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Kodak Bantam Special
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2017-06-25 par Eric Borel.

Manufactured or assembled in USA from 1936 to 1940.
Index of rarity in France: Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 1511

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Gift from P. Saletes and M. Larsen. I warmly thank them.

This device has something extraordinary. Its design is sumptuous. We owe it to Walter D. Teague, known also for the Beau Brownie. Here, no pastel colours. Everything is black, enhanced by chrome filets. Black is so deep that it becomes white when illuminated to be photographed. Such beauty requires a case. Here, the jewel is a jewel case itself. On the principle of a folding (it has a bellows), the unit becomes a shell where nacre is outside.

Beyond the aesthetics, Kodak has combined its best technological know-how to produce an advanced camera for its time. Contemporary of the first Retina II, they would become competitors if the European and American markets for such devices were not separated. Moreover, we find in this Bantam the optical elements of the Retina. The real question is why this device is a Bantam (format 828) and not a 135. May be Kodak have had momentary doubts about the latter format?

This unit cost, $ 87.50 in May 1939. In comparison, a Kodak 35 (Model 5.6) was costing $ 14.50. So it was an expensive device. Its scarce distribution outside the United States and its price may explain its rarity today outside of the American continent.

Kodak Bantam Special

Kodak Bantam Special

Kodak Bantam Special

Kodak Bantam Special

Kodak Bantam Special
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