Vintage photography memorabilia

Over the last few weeks, I’ve photographed a collection of old cameras and scanned the instruction guides. This is partly to preserve them (graphically) and to act as a small kind of tribute to a special person who owned these cameras and was passionate about his photography.

I’ve shared the full set on flickr – here’s the slideshow:

Photography memorabilia

  • The idea of creating a tribute to the previous owner of these old cameras really resonated with me. I particularly love the packaging and instructions as they seem even more powerful in taking your mind back to an era a generation or two ago. I’ve just dug out mum’s old ViewMaster. Those 3D slideshows are so period and definitely transport you to another time and for me another world. Her discs of the Canadian Rocky Mountains (circa 1955) were a major inspiration when making Reg, one of my Frillip Moolog sculptures (beings).

  • Thanks for the comment Kirsty. As I was scanning the packaging and opening up these old cameras, it certainly conjured up another era. What really struck me was the skill, craft and technical knowledge of this generation’s photographers, particularly in developing and enlarging photos. Real dedication was required to capture and publish a single image.

  • Steve Walkey

    Hi Gavin,

    I have recently been asked by my brother to investigate the origins of what appears to be a vintage close-up camera. It has the following on the lens:

    3 and a quarter inch. “SUPAR” F. 4.5 Wray London.

    It is a downward pointing camera and light unit, height adjustable on a chrome pole and fixed to a square wooden base. I’m pretty sure it’s a close-up camera without really knowing how I know, it’s just that I can’t find another one anywhere! I hope you can shed some light on it for me and also thought it may be of interest to you.

    Best Wishes

    Steve Walkey

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the comment. Yep, I’m certainly interested, though not sure what your camera might be.

      To try and help, I looked around and found a group called Camerapedia, full of photos and chat about vintage camera equipment. You could try posting a photo of your camera in the Camerapedia forum to see if any of the experts there can identify it. Here’s the forum:

      Good luck!