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Author Topic: Darwin arrival Photo  (Read 13228 times)

Jerry Stalheim

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2020, 01:27:43 PM »

I found this online saying that a camera supposedly owned by AE was up for sale sometime ago and it is a Leica brand camera that looks very similar to the camera in the picture that I posted.

https://petapixel.com/2018/03/14/amelia-earharts-leica-camera-may-sale-ebay-70000/
Thanks,

Jerry
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LTM
 
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Don White

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2020, 06:23:07 PM »

I'm glad somebody read my post. I thought I had bored everyone to sleep or they thought it not worth noticing.

It could be a Leica, and I did consider Leica when I wrote that. Obviously it's not the one for sale. I find the provenance interesting and not entirely credible. That's a very expensive gift to bestow  on the man who collects your laundry. Still, it has the card and the story and probably no one can disprove it now.

The one for sale is an early Leica, having no rangefinder (focus had to be estimated or measured), a simple viewfinder, and a non-detachable lens. These are retroactively designated Model I. Leica called it a Model A at the time. I have handled one of these -- a customer in the camera store where I worked in the late 1970s had bought one new in Germany in 1927 and still used it. One day he brought in the original receipt and box to show me. These early ones are black on brass (plus leather) like this one, except for the control knobs and lens, which are nickel plated.

The current model in 1937 was the IIIa, also known as G. It was made from 1935 to 1938. I owned one of these and I'm very familiar with it. By that time they had a coupled rangefinder on top. These days you can buy them for about $250, so I'm not surprised that the reserve on Amelia's wasn't met, even though a very early Leica such as the one for sale is worth more, and there's the celebrity provenance, if true.

Ken Rockwell has a nice writeup on the IIIa here: https://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/screw-mount/iiia.htm

There is a top view for comparison in Ken's article.

I ruled out Leica for several reasons in my analysis of the photo. The camera in the photo appears to be a bit shorter (width) than a Leica, with more squared-off or "stop sign" ends rather than the Leica's round ends, and the pattern of black and bright areas didn't look right. Bright plated was much more popular than black, once it became available. Even if it was a black body, it has black showing where there would be plating. The mystery camera does look like it could have a rangefinder, but again it didn't seem to match exactly. Also the lend barrel (or bellows) appears to be black, while a Leica's lens was always bright plated, and it appears to be wider than the Leica lenses. The end which is bright looks more to me like the shutter assembly of a bellows-mounted lens than the end of a Leitz Elmar or Summar (the two normal lenses; they were sold with one or the other, usually the Elmar).

There was also the report that the Luke Field inventory included a case for a "Kodak Brownie" although we do not know on what basis that identification was made. It's "woman's size 11 shoe" all over again -- we have the conclusion but not the details on which it was based. But while someone might see a case marked Kodak and infer that it was a Brownie, they wouldn't misread Leica as Kodak.

However -- and this is all just an exercise for fun -- just like sextant boxes, the contents don't have to match the labeling, and like sextants, there's no hard evidence that any Kodak was on the second flight. I did a lot of looking through camera collector web sites looking for a match of any brand, and I never did find one with which I was totally happy.

So thanks for reading, and for finding the camera for sale, and for playing detective with me. Maybe we will solve this mini-mystery, and maybe we'll just enjoy trying.

LTM,
Don
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Matt Revington

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2020, 06:45:32 PM »

Just to be clear the Luke field inventory listed an empty Kodak carrying case and did not specify any model it just noted that “it is believed that Mrs Putnam has the Kodak in her possession “.

When I went back to look again I noticed an entry just above that
 “ Kodak Duo Six-20, lens No. 865715 with carrying case, shutter housing No. 5116031, Film loaded”.  I apologize that I missed this the first time, she apparently carried two cameras and the duo six-20 might be candidate for the camera in the photo
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Don White

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2020, 07:48:16 PM »

Yes, it could be. I thought it might be a Kodak Retina 35mm based on what looks like a film winding knob on the right side (a roll-film camera such as the 620 would usually have it on the left) but the basic proportions are close. I go into more detail in the original post including whether the bellows folds down or to the side, and how big the bellows would be.

I also looked again at the Leica for sale ad and found this:

"From memory over 40 years ago my Father told me that she found it fiddly to load, Miss Earhart may have studied photography, my Grandfather had said as much and described her as a keen photographer , she preferred a Kodak folding camera as I recall being told..." Which is in fact what she is said to have brought in the Electra.

I can attest that early Leicas are very fiddly to load. It was Kodak's introduction of the daylight-loading 35mm cassette pre-loaded with film that made 35mm still photography popular. In the picture of Amelia's Leica, the black cylinder next to the camera is the Leica film cassette, which had to be loaded in a darkroom (they can accept the standard Kodak cassette too, which I always used). You were supposed to buy a bulk roll of 35mm movie film and load them yourself. With care it was possible to fit in enough for 50 frames. Bear in mind that the original Leica was designed by an engineer for his own use. It reminds me of certain other examples of brilliant but uncompromising German technology. I'll never forget changing the generator on a 1969 VW Beetle on the side of the road during a snowstorm. Right after that I sold it and bought my third Model A Ford.

And that said, I wish I still had my Leica IIIa...

LTM,
Don
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Ross Devitt

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2020, 02:47:19 AM »

Quote
Matt said: "The Luke field inventory listed Kodak film and an empty Kodak camera case and included a note that it was assumed that AE had taken the camera with her after the crash.  There have been posts in the forum suggesting that she carried a Brownie Model camera but I have not seen the original source for this."

I know this is not an Amelia's Cameras thread, but..
The Luke Field Inventory says Amelia had 2  Kodak cameras, but only one type (620 SS Panchromatic) film.  That would suggest both cameras were 620 format, which makes sense on a world trip.  But there is no clue as to what the second camera might be.

As Matt posted, Amelia had one of these Kodak Duo 620 cameras - and it is listed on the inventory 'WITH' its carrying case.
In addition there's another Kodak carrying case, 'Empty'.  And it has a key.  Why?  Was it a more expensive Kodak? 

Somewhere on the forum I was sure I saw a reference to Amelia having a 'Box Brownie'.  I still have one here, and I also have some 620 film 'somewhere safe'.
Both of my Box Brownies had leather cases, but I can't remember either having a 'key'.
I'd sort of associate a key with something a lot more expensive ( in terms of the time) than a Box Brownie.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 03:00:18 AM by Ross Devitt »
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Matt Revington

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2020, 12:09:01 PM »

I did a  non-exhaustive search of vintage Kodak cases online, the only cases I saw from that period with locks were movie cameras , 16 mm and 8 mm.  I do not know of any evidence that she carried a movie camera but a publicity savvy person like AE might have.  I have attached a picture of a case for a 1930s Kodak movie camera as an example ( Cine Kodak Model E 16 mm, the ad I took this from said it was bought to film at the 1939 World's Fair)
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James Champion

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2020, 06:18:52 PM »

Something I'm wondering about. If the Luke field inventory listed an empty Kodak case how did the officer doing the inventory know it was a Kodak? Were most Kodak camera cases stamped "Kodak". Or was the term "Kodak" sometimes used back in the 30's to indicate "camera".
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Matt Revington

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2020, 07:00:55 PM »

If not labeled on the case there could be instruction cards inside with the camera make on it,
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