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Image Eastman Kodak 'Bullet' camera, 1936-42

TLF ID M000313

This is a 'Bullet' camera, manufactured from Bakelite, glass and metal by Eastman Kodak, USA. It features a black Bakelite body and circular lens that can be extended by turning the round Bakelite barrel that frames the lens. The metal viewfinder can be folded down against the top of the camera when it is not in use. There is a metal winder on the bottom of the camera. In the centre back of the camera is a round red-tinted window.

Educational details

Educational value
  • The miniature Bullet camera was designed by Kodak to make photography a quick and simple process and this example still has its original box. Produced between 1936 and 1942, the Bullet camera cost around $3 and had a Bakelite body and a helical telescoping front.
  • George Eastman patented his first Kodak camera in 1889 with the slogan: 'You press the button, we do the rest'. Over the next century Kodak cameras revolutionised photography by reducing costs and making simple but high-quality cameras available to non-professionals. This is one of those cameras.
  • The earliest Kodaks were simple box cameras that were sent to a local dealer after all the shots on the film inside had been taken. The dealer developed the film and sent the photographs and the reloaded camera back to the photographer. Kodak realised the real money was in the sale and developing of film and introduced numerous models to capture the interest of people from all walks of life.
  • While introducing a wide range of innovative features, two designs dominated Kodak's cameras. The most famous of these was the Box Brownie, designed by Frank Brownell, and introduced at the cost of $1 in 1900. Brownies were produced in one form or another until the 1960s when the Kodak Instamatic was introduced.
  • The second major design was the Folding Pocket Kodak camera introduced in the 1890s. The Folding Pocket camera was highly portable and could be bought in a range of film sizes. Larger negatives such as those found in the No 4A Folding Pocket Camera were favoured for more professional shots. The smaller Vest Pocket Kodak cameras were introduced in 1912 and were popular with soldiers in the First World War.

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: Eastman Kodak Company
  • Organization: Eastman Kodak Company
  • Description: Author
  • Address: New York
  • Publisher
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Curriculum Corporation and Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 2009 (except where otherwise indicated). You may view, display, print out, copy and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.