Consequently many are broken.”
One thing I know for sure is that the common design of the catch to keep the back of the camera tightly close works like a pro because 75 years later, I cannot get the back of this camera open — LOL! I will be taking it to a camera shop this summer to get it open and determine if I will be able to use it, and/or, actually learn to use it. It is in mint condition after all these years. I’m excited to see what this little jewel from 1937 can do!
If you love cameras and have a vintage Kodak like this one, let me hear from you!