Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The Camera

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My dad always has a surprise somewhere. He lives in London and I live in Switzerland so we mostly communicate by phone - Skype actually because it's cheaper for me. A year ago he asked me if I was interested in some old books his father had bought, so I arranged a transport of forty kilo of books from England to Switzerland. See blog.

This time he asked me if I was interested in an old camera he found at home. I asked what camera and he told me mum got it sometime before the war. I was naturally wide awake with visions of a rare object in the family. He said he would send it over, but never did get around to it and I forgot our conversation. About 2 weeks ago I was on my annual visit to the old country and my dad said he still has the camera if I am still interested. I was of course and the photo shows the camera that is now in my possession. Before going any further - no, I am not a millionaire and do not have a camera that is the only one in the world. However, I am now the proud owner of a Brownie box camera which goes under the name of Hawkeye star and probably came out in the 1930's.

I do actually remember my mum taking photos with this camera as well as myself when I was a kid. It doesn't have a glass window to look through but a small square lined with glass to catch the reflection of what you take, or something like that. My knowledge of cameras is now completely digital so I don't know how the old ones worked. There is a lever on the lefthand side top at the front which covers the lense with glass when pushed down, and a lever on the righthand side of the camera which is either in an upward or downward position. This seems to move something in the lense. I am sure anyone reading this might be trying to tell me what it is all for. At the side there seems to be a wheel for turning the film.

I have quite a large collection of old black and white photos from my mum and dad before and after the war which were definitely taken with this camera. I was surprised at the perfect condition the camera is in, although the case now looks like it has seen better days.

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I just wonder what he will find the next time I am on a visit.

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