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Attic Finds: Tower Box, Kodak Zodiac, + Old Pics

Lynn Loeffel , Oct 08, 2004; 04:25 p.m.

While trying to locate the old camera my dad used on travels through the US and in through Europe in the Army, I came across some other interesting stuff today in my mother's attic.

One, her old (Sears store brand) Tower Box Camera for 120 film. I know she used it before I was born ('68) and into the early 70's at the very least. There's an empty film box with it with expiration date of '75, possibly when she packed it away. Oddly, there is an unused roll of 127 in the case, so I wonder if there is another camera floating around that I don't know about...hmm. More digging in order I think. See attached pic. (not artistic, but it was quick - what can I say?) Anyone use one of these? I'll give it a go sometime soonish.

2nd Find: I also knew there were some old "toy" cameras that my older bros and sis's had. Couldn't find the ones I remembered (my thought is they may be Dianas) but I did dig up a Kodak Zodiac in its box with instructions. How neat! Careful though, taking off the lens cap removes the entire front assembly. Noted in pic below as "oops". Maybe I can still use it? I'll try. (I have to try!)

Lastly, found all sorts of old family pics handed down from Grandma. I didn't even know they were around yet. Many large and framed, some quite nice. A little book of 6x9's grabbed my attention and I'll have a good look through it soon. I can see there needs to be some documentation of all these pics, because I sure don't know all these people, but mom still does. Looks like a project and a half, but what fun.

Thought I'd share some of the finds. See below for pics. Comments, suggestions and anecdotes are ALWAYS more than welcome.

Thanks, -Lynn

(Sears brand) Tower Box Camera for 120 Film and accessories


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Lynn Loeffel , Oct 08, 2004; 04:25 p.m.

Attic find #2

Kodak Zodiac - is this a Diana clone?

Lynn Loeffel , Oct 08, 2004; 04:26 p.m.

Lastly, pics found

Pics of some old relatives - neat huh?

M. Danger , Oct 08, 2004; 04:33 p.m.

Very cool. Thanks for sharing. The box camera looks much like my Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. I started with.

Jorn Ake , Oct 08, 2004; 05:53 p.m.

Actually, I think that Kodak is actually a "Kodak" in a yellow and red box. In other words, that there is one of those Diana cameras you were looking for. You should be able to jam that lens part back on over the shutter mechanism pretty simply as the piece is just a cover. The shutter is pretty simple really, so you might spend a few moments just making sure everything works, given the lens a cleaning and put it back together. Then load it and take some photographs of your favorite every day objects. The every day-er the better-er.

Jonathan Stark , Oct 08, 2004; 08:08 p.m.


Hang on to those, it's nice to have one's childhood cameras still around. Unfortunately mine are gone, sold by my parents in a garage sale in 1996 a few years before I became interested in old cameras. There was a Jiffy Six-16 from the mid '30s, a Brownie Flash Hawkeye from the mid '50s, and an Instamatic 134 from 1968. Judging from old family negs around, the Hawkeye was probably bought to record the newborn (me) in 1956 and replaced the Jiffy immediately - there's no 616 negs after the mid '50s. The Instamatic was bought so we could take color photos - for some reason we thought Kodacolor couldn't be used in a Hawkeye (true?) and the Hawkeye shot Verichrome Pan exclusively. All of these were the cameras for the wife and the kid. The the "good camera" was reserved exclusively for the use of the paterfamilias - a prewar Retina I he bought used in Germany in 1945-46 when there as a GI. Alas the Retina went in the 1996 garage sale too, though the lens was pretty fogged by then from years of overenthusiastic cleaning. (I did inherit the prize though: the Leica IIIc Dad bought used in 1970. Now restored and back in service, and firmly in my posession!)

Lynn Loeffel , Oct 08, 2004; 09:03 p.m.

Thanks for the kind comments.

M. Danger, another female voice on the classics board ... our numbers are growing :) Hope you post often. Have anything left from the Ansco? Would be fun to see.

Jorn, I'll take that advice, thanks very much. Will see if I can manage to clean it up for shooting. It does re-assemble okay (I think) What fun!

Jonathan, I'll be taking your advice of hanging onto these. Sorry to hear yours were rummaged. I fear that the additional "toy" cameras we recall may have hit the dumpster some years back. Dad's camera is a mystery because no one really knows what might have happened, or what it was. Wish I knew. Wish I could find some of his old pics I once saw from California, Redwoods with a section cut out big enough to drive trucks through. So glad to hear you have your dad's Leica. There's something magical about using gear that's been passed down from hand to hand, it just feels like it retains something intangible about the previous owners, and I like that. Dad's camera was likely not too expensive for its day, but it sure would be neat to find it.

If anyone wants to see some more historic pics from days gone by, I uploaded a small bunch to a folder. Either click my name to get there, or hopefully this link I'm providing will take you right there. click for more very old pics from the attic

Lynn Loeffel , Oct 08, 2004; 09:07 p.m.

By the way, I forgot to mention the old sunglasses in the Tower Box photo were found inside the storage case (aren't they stylish?), along with an assortment of nails, screws, bobby-pins, buttons and prayer cards. I actually expected fishing lures or hooks consindering most family trips revolved around fishing with dad.

Jonathan Stark , Oct 08, 2004; 10:03 p.m.

"...gear that's been passed down from hand to hand, it just feels like it retains something intangible about the previous owners...."

One thing the Leica retains is a dent in the corner of the top plate from when Dad dropped it in the driveway! It just about gave me a heart attack. He picked it up, wiped the dirt off, and continued using it for...... about another 25 years before it finally got a CLA. Didn't delaminate the rangefinder mirror, didn't even knock it out of alignment. Amazing camera.

Randy Jay , Oct 08, 2004; 10:14 p.m.

Lynn, keep those cameras, if they could talk they could tell you stories for sure. Hold onto them and let them talk. Those pictures are priceless, and part of the story. How wonderfull!!!!

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