Brooklyn-made 1940s Bakelite camera documents the junkyard

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November 19, 2019 08:15 AM

Brooklyn-made 1940s Bakelite camera documents the junkyard

The Whitehouse Beacon camera was very cheap, but it looked cool and took usable photos.

Murilee Martin

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Murilee Martin

The Chevette here is about 40 years younger than the camera that photographed it. Build quality on both car and camera are very similar.

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Murilee Martin

That’s a rare AMC Hornet coupe.

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Murilee Martin

Cheap old film cameras don’t handle background glare well.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

Toggle Fullscreen

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

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Murilee Martin

Photographs taken in a Denver-area junkyard with a Brooklyn-made 1940 Whitehouse Beacon film camera.

Even though I’ve been shooting mostly box cameras with 120 film on my junkyard-film-photography expeditions lately, I just bought a 50-foot roll of 46 mm Ilford HP5+ film stock, and that means I’m now cutting my own no-longer-available 127 film. Plenty of interesting 127 cameras were made around the world during the first 60 or so years of the 20th century, from the Vest Pocket Kodak in the trenches of World War I to the Bencini Comet from 1950s Milan, and some of my favorites were made out of Bakelite in New York and Chicago.

Murilee Martin

Not a lot to go wrong with a Whitehouse Beacon.

The Whitehouse Beacon, made in Brooklyn from 1940 through 1949, was about as cheap and simple as a non-box camera could be. No focusing needed, no complicated aperture settings to get wrong—just pull out the collapsible lens assembly, peer through the nearly-useless viewfinder and take your photos. I found a Beacon in near-perfect condition as part of a three-cameras-for-$10 deal on eBay and brought it to a yard just south of Denver.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/car-life/brooklyn-made-1940s-bakelite-camera-documents-junkyard

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