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Candid Camera
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moon_shine wrote in vintage_cameras

Pre War 1939 Argus candid camera

I got this camera last weekend at an Estate Sale it was one of the first 35mm cameras, and it has every adjustment you can think of for the time, a pre world war II Camera looks like it will be fun to play with ;o)

Pre-War Argus A2B
·Focus Type: 2 Position (6ft - 18ft and 18ft - Infinity)
·Years Manufactured: 1939 - ~1945
·Introductory Price: $12.50
·Approximate Introductory Price in 2003 Dollars: $165.00
·Serial Number Range: ~56215 - 244601
·Shutter Type: Pre-war Ilex Precise
·Lens Speed: f/4.5
·Aperture Settings: f/4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.7, 18
·Shutter Speeds: 1/200th sec, 1/100, 1/50, 1/25, B(ulb), T(ime)
·Extinction Meter/Calculator: Yes
·Flash Synch Tubes: No
·Anastigmat Lens
·Pressure Plate: Fixed
Serial Number 69178

The first Argus camera, known as the Model A, was manufactured in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1936. It was an immediate success as the first low-cost, easy-to-use 35mm film camera in the world. Thirty thousand cameras were sold in the first week at $12.50 each! Worldwide sales of this model continued until 1950. The popularity of the Model A strongly influenced Kodak to switch their film manufacturing from a 126 to a 35mm format, which remains the dominant film in use today

The Argus was designed to use the new Kodak 35mm daylight-loading cartridge. This film cassette entered the market in late 1934 with the first camera designed to use it, the Kodak Retina. The new cartridge could be reloaded in a darkroom with surplus 35mm movie film, which was often plentiful and cheap. When Kodak introduced Kodachrome, the first color film, it was only available as roll film in the Kodak 35mm film cartridge, boosting this film format’s popularity. This cartridge was also the first that could easily be loaded into a camera in daylight. Such simplicity played a factor in the success of the Argus. The symbiotic relationship between Argus cameras and Kodak’s 35mm film cartridges boosted the popularity of both. The Argus A, and its more famous successor, the Argus C/C2/C3, are the primary reasons that the 35mm film format was established as firmly as it was, despite the plethora of similar formats that have been introduced and forced upon photographers in the last seventy years (UniveX 00, Kodak 828, 127, 126, 110, Disc, APS, etc…).

IRC’s engineers had extensive experience molding Bakelite and took advantage of this knowledge in designing the body of the Argus. Bakelite allowed the camera body to be cheaply decorated with a distinct Art Deco flair. Gustave Fassin, an engineer for IRC, is generally believed to have designed the Argus, though the patent is credited to Verschoor and makes no mention of Fassin.

Now Prospects seemed so promising that Verschoor decided to give up radio manufacturing altogether and sold off the patent rights for the Kadette radio to IRC’s general sales manager, W. Keene Jackson, who went on to found the soon-defunct Kadette Radio Corporation. IRC changed its name from International Radio Corporation to International Research Corporation to reflect this redirection in corporate focus


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