I’ve always said that my interest in photography dates back to the mid 1970s when my wife gave me a minolta rangefinder camera. However, I started collecting old cameras a while back and while browsing through a book I saw a camera that looked familiar. It was a Kodak Brownie Vecta and I then remembered that I had it as a child.
This article is about the Brownie Vecta which was made in the UK and presumably only available here. I was given one of these for a birthday present when I was was eleven or twelve years old when it was a strikingly modern looking camera. It was designed for Kodak by the British industrial designer Kenneth Grange and its ‘natural’ format is portrait as that is what Kenneth Grange assumed it would mostly be used for…The Vecta was only in production for three years (from 1963 to 1966). It is basically a grey plastic cuboid with a central lens and a viewfinder in one corner. The shutter release is a white bar underneath the lens. It takes 127 film which is hard to find nowadays but is still available
Maybe I’ll try to get hold of some.
I was cleaning out some old stuff and I came across this picture, which I remember taking with that camera. It’s of my father and our dog Peg in front of the house where I grew up in Sandbach, UK. I must have been about twelve at the time and my father would have been about 45. Both of my parents passed away some time ago. The house in the picture was emptied and sold. At the time I wasn’t so much interested in old cameras and as mentioned had even forgotten that I had had this camera. So this isn’t the original camera – that one is long gone, but it’s nice to have an instance of the first camera I ever used. It’s not such a bad picture either considering the camera is basically a fancy box with a lens in it. I suppose the large size of the 127 negative helps. As far as I know this is the only photograph from this camera that survives.