Folding Pocket KodakNovember 21, 2022
The Folding Pocket Kodak was a game changer for photography. It is a folding camera that was made by Eastman Kodak Co. Ltd., Rochester, from 1898-99. It was renamed as the No1 Pocket Folding Kodak in 1900 with the release of a larger format version. Frank Brownell was its designer and the combination of the simplicity and compact size of rollfilm lead to Kodak’s success with the Folding Pocket Kodak. Released originally in 1898 it introduced the new 105 format film that produced a 2 1/4×3 1/4 inch negative. The smaller image size and the compact aluminum body made this the first truly pocketable camera.
Folding pocket Kodak cameras led the way to a whole new generation of popular cameras. The basic style evolved and seven new sizes were added. The name also changed several times. but the camera was on scene to record the turning of the new century, the World War, and the Great Depression. Other manufacturers around the world followed suit, and for a third of a century the world was inundated with folding rollfilm cameras a la Folding Pocket Kodak
This example was made in late 1898-1899 as characterized by the nickel struts and not being marked as a No 1 Folding Pocket Kodak. It is characterized by the red bellows that were fitted to Kodak cameras that were produced prior to 1910. The beautiful combination of timber and aluminum makes for a light camera that has stood the test of time, well at least for the last 123 years.
For me, this is the oldest camera in my collection and somewhat of a pride and joy due to the impact that the Folding Pocket Kodak had on bringing photography to the mass market and creating a truly pocket-size camera.