Sunday, February 10, 2013

Camera Catalogs

One of the great on line resources for those of us who are passionate about old film cameras is the Orphan Cameras web site maintained by Mike Butkus.  I usually go there looking for manuals for my cameras, but Mike has also assembled a great collection of period catalogs.  The 1940 examples from Abe Cohen's Exchange and from Sears contain the cameras that make up a good part of my own collection.

Most of the pages on my vintage camera web site have links to the manuals on the Butkus site.  I've sent him a few bucks to support his work, but I need to send along a few more as the value of my site would be greatly diminished if his were not available.

There is a site that offers printed copies made from the scans done by Butkus.  I sure hope that they are sharing some of their profits with Mike because they could not offer the service without the efforts he has put into his project.  I'm not very optimistic that is happening because they do not acknowledge the source of their materials which is only apparent if you notice the watermark which Mike includes in his scans.  While Butkus does not own the copyright to the materials, his considerable efforts to preserve and present the material are a great asset to the history of photography which should not go without appropriate recognition and support.

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