Nov 7, 2012

AGC Pronto Folding Camera

In addition to the records that I was all too happy to have, one of the treasures that I was fortunate to inherit from my Grandma was this vintage folding camera with an AGC Pronto shutter.  One of the interesting things that I learnt about many of these vintage folding cameras was that the body itself often wasn't branded.  They were promoted by the retailers who sold them, so it could have been a Sears folding camera or something along those lines.

This camera has no markings or details other than the Pronto shutter, which was manufactured by AGC (Alfred Gauthier Calmbach) in Germany.  Going purely by visual details it seems that the shutter was made sometime after 1948, and the family photographs from the mid to late 1950s seem to appropriately date the camera.

Not surprisingly, my Grandma shot pictures of her kids using this folding camera.  Just holding it makes the memories seem tangible and close.  It's really what I love about old cameras in general, you feel a connection to all of the things it must have seen, the places it was taken, and the people who used it.  My dad was her youngest child and is the guy on the right in the image above from 1959. 

The lens and shutter are in particularly nice shape, given that they were kept inside the folding case for decades.  However, the body is noticeably well worn.  This folding camera was never particularly valuable, it's just been made more interesting by time. The mechanical nature of it all, the hinges, the simple springs, etc. are all very cool to see up close.  It's a beautiful piece of memorabilia, and obviously for me, it's meaningful because of the family connection and the pictures that were taken with it.  I'm very happy to have this memento from my Grandma's life.         


Leslie said...

Great shots Luke! Love the clean white background as a contrast.

Bro Amos said...

I have this camera and the one I have seems to be in good shape