Kodak 35

The Kodak 35 was the first 35mm camera manufactured by Kodak in the United States. The Kodak Retina series—earlier 35mm models—were being made in Germany starting in 1934 but as war loomed on the horizon, Kodak decided to develop a 35mm camera that wouldn’t have to rely on imported components. The other major motivation for Kodak to make the 35 was to compete directly with the Argus A and Argus C series of cameras, a battle it would eventually lose.

Spartus 35

The Spartus 35 is the direct successor to the original Spartus 35F. After Herold bought out Spartus in 1951, it decided to update the 35 (which was modeled after the Argus A), creating the design you see above which was probably based loosely on the Kodak Pony.

Argus A

The Argus A is a simple viewfinder camera introduced by Argus in 1936 that played a significant role in popularizing the use of 35mm film in the United States. Although it was already gaining traction in the United States thanks to Kodak and their Retina series of cameras, it took the Argus A’s relative affordability at $12.50 (about $220 in today’s money) to truly bring 35mm film to the masses, sparking a dramatic change in the landscape of consumer photography in America as well as the rest of the world.

Spartus 35F

The Spartus 35F and its twin, the Spartus 35 are simple 35mm cameras made of Bakelite, an early plastic. Modeled after the highly successful and massively influential Argus A, the 35F features a classic shape very common to 35mm cameras of its era. The 35F was manufactured in Chicago by the aptly named Spartus Corp. before it became the Herold Manufacturing Co. which is why the lens of this particular specimen bears the Herold name. Spartus Corp. and its incarnations produced a great multitude of Bakelite cameras (many of which are practically identical to each other) under a wide variety of different brand names such as Utility, Falcon, Monarch and, of course, Spartus.