Rainbow Hawk-Eye Camera

From the collection

Our Rainbow Hawk-Eye Camera is a No. 2A Folding Model B. It was made around 1930. Loosely comparable to today’s memory card or internal device storage, this camera loaded physical black and white film that needed to be developed externally to create the picture. It had a manual focus, snapshot, time exposure, and was expandable for attachments like a flash bulb and mount. For portrait and landscape modes, the user physically moved the camera. It folded into itself for better mobility as well. Film-loaded (analogue) and digital cameras today are of a similar design.

According to Brownie Camera, the Hawk-Eyes were originally manufactured by the Boston Camera Company, who were bought out by Blair Camera in 1890. Blair was later taken over by Eastman Kodak in 1907. After WWI, The Hawk-Eye line was sold as a premium product. Our camera’s model was sold between 1930 and 1934, while the overall lined sold into the early 1950s. While ours is brown they also came in at least blue. For more examples of the camera line, check out the Eastman Museum collections.

The camera was donated by Westford resident Barbara Parkhurst in 1998

Plastic case (brown), metal clasps, film