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Old 1950's Sears Tower Camera

Danielle Furero , Jul 20, 2007; 12:12 a.m.

Hi! I'm new here and I've got a question. My grandmother gave me her old sear's tower camera it doesn't have any sort of model number on it anywhere but she said she got it from my grandfather while they were dating so it would be mid 1950's.

My question is how do you know how far the film has advanced in the camera? I loaded a roll of 120 film into the camera and took it outside to take a couple of shots but I couldn't determine a stopping point when I turned the advance knob on the side. Also because I don't know the model of the camera I can't look it up online (most 'sears tower camera' google searches turn up with chicago info). Does anybody know anything about this? I've got a link to a pic of the camera if that's helpful for anybody.

[URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/559947352zQKLaV][IMG] http://thumb0.webshots.net/t/58/458/0/4/31/2733004310093406980TiPHAo_th.jpg [/IMG][/URL]

Any info you can provide would be helpful! Thanks so much!


Danielle Furero , Jul 20, 2007; 12:14 a.m.

I'm sorry that link doesn't work this one does: (link)

David M , Jul 20, 2007; 12:28 a.m.

I am not familiar with this particular camera but such cameras usually have a red window that is used when advancing the film. You have to look in the window and advance the film slowly until the next number appears under the window. Sometimes the window has a spring-loaded cover that must be slid aside to reveal the window. Your camera seems to have a dented wind knob so the winding mechanism might be damaged.

Bill Mitchell , Jul 20, 2007; 12:31 a.m.

There should be a little window on the back. Just advance the film until you see the numbers each time. (Before #1 comes up, there will be a bunch of black arrows to warn you it's coming.) After #12, just roll the film off until you don't feel it resisting any more.

Mike Connealy , Jul 20, 2007; 12:44 a.m.

The white ring with the tabs probably needs to be turned so that the backing paper on the film can be seen through the red window. If the window is open, then it is possible that you just have not advanced the film far enough to see the frame numbers which will go from 1 to 12.

Most of the Tower box cameras marketed by Sears in the 1950's were made by Bilora in Germany.

Webshots seems to be really slow. You should consider parking your photos here or at one of the other popular free sites like photobucket or flickr.

JDM von Weinberg , Jul 20, 2007; 05:35 p.m.

I agree that the likelihood is that there is a circular window on the back.

I have a bunch of 1950s to 60s Sears catalogues (both camera and regular) and I can't find this one. I'm hoping someone can identify it and when it was marketed.

Warren Au , Jul 20, 2007; 08:10 p.m.

Your camera looks like the one from Gene's thread on the Sears Tower.

bob weir , Jul 29, 2007; 07:41 a.m.

There is a web site that will teach you the basics of box cameras and how to use them. http://www.merrillphoto.com/BoxCameraBasics/BoxCameraBasics.htm If you have any trouble finding this web site, you can google the words box camera 101 and google will take you to it.

Robert Ball , Jul 29, 2009; 03:18 p.m.

You might want to check out Craig Camera's catalogs or website (www.craigcamera.com)
They have an enormous collection of old camera catalogs, owner's manuals, and other literature for an astounding array of photographica. There's even a chance John might be able to fix you up with an original or n.o.s. flash unit.

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