Monday, August 23, 2010

The Brownie Hawkeye and a Little Mystery

A few weeks ago I started reminiscing about the first camera I ever took a picture with. I remember being very young, maybe 5 or 6, and my mother handing me a box-like contraption, telling me to hold it at waist level while looking through the viewfinder. She told me to be as still as possible, make sure the family was centered, then press down on the shutter button. I was instantly smitten, and so proud that she had given me an adult job to do.

Thanks to Google, I was able to figure out that it was the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. I found one on e-bay WITH UNDEVELOPED FILM STILL INSIDE! I placed my bid and waited. I almost forgot about it, then received an email a couple days later stating that I had won the bid! How much, you ask? $4.99! Here are the photos I took of the camera itself and the film:

Last week I finally found a lab that still produces 620 film. I had no expectations that there would be anything on there and if so, the film was probably severely degraded from age, handling, etc., rendering any photos completely worthless. Still, I hoped. I imagined all kinds of scenarios such as children playing on snow covered streets, old homes, a farm, farm animals, a child on his/her first day of school, baby photos, cars. Or, *gasp*, maybe these photos held the key to an unsolved murder!

Well, it didn't quite turn out to be what I was hoping for, but at least there was something! Five photos to be exact. Looks like a grandfather and grandson at Christmas, maybe? Although nothing spectacular, I'm now left with questions. Why was the film left in the camera never to be developed? Who are these people? Where are they from? What year is this? Are they still alive?

At least the photos have now seen the light of day. They have been released from camera prison after 30+ years. I'm guessing this was taken in the early 70s because the Kodacolor II, 620 film was created in 1973. That's probably as close as I'll ever get to knowing anything about them...

UPDATE: I had emailed the e-bayer I purchased this from, asking where he obtained the camera. He told me it was purchased at an estate sale somewhere in Ohio. Exact location unknown. Another piece to the puzzle!



Teresa Evangeline said...

What a magical and sweetly mysterious post. I love the photos you took of the camera and film. How wonderful that you saw this as the great story it is. I hope someone steps forward and can supply the missing pieces. Wouldn't that be fun? Who know where this story could go, the potential for healing, the possibilities...

Kittie Howard said...

OMG, I remember that camera! I also think your parents sensed you had the shutter bug...were you inquisitive? Always looking around you? Anyway, what a gift they gave you, letting you press the shutter. And what fun the photos are (strange to see the real 70s look). Very nice of you to try and track down the people. But, probably, no one thought to check if film were in the camera...but one could imagine much from these photos, really write on. Lovely post, Belle!!

SkitzoLeezra said...

The younger guy appears to be wearing a NAMBLA pendant. Here's a link

Louisiana Belle said...

Nice to see all you guys!

Teresa, it would be miraculous if someone stepped forward to fill in the blanks.

Kittie, I think my parents just needed someone...anyone to snap a picture, but that's a sweet thought.

Leezra, I really hope you're wrong! I did think that one boy sitting on the man's lap was kinda weird. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

hootnonny said...

After reading Leeza's comment, Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! too!!!!!