I picked up this Delco 828 at a yard sale recently. It is another of those cameras that is in need of some parts to work properly for picture making. Mine is missing the rear viewfinder lens and I have only one 828 film spool for it. If I find another spool, I'll try rerolling some 35mm film into some backing paper cut to the right size. The 828 roll film format was introduced by Kodak in 1935; it is the same width as 35mm, but without the perforations. I'll be curious to see what kind of images can be had. The 828 produces the same size image as 35mm, and the mid-'Forties Delco sports a two-element lens.
The Delco 828 was made from dies originally manufactured by Argus in the pre-war years and marketed as the Argus Model M. In its original Argus configuration, the camera was more stylish and rather sophisticated compared to similar small cameras of the time. The Model M lens was housed in a collapsible mount yielding good compactness, and the three-element f6.3 anastigmat design was capable of producing quite good images. The lens mount was altered later by Argus to a fixed f9.7 design which gave up the nice compactness of the original, and the camera was renamed the Argus Minca 28 before being turned over to a Philadelphia company which would market the post-war models. The later models also lacked the internal shutter mask that permitted a choice of full-frame or half-frame images.
The original Argus Model M was the brainchild of the Belgian-American design engineer, Gustave Fassin, who was the inventor behind the wildly successful Argus A and Argus C3 cameras. In many ways, the elegant little Model M was even a better showcase for Fassin's innovative design talents. Had WWII not put a temporary halt to 828 film production, it is possible that the designer might be as well known for the Model M as he was for the ubiquitous C3. Kodak did resume 828 film production after the war, but by that time Fassin had left Argus to move to California and his design work never again reached the heights of his earlier efforts on behalf of the Argus company.