Keeping in the picture

First of all, Happy Birthday to Market Lavington Museum blog. It is one year old today and continues to grow almost every day. In that time 354 different posts have been added to the blog. These have been viewed 11,445 times.


The Box Brownie camera must be one of the most used consumer items of the first half of the twentieth century – and beyond. One might almost call them an iconic design. Yet we have not had one at Market Lavington Museum until now. Ours, of course, has a local connection for it belonged to the Williams family in Easterton. That family have been in Easterton for centuries. Farming has been a major activity for them.

But back to the camera which came in a crocodile skin (fake?) case.

Brownie Box Camera Case

Inside is a rather high class Box Brownie.

Brownie 2A Box camera – now at Market Lavington Museum

This is a Brownie 2A model 3. It comes complete with three aperture settings and an instantaneous exposure or a bulb or time exposure. It is all in working order and the lens, whilst a bit grubby, will still form an image on film, were there any available. It even has a socket for a tripod.

This camera has an aluminium body, far more durable than the card made Box Brownies. They were produced from 1924 until the mid 1930s. The camera used 116 roll film and produced a large negative of size 4¼ by 2½inches.

This camera has come to Market Lavington Museum with a bonus. It still has its original guide.

The front of the instruction book

Taking a landscape photograph

Another little extra with this camera is a tin lid for the portrait lens. Sadly, the lens itself is missing.

Tin lid for the close up lens

Inside the lid are instructions for use. With our Brownie 2A the subject for the portrait had to be 3 feet 6 inches from the camera.

focus and distance instructions are in the tin lid

The camera is an example of something really very ordinary, which is now preserved for future generations to study. Let’s face it the simple box camera is poles apart from the present day electronic wizardry we use to make photographs.

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Keeping in the picture”

  1. John Burgess Says:

    Yes happy birthday Blog and it is obvious why it has had so many hits the blogs are very interesting and informative.
    I can remember my dad had a brownie box camera when i was a kid. Later he advanced to another Brownie not sure of model but was more of an egg shape. I have family pictures taken with both cameras.

  2. marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

    Thanks John

    As ever it is wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for the lovely comments.

Can you add anything to this or do you want to know more?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: