The Brownie Flash Camera was manufactured in France by Kodak SA in circa 1955. The Brownie Flash was capable of taking exposures, 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 inches ( 6 x 6 cm) on number 620 roll film. It was fitted with a fixed focus Meniscus lens and a single speed shutter providing about 1/50 second exposure. It was Constructed of bakelite and featured a built-in brilliant finder
This box camera manufactured in France is identical to the Brownie Hawkeye Camera Flash model manufactured in USA (derived from the Brownie Hawkeye Camera). "Brownie Flash Camera - Made in France' is written on the front plate.
In France, this camera has been a tremendous commercial success by the end of the fifties. It was a classic gift for Christmas or for a first communion . In camera shops, a gift pack was proposed that included the camera, the flash unit, the flash battery cells and bulbs, two rolllfilms, users manuals for the flash and camera etc. Today, you may find the Brownie Flash Camera each week-end in every boot sale in France. The camera is shown here with its dedicated model B flash unit.
General considerations about French made Kodaks
At the end of WWII France blocked imports using severe protectionist laws and Kodak disappeared from the French market briefly. To solve this problem, Eastman tapped his European subsidary Kodak-Pathe SA in France, which began to import parts from the USA to France and assembled cameras in France as a means to bypass the French protection laws. Kodak developed and manufactured a wide range of folding bed cameras specific to the French market. Some models are very similar to models that were made at Rochester ( cameras are renamed and show minor modifications). Some others are very specific to the French market and do not exist elsewhere. These cameras used 620 rollfilms to produce 6x9 cm negatives. Most of them were fitted with a light grey viewer protected housing made of a special plastic named "Tenite" and were made with various lenses, from simple meniscus to nice Angenieux lenses, and shutters.
Thanks to Daniel C for providing this information and the Photo in this listing.
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