Design: Brownie Hawkeye Camera
Designer: Arthur H. Crapsey
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Company
Materials: Molded bakelite body
Background: Introduced in 1900, the Kodak company’s Brownie camera revolutionized the art of photography by making it easy, affordable and widely available to everyday people. While nineteenth century cameras were oftentimes bulky and unwieldy, the Brownie provided a straightforward and lightweight approach to picture taking —one that was so simple, it is widely considered responsible for giving birth to the notion of the “snapshot.” Originally a simple cardboard box with a lens sold for $1, the Brownie enjoyed a long life and numerous iterations. The Hawkeye, introduced in 1949, was one of Kodak’s most popular and enduring Brownie models. With a compact body and a beautiful, streamlined design, it was both elegant and accessible—the perfect encapsulation of what a Brownie could be.
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.