For sale is a 1938 KODAK BANTAM F.8 CAMERA from the the Eastman Kodak Company. The f.8 model has a square section, telescoping tube, lens board. There is a catch on the side that releases the lens board. There is no focus, aperture, or shutter speed control. Not surprisingly, the ‘f.8’ in the model name refers to the fixed f/8 aperture setting. It has a folding frame viewfinder. There is a button on the back to control the ‘semi-automatic’ film advance. Press the button and advance film half a turn. Release the button and continue to advance film until it locks. The camera is untested. A nice collectible vintage camera.
Kodak produced Bantam camera from 1935 to 1948. The Bantam F8 camera, designed by industrial engineer Walter Dorwin Teaque, is a simple point-and-shoot camera. This camera’s body is made out of molded black Bakelite. This camera used 828 rollfilm format, which is a paper backed rollfilm with only one registration hole per frame.
In 1880, George Eastman leased the third floor of a building on State Street in Rochester N.Y. to manufacture dry plates. In 1888, Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and produced the first model of the Kodak camera. In 1889, the Eastman Company was formed and in 1892 was renamed the Eastman Kodak Company. In 1895, the company made the first pocket Kodak camera which sold for $5. In 1900, the Brownie camera was introduced, creating a new mass market for photography. By 1920, an “Autographic Feature” provided a means for recording data on the margin of the negative at the time of exposure. In 1932, George Eastman committed suicide at age 77. His suicide note read, “To my friends: My work is done. Why wait?” As late as 1976, Kodak commanded 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the U.S. The emergence of digital cameras sparked a death spiral for this iconic American company.