1914 Kodak Folding Brownie Camera Advertisement

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, August 8, 1914:  A thunderstorm came on about midnight. Was glad Mr. Brownie wasn’t out in the rain. I tried to picture the result.

Source: Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (July 1, 1914)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (July 1, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Whew, Grandma that was close. Thank goodness you got “Mr. Brownie” in before he got wet.

The previous day, Grandma wrote:

. . . Hope Mother dear doesn’t see this. Something would happen if she did. I bought a brownie. It is a little over a week e’er we go to Niagara Falls, and well the temptation was too great. I didn’t want Ruthie to lay her eyes on that package. She has such a way of divining things. I left Mr. Package under a cherry tree, where I felt sure it would not been seen. After dark I smuggled it into the house and up to my room.

Since Grandma was so interested in photography and developing film, I’ve done several previous posts that included other advertisements that you might enjoy:

1913 Film Tank Advertisement

1913 Kodak Camera Ad

1913 Kodak Vest Camera

1914 Kodak Advertisement in Farm Magazine

25 Responses

  1. I remember my first camera being a Brownie box camera. Actually, I took better pictures with it than now.

  2. Well I haven’t started at the beginning of the diary.. I have work to do, but I’ll wait until you post the last entry.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the diary. I have a lot of fun pulling to getting the posts pulled together and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone likes it.

  3. Not sure, but was that a pun Helena slipped in there at the end?

    • You may be right. I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, but now that you say it, it does seem like it could be a pun.

  4. Wish I could find a good camera for $10! Brownies were durned good cameras.

  5. haha I like how Helena calls it Mr. Brownie!
    Diana xo

    • I also like her anthropomorphic characterization of the camera. (Whew, I’m surprised that I still remember the word, “anthropomorphic.” I think that it was a high school vocabulary word, more years ago than I want to remember.)

  6. Hilarious that she named the camera. :)

  7. I really enjoy your old advertisements :)

  8. That’s cute the way she worded that. Wonder how long it will be before she tells her mom she has a new camera?

  9. That was close. I wonder why her mother would have objected to the camera; too extravagant?

    • I’ve wondered the same thing. Since previous diary entries indicated that she already had a camera, maybe her mother didn’t think that she needed a second one.

  10. Did a post recently on my grandparents and things they owned; we still have their Eastman Kodak, Pocket C, Premo, dated 1910. Was interesting to see in the ad the cost of purchasing a camera back then.

  11. I’m happy Mr. Brownie didn’t her his coat wet! Love that she’s into taking pictures!

  12. Oh I’ve missed so much while on vacation! A Brownie! Those are surely treasured by today’s photographers. Imagine hiding the camera outside … and then it rained!!
    I’ve read that everyone is wondering if Mom found out … I can certainly think of worse things to have purchased :-)

    • I agree–It seems really odd that she was so worried about her mother finding out about the Brownie camera. I hope that you had a wonderful vacation. Welcome back!

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