A box of old cameras No.1: ‘Hawkeye’ Ace De Luxe

A box of old cameras

A box of old cameras

Recently looking through some old stuff (and I’ve got lots of old stuff and that’s another story), I came across a box of old cameras that I’d stashed away. A little while ago I wrote about my old Sony Mavica digital camera and that prompted me to jot  few thoughts down about these older image capturing devices.

The 'Hawkeye' box camera

The 'Hawkeye' box camera

This old box camera belonged to my dad and dates back to the 1930s. I remember him using it to take a photo of a friend and I back in the late 50s or early 60s when I was little. Funny but I still remember it clearly. People, at least those where I grew up back then, didn’t take pictures or even own cameras, so it was a rare and special thing to have your photo taken.

A little background information: the Ace De Luxe was made only in Kodak’s UK factory at Harrow on the northern outskirts of London. In his book, Kodak Cameras, The First Hundred Years, Brian Coe lists them as being made only in 1938. They were made to give away with children’s comics, one being Mickey Mouse Comic.

There aren’t any reflecting viewfinders, just a wire frame that pulls up at the front, and no backsight.

Wire frame viewfinder

Wire frame viewfinder

I don’t know how my dad ended up with the ‘Hawkeye’ but after his death I just hung on to it. It has a memory associated with it and I still have the old negatives of the 127 film it used. maybe I will get around to scanning the old negatives one day.


Filed under A box of old cameras, Photography

8 responses to “A box of old cameras No.1: ‘Hawkeye’ Ace De Luxe

  1. The Daily Dabbler

    Very nice. I still have my father’s old Brownie camera that he used in the 1950s.

  2. Paul Kelly

    That’s a thing of beauty

  3. Pingback: A box of old cameras No.2: Kodak Instamatic 50 « a plan conceived in the mind

  4. Pingback: A box of old cameras No.3: Praktica Nova 1 « a plan conceived in the mind

  5. Well technically Circa 1938 as some people had them in 1937 so we should say 1937/8 they are the cutest thing. I just got one a little dinged at the back but still working. DO you know what aperture they had? Most box brownies used f/11 or f/13 but this looks smaller.

  6. I’m afraid I have no idea on the aperture used on this model. Try some of the links off my blog post.

  7. Charlie

    Hi I have one of these that my Dad got in 1937. It travelled with him on the Queen Mary to North Africa, ran around there for a couple of years, then on to Sicily for a while, back to Britain, then on to France for D-Day. I have some of his prints from those days, contacts only, sadly no negatives.

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