Kodak Autographic Camera
Published October 14, 2015
Note: This item is currently in storage.
This is one of five items that provide a special peek into the footlocker of a World War I American soldier. 1st Lt. Carroll DeWitt McClung was a pilot with the 28th Aero Squadron, 3rd Pursuit Group. He was trained as a pilot in the Nieuport aircraft and then flew the SPAD XIII in combat.
This is a folding style camera that, when not extended for use, can be carried in one’s jacket or vest pocket. Kodak advertised this vest pocket camera as “the soldier’s camera” during World War I. It was one of the most popular and best-selling cameras bought and used during the war and into the 1920s.
Autographic film was invented by H.J. Gaisman and allowed the photographer to use a stylus and “write” his or her own notes onto the paper on the back of the photographic film. When exposed to the sun, the comments were burned onto the negative. Eastman Kodak bought the rights to autographic film in 1914.
This camera is 2-1/2 inches high by 4-3/4 inches wide. When closed, it measures 1-1/16 inches long, and when fully extended for use, it measures approximately 4 inches long. It still has its original leather fitted case with velvet interior.
Donated by Edgar B. McClung.
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