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1930s

 

1. Harold Edgerton 2. The Kick - 1934 3. Milk Drop Coronet - 1957

4. Rapatronic Camera 5. Atomic Blast 6. Bullet in Flight

ELECTRONIC FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY - 1931. Harold Edgerton, an American researcher and inventor, made electronic flash photography a reality in 1931 when he invented a stroboscopic light for use in both ultra-high-speed and still photography. The discovery was announced in the May issue of Electrical Engineering. Edgerton was also a pioneer in the use of high-speed electronic flash with this work in the 1940s. Edgerton became the first to illuminate nighttime landscapes and darkened interiors, and his technology was capable of freezing the quickest of actions. In 1968 Edgerton joined with Jacques Cousteau in underwater exploration, producing the first underwater time-lapse photography. The atomic blast photo above was taken using another of Edgerton's inventions, the Rapatronic camera - capable of taking photographs with exposure times of 10 nanoseconds (10 billionths of a second).

http://photography.about.com/library/dop/bldop_hedger.htm

http://www.nevadasurveyor.com/atomicbomb/

http://www.mocp.org/collections/permanent/edgerton_harold.php

www.damninteresting.com/?p=456

PHILO T. FARNSWORTH TELEVISION - 1932.  A Utah-born Idaho farm boy, Philo T. Farnsworth helped create television as we know it today.  At fourteen, he visualized trapping light in an empty jar and transmitting it one line at a time onto a magnetically deflected beam of electrons.  By the time Farnsworth was 21 he had developed the first all-electronic system of television.    A 1922 Sketch by Farnsworth shown to his high school physics and chemistry teacher illustrated how an image might be electronically transmitted through the air to a receiver by breaking the image up into a number of horizontal slices.  This image process which we now call a raster image occurred to Farnsworth when as a fourteen-year old boy he looked across the rows of a field he was plowing.  In 1934 Farnsworth won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court basically stating that Farnsworth was the inventor of television rather than Vladmir Zworykin who was employed by David Sarnoff of RCA at that time. The attempt by Sarnoff to claim rights to television was similar to the battle with Edwin Armstrong over radio. In both cases Sarnoff was eventually proven wrong in the courts. Besides his contributions to television, Farnsworth patented more than 130 inventions during his lifetime.
 
 


1922 Farnsworth High School Sketch of His TV Camera Tube and First Farnsworth TV Camera

Additional information concerning Philo T, Farnsworth and television can be found at:

http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/farnsworth.html
 

BAIRD SILVATONE DISC TV RECORDING - 1933.  Oldest known consumer recording of a TV broadcast.  A British citizen made a 1933 recording of a BBC transmission onto a Baird 30-line system Silvatone disk (see 1928 - John Logie Baird).  The recording was made at the owner's home in Ealing, England, using domestic equipment connected to a wireless receiver tuned to the BBC's vision (TV) transmission in the Medium Wave band.  The recording included a dancing group called the Paramount Astoria Girls. http://www.tvdawn.com/index.htm
 
 
 
 
 

TV TEST PATTERN - 1934.  Test pattern by the  BBC.  The first ever television test pattern, this very simple pattern was broadcast by the BBC in 1934 using Baird's 30 line TV system.

http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/25825


 
  KODAK BANTAM - 1935. Example of an inexpensive pocket-sized bellows camera of the 1930's. For those interested in beginning a camera collection of their own, there are many cameras such as this available in excellent condition at very low prices. The above camera appears to have never been used and was purchased for just $4.99.

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Bantam

WESTON MODEL 650 - 1935-39. One of Weston's earliest lighter meters and rather unique due to its shape. This sample is noteworthy because of its excellent appearance and that fact that it still works properly. Original MSRP $15.95 ( about $256 in 2011 dollars).

http://ian-partridge.com/west650.html

FIRST REGULAR U.S. TV BROADCASTS - 1936.  NBC began the first regular telecasts in  the U.S. in 1936. http://www.home.eznet.net/~fshippey/


 

ARGUS MODEL A - 1936.  The first Argus camera, known as the Model A, was manufactured in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1936. It was a success as the first low-cost, easy-to-use 35mm film camera in the world. Thirty thousand cameras were sold in the first week at $12.50 each.  Worldwide sales of this model continued until 1950. The popularity of the Model A influenced Kodak to switch their film manufacturing from 127 to a 35mm format, which remains the dominant film in use today.  In addition to the brown and gold model shown here, it also came in black and gold, olive drab, and gray.
http://www.arguscamera.com
http://www.chicagophotographic.org/articles/argus.htm

ARGUS MODEL AF - 1937-38.  The Argus A was followed by the AF (Auto Focus) model in 1937 which incorporated a constant focusing mechanism rather than the standard two position focusing settings of the more common A. Other than that, the A and the AF are the same camera.

The original MSRP for the AF model was $15. In 2009 dollars that would be about $222.

http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Argus_AF


EINSTEIN / BUCKY CAMERA DESIGN - 1936. In 1936 Albert Einstein and Gustav Bucky patented a design for a camera with a photo-electric cell to operate a mechanism to reduce the intensity of the light striking the film (copy of patent above). Two mechanisms were described: 1) a shade of varying transparency to be moved in front of the film, and 2) a mechanism to rotate a plate with various sized holes. According to Sean Johnston of the University of Glasgow, the Eumig C-2 marketed in Austria in 1935, was the First to incorporate a photoelectric meter coupled to a lens aperture (above right). A History of Light and Color Measurement, page 229 of HTML version, Sean F. Johnston, University of Glasgow, UK

http://www.hebrewhistory.info/factpapers/fp007_photo.htm

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~o-pat/english2.htm

The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were the first to be broadcast by electronic television cameras.
http://share4.esd105.wednet.edu/wachtelg/development.htm
http://www.tvhistory.tv/


TV Camera at Olympics      RCA TV Set Circa 1936       1935 German TV Production Line
                                            Click for Larger View                    Click for Larger View

 

KODAK JIFFY SIX-20, SERIES II - 1937-1942. This camera is unusual in that it has to viewfinders, one for landscape photos and one for portrait photos. The original MSRP in 1937 was $10 which would about $150 in 2010 dollars. The above camera was part of a well-maintained collection which is why it and the maual are still in excellent condition after more than 70 years. It and the manual were obtained on eBay for $14.99, a refreshing experience since many original manuals are now sold separately for $20 or more.

http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Jiffy_Kodak_Series_II

KODAK CINE 16- 1936. Kodak is well known for inexpensive still cameras and 8 mm movie cameras, but they also produced many inexpensive 16 mm movie cameras over the years. The Cine 16 came with a standard Kodak Anastigmatic F1.9 25mm lens. It had a leatherette style body with a carrying handle that doubled as a viewfinder and a wind-up motor. It could hold a 100 foot magazine of 16 mm film. MSRP with case was $125 ($2,100 in 2013 dollars).

 

Agfa Carat 4.5 - 1938. One of many Agfa Carat cameras produced from 1938 through the 1950s. They are generally identified by the lens: 3.5 Compur, 4.5 Oppar, etc., but there were several different lenses used in the same model and the exterior appeance also varied between cameras with the same lens, thus it is not always easy for the amateur to determine which variation he has and the year of manufacturer. The unique characteristic of the Carat models produced up through 1947 was the use of a film loading system that involved cogs in the center rear of the camera that forced the film to move into the empty cassette on the right rather than being pulled into the cassette as was standardl for 35mm cameras. In 1948 and after the Carat cameras use the standard system still used today to load 35mm cameras.

http://camerpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Agfa_Karat

KODAK SUPER SIX-20 - 1938. The Super Six-20 was the first still camera with autoexposure. It was very expensive for that era and relatively few were sold. Production: 1938-1944, 719 manufactured. 620 roll film. MSRP $225 (about $3,600 in 2012 dollars). Information provided by Todd Gustavson, curator, Technology Collection, George Eastman House. Due to its limited production, sellers request what would normally be considered outrageous prices for early Kodak models. In 2012, eBay asking prices ranged from about $2,400 to $2,800.
http://www.geh.org/fm/mees/htmlsrc/mE13000623_ful.html#topofimage

 

Chester F. Carlson and Electrophotography - 1938.  Electrophotography (Xerography) was invented by Chester F. Carlson.  While others sought chemical or photographic solutions to instant copying problems, Carlson turned to electrostatics and in 1938 succeeded in obtaining his first dry-copy, and the first of many patents two years later.  It took presentations to more than 20 companies before Carlson was able to interest the Battelle Development Corporation in his invention in 1944.  In 1947 the Haloid Company, later renamed Xerox Corporation, negotiated commercial rights to his xerographic development.  Eleven years later, and just 10 years before his death in 1968, Xerox introduced its first office copier.
 

On October 22, 1938, Carlson, working with his assistant Otto Kornei, produced the first ever Xerographic image shown on the left.  Additional information concerning Chester Carson and copiers can be found at:
http://www.invent.org/

ARGUS C and C2 - 1938. The Argus C and C2 models were affectionally known as the" brick". Millions were sold thereby contributing to the Argus Model A affect on film sales which resulted in 35mm film camera domination of the consumer market.

http://www.arguscamera.com
http://www.chicagophotographic.org/articles/argus.htm


 

ARGUS C3 - 1939-66. The black C3 shown above is considered the classic C3 as it was produced for so many years with only minor changes, however, there were many other C3 variations produced from time to time, often with only cosmetic changes. The C3 is very common due to the large number sold and their durability. They can often be found in near pristine condition at very reasonable prices. The above camera in excellent condition with case and flash was purchased for only $29. Many collectors specialize in Argus cameras only, and there is a collector's club just for owners of Argus cameras.

Prices and inflation: A 1959 ad for the C3 had a price of $39.95. In 1939 dollars that would be about $19. In 2009 dollars that would be about $290. That second figure makes the $29 spent for the above camera to seem to be even more of a bargain.

http:/?en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argus_C3

A VERY SPECIAL ARGUS C3. There are two things that make this Argus C3 special: 1) It has the Argus Sandmar wide angle 35mm f/4.5 lens rather than the normal 50mm f/3.5 lens. Some vendors are currently asking more than $300 for this lens. 2) This camera was presented to a departing Naval officer, Captain Frederic L. Bates. In 1942, Captain Bates, then Lieutenant Junior Grade Bates, was a Naval pilot awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in the Battle of Midway, 6 June 1942. The Battle of Midway, occurring just a little more than six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, resutled in a decisive defeat of the Japanese Navy from which it never recovered. Although the war against Japan continued for three more years, from 6 June 1942 onward victory for the allies was inevitable thanks to those who fought so bravely on that day.

 

AGFA CLIPPER SPECIAL - 1939. This camera is unusual in that the lens portion slides outward in box-like fashion rather than by way of folding bellows. It was purchased on eBay in like-new condition with original box and manual for $30.

http://www.daleeccles.net/Cameras%20101/agfaclipperspecial.html

 

UTILITY MFR CO. FALCON MINIATURE - 1939. Typical inexpensive camera made of bakelite in the 30s and 40s. This camera and others were designed by Jack Galter and sold under many brand names. Bakelite was one of the first plastics made from synthetic components and was used for its electrical nonconductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings, and such products as kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, and children's toys. The styling of the Falcon was intended to make it appear similar to the Argus A. The second photo above shows a roll of 127 film in the Falcon's storage compartment. The thrid photo shows the very simple shutter mechanism used by many inexpensive cameras of the time, including many Kodak box cameras. Lens: 50mm, fixed focus and aperture. Shutter: bulb and 1/25 second. The list price of the Falcon was $3.98 (about $66 in 2012 dollars), but normally sold for much lower prices. One Ad by Abes of NY was for $1.79 (about $30 in 2012 dollars.

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Falcon_Miniature



  UTILITY MFR CO. PACKARD MINICAM - 1939. The minicam was one of many inexpensive cameras manufactured by the Utility MFR Company of NY and Chicago and is typical of the entry level bakelite cameras common of the time. The can be purchased today in the $10-20 range in excellent condition.

MOUSE CAMERA .  This gag camera from Japan is just one of thousands of non-camera items that one can collect such as bracelet charms, coffee cups, hats, pins, clocks, imitation cameras, etc. Indeed, it is possible to have a very large photography collection without a single camera in it! Many such items are shown in McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras and some have siginificant monetary value. The camera shown above makes a squeeking sound as the cloth mouse with a spring inside pops out and flies three feet or more onto the lap of the startled victim.

TELEVISION AND WORLD'S FAIR - 1939.  Television was broadcast by RCA from the 1939 New York World's Fair.  Visitors during the fair not only were able to see television for the first time, they also brought home wallet cards to prove they'd been "televised."   President Franklin D. Roosevelt, present at the creation of RCA and a frequent speaker on radio, became the first president to be seen on television when the Fair's opening ceremonies were telecast ten days later.


Mirrors Reflect Images to Viewers on TV Sets at '39 World's Fair

Additional information concerning early television can be found at:
http://www.pharis-video.com/p2050.htm
 


  1938 RCA Iconoscope                 RCA TK-10A Television Camera

Additional information and photos concerning early TV cameras can be found at:
http://www.pharis-video.com/p21.htm
http://www.pharis-video.com/p2050.htm

1930s
 

1800s
1900 - 1920
1920s
1930s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980-83
1984-85
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995 A-C
1995 D-Z
1996 A-C
1996 D-N
1996 O-R
1996 S-Z
 1997 A-D
1997 E-H
1997 I-O
 1997 P-Q
 1997 R-S
1997 T-Z
1998 A-D
1998 E-F
1998 G-K
1998 L-N
1998 O-P
1998 Q-R
1998 S
1998 T-Z
1999+
   


None Such
Useful Info
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FINDER