Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C  –  Vintage Camera

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (front view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (front view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (rear view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (rear view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (top view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (top view)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (three quarters)Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (front view)Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (rear view)Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (top view)Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C Specifications

Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Company
   
Country of Origin: USA
   
Made in: Rochester, NY, USA
   
Introduced: 1926
   
Camera Type: Box, Viewfinder
   
Format: 120 Film
   
Dimensions (cm): 7.8 x 11 x 14.4

Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C Review

The Kodak Hawkeye No. 2 Model C is a very basic box camera made of thick, leatherette-covered cardboard introduced in the mid 1920s. Interestingly, the Hawkeye, a name so commonly associated with Kodak, was actually originally manufactured by a little known outfit called the Boston Camera Company. The Boston Camera Company was bought out by the Blair Camera Company in 1890 which was then in turn bought by the rapidly expanding Eastman Kodak Company nearly a decade later in 1899.

The original Hawkeye was a wooden glass plate box camera, quite different from the multitude of inexpensive, mass-produced Kodak cameras that it eventually spawned. The Hawkeye No. 2 Model C was the simpler version of the original Hawkeye No. 2, featuring just a single portrait orientation viewfinder and a fixed aperture. The Hawkeye’s only control is the shutter lever which is located on the user’s right hand side just forward of the film advance knob. Linked to the lever is a single speed rotary shutter mated to a primitive fixed-focus meniscus lens.

Two metal latches located on the top and on the user’s right hand side of the camera hold it together. Undoing these latches allows the camera to be pulled apart to load and unload film. On the top is the viewfinder window and behind it are two metal studs that anchor a leather handle. The only things on the back are a red window to keep track of the current frame count and an embossed Kodak badge reminding you to use 120 film with this camera.

In 1930, Kodak refreshed the Model C and produced it in a wide variety of colors to commemorate their 50th anniversary. In celebration, Kodak offered these cameras free of charge to any 12 year-old child and reportedly gave approximately 550,000 Hawkeye anniversary models away. My example, however, is one of the original Model Cs as indicated by the faint outlines embossed into the leatherette. I bought this Hawkeye at an antique mall for about five dollars, not a bad price considering that the camera is in pretty good condition apart from the missing leather handle.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 344.

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