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Ansco Memo ½ Frame 35mm Camera. 1927

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Vintage & Classic Cameras30 of 115Blair No.3 Combination Hawk-Eye Camera, c.1904Blair 5x7 No.2 Folding Hawk-Eye Camera - 1892
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    Posted 4 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    Early in my collecting and years before specializing in pre-1900 wood apparatus, small American cameras caught my eye.

    This 1927 Memo by Ansco is not rare and actually pretty cute – a reason I kept this camera. (Besides, my kids like it.) It is a small, leather covered wooden camera that makes 50 exposures 18 x 23mm (½ frame) on 35mm film. Sliding a button on the back advances the film.

    This is an early example with an “ANSCO” brass plate. It has nicely pebbled and embossed leather, brass exposure counter and its original suede carrying case. Several variations were made including a polished wood version and a Boy Scout model painted in olive-drab color.

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    Comments

    1. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      shughs
      Michael
      fortapache
      vetraio50
    2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
      beautiful!!
    3. JohnKratz JohnKratz, 4 years ago
      Excellent early example! It wasn't long after they began covering them with leather that they added the shutter release guard, so this one falls right into that short time frame. Would you be willing to tell me the serial number of your Memo? I'm just curious.
    4. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, John ... #7745 and has a "PAT. APL'D FOR" stamped inside the back confirming your comment that it's an early example. As a post-1900 camera, I don't study these like my early wood cameras. Have you seen other numbers, and if so, what range? BTW ... this camera has one metal film cassette. I understand earlier cassettes are wood?
    5. JohnKratz JohnKratz, 4 years ago
      Thanks Rob. I have two Memos - one is a later one with the release guard, whose serial number I don't know off the top of my head (I'm at work at the moment). I will have to dig it out and check. Probably easily 5 digits. That one is not in the best condition, but does have the original upgraded hard leather case.
      The other is an early polished-wood version, with the suede case like yours. That one is in great condition. Its serial number is 1625. I have seen numbers as low as 1317. Interestingly, that example has a brass shutter release WITH the guard, which leads me to believe Ansco offered the guard as a retrofit accessory. Keep the low serial numbers in mind if you decide to acquire a polished-wood version. I have a strong suspicion fakes exist.
    6. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      David
      mtg75
      jscott0363
      GeodeJem
    7. JohnKratz JohnKratz, 4 years ago
      Oh I forgot to address the cassette question. Yes, earlier cassettes were wood, though sometimes you'll find wooden cassettes in later cameras, and metal ones in earlier ones. Off the top of my head I can't recall which cassettes are in which of my Memos.
    8. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, John ... and your polished wood model is a beauty. And yes, I've seen many fakes ... versions in which the leather is stripped off and wood refinished.
    9. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Nicefice
      antiquerose
      Radegunder
      sanhardin
    10. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      leighannrn
      racer4four
      mcheconi
    11. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Sean
      Designer
    12. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      farmlady
      Chevelleman69
      John K
      Beachbum58
    13. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      f64imager
      lisa
      crswerner
    14. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Peasejean55
      Longings
      Designer
    15. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks again, farmlady!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, OMG!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      kyratango
      Nordicman32
    18. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Oh ... here is John's exposed, polished wood version of this camera. It's a beauty. http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/7055-ansco-memo-wood-and-brass
    19. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      AnnaB
      usedcarlady
      collectorsedition50
      egreeley1976

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