What Treasured Memory is Contained in This Brown Box?

The Bulls Eye Kodak No. 2 by Eastman Kodak Co.

This interesting camera belonged to my husband’s Grandparents or his Aunt Louise who lived in Clifton Forge, VA in this house.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Since this camera was manufactured from 1895-1913 so we think it belonged to John’s grandfather, Clarence Long. John’s Aunt Louise lived in this home most of her life. The images on the film still in the camera may have been taken by John’s grandparents or by his Aunt Louise. Would they have left film in the camera unprocessed when they upgraded to a newer style camera? Did they simply forget all about it and stow it away in a trunk in the attic? Perhaps Grandfather Long took pictures of his bride and young children. Perhaps he took pictures of his granddaughters and his only grandson before he died in the 1960’s and no one had the heart to disturb it or it was put away with his things not realizing the film was still in the camera. What a mystery! We have been told that the film cannot processed now because the chemicals and method of developing the early film is no longer available. So it shall remain a mystery. Curiosity is almost too overpowering – this familial link to the past.

My husband found the original instruction book online. If you are interested, click on this link.  http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogs/1906bullseyeinstlp850.htm

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=no2bullseye

Christmas 1985. Louise Long, Emilie Long Purdy, John Purdy and Kathy.

John’s Aunt Louise Long, Mother Purdy, Dad Purdy and me on our first Christmas as a family in 1985. John is on the other side of the camera capturing the moment with his fancy manual camera.

With digital cameras, video cameras and cell phone cameras, the days of waiting for film to be developed is past. We just snap a picture and within seconds, post it on facebook for all the world to see. It wasn’t always this way.

I remember as a child, we had an old brownie camera. You held the camera in front of you and looked down to see the image and then quickly pushed the gray button on the right. Our family had one like this.

Processing film was costly so we had to choose our shots wisely and the light had to be just right! If I remember correctly, there were only twelve pictures on a roll of film. Our family couldn’t afford to have film developed often so we took one or two pictures at each occasion. Birthdays, Christmas, perhaps Thanksgiving, weddings and other special occasions. Finally, when all of the film was used up, it was carefully placed in a black tube, placed into an envelope and sent away to be developed. When they arrived, everyone was excited because we couldn’t remember what we had taken pictures of and some didn’t turn out. It was a lesson in endurance. Patience. Delayed gratification.

Next, the photographs were placed into an album of black pages with little black corners holding the picture in place. Most of our family pictures were developed in January. So our Christmas pictures from 1964 have January 1965 stamped on the ragged edges.

Next came the Instamatic cameras. Instead of loading a roll of film carefully stretching the film onto a roll on the other end of the camera, these babies had film cartridges. The process was still the same for developing the film until some drug stores and department stores began offering film processing. We still had to wait. We were thrilled when the one hour processing became available!

2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge 2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge

Do you remember using these?

And then there was the Polaroid! I thought it was wonderful. The film developed immediately without a processing fee!

Christmas for Rusty 1980

I took this picture of my little dog, Rusty with my Polaroid. Not a great picture but I had the image immediately – well, almost!  This camera came in handy in my classroom. On the first day of school, I snapped a picture of each student and labeled it on the wide lower margin of the picture and hung the pics on the bulletin board. It was a great way to learn the student’s names! I took their pictures again on the last day of school and let them take their pictures home. It was amazing to see how much the children had changed in a few short months! (We also did this in Sunday School but with my husband’s fancy camera. By the mid-eighties, we had our film developed at CVS and they put the images on a CD. (I had so much fun with those images in Print Shop Deluxe!)

And then along came the fabulous digital cameras. What a joy to capture birds in flight, a squirrel hogging the sunflower seeds and pictures of flowers that I planted each year. Of course, we have hundreds of cat pictures and wonderful shots of my child care kiddos. “Have camera – will capture that moment of smiles!”

So all of that to say, that my imagination is running wild with this old camera. What memories or mysteries does this little brown box hold?

Capturing memories did not begin with a camera, pen, paintbrush or with a pencil. It began with our Heavenly Father.

In Joshua 4 after the Lord divided the Jordon river that the children of Israel; beginning with the the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant for them to cross over on dry land. Afterward, the Lord spoke to Joshua to take out of the Jordon twelve stones from the spot where the priest had stood firm on dry ground. (One for each tribe of Israel.) They were to carry them and leave them in the lodging place where they were to lodge that night.

“And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of tribes of the children of Israel;

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, that the waters of the Jordon were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.

And these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.

Joshua 4:5-7

“Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall praise Thy works to another and shall declare Thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

And men shall speak of the might of thy (awe-inspiring) acts; and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.”

Psalms 145:3-8

So you see, whenever we look at old photographs, mementos, and recite stories from the past, lets remember all that He has done for us and for the generations before us and what He will do for the generations to come.  Lets praise Him at all times and share what He has done for you with others.

Blessings,

Kathy

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