January 16, 2014

My 1913 Kodak Camera Remembered Because of a Children's Book

One of my first stop while thrift shopping is the children's book section. I have a great love for children's books, in particular vintage books, especially at the low cost of only 59¢.

A few weeks ago I can across the book Magic Camera by Manus Pinkwater written in 1974 which had the books original dust jacket in excellent condition.

While the dust jacket is full of color, the illustrations in the book are monochrome, with more text than pictures. Last evening I took a few moments to sit down and read this book.

When Charles was sick with the flu, he read about photography in the World Wide Children's Encyclopedia. He wished he could have a camera. Not one like his family had that was just a box, with a little window you look through, and a button you pressed, and that was all. He wanted one that looked like magic with cranks and knobs and switches. 

Charles told his father, and after supper he brought Charles up an old camera from the cellar. It had brass parts and was made of wood and leather, and it jumped open like a jack-in-the-box. It was just what Charles wanted. It looked magical. 

Looking through the eye of the camera and clicking the button Charles has some magical experiences.

I closed the book and went down into the basement to find. . .

No. 1-A Kodak Jr.
Eastman Kodak Co.

Pat'd Jan. 17, 1913

Jumps out just like a jack-in-the-box

I found this camera while cleaning out my parents home back in the 1980's and brought it home and put it inside a box placed it on a shelf in the basement. I was shocked that I was able to locate it so quickly.

I can't wait to read the book to my sweet grandchildren and show them my magic camera.



  1. What a great time your grandchildren will have; it's something they'll remember forever!

    I still remember my Granny's old Brownie (camera) she never gave it up and was constantly taking pictures with it.

  2. Thank you for finding me today, Paulette. What a wonderful story. I LOVE children's books, too. That camera DOES look magical. xo Diana

  3. What a great memory. I am sure the kids enjoyed looking at the old camera. It is like a little history lesson as well.

  4. It sounds to me like you are more organized than you think you are being able to find that camera right off the batt.

  5. Hope you display the camera now, with the book!!

  6. I have the very same camera! It was at my mother-in-laws house and I remember my own father had one that he took our family photos with in the early 50's. They are a great keepsake now.

  7. There is something so charming about vintage children's books. How wonderful for you to have your parents' old camera to be able to show to your grandchildren. It will have special meaning for them, especially after you read Magic Camera to them. Very cool!