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No. 2 Bullet Special (1898-1904)

The No. 2 Bullet Special is a high quality, easy to use camera for the snapshooting photographist.

The Special did cost US $ 18, which was $ 8 more than the regular No. 2 Bullet. For this the photographist got a higher grade camera, with better lens (Rapid Rectilinear) and shutter (Eastman Triple Action).

The camera was still easy to use:

  • Aim it with the help of a little reflex finder.
  • Cock the shutter with a lever on lop.
  • Press the button on top to take the pic.
  • Turn the key to advance the film.
  • Watch the number of the next frame appear in the red window in the back.

Maybe this still sounds complex if you are used to take photos with a smartphone, but around 1900 this was about as simple as it could get.

The No. 2 Bullet Special looks very much like the No. 2 Bull's-Eye Special, but the difference is that the Bullet can take photos on glass plates as well as roll film, whereas the Bull's-Eye only takes roll films. The No. 2 Bullet Special has a little door in a side panel, close to the back. Through this the plate holder was inserted. As you can see in the video the camera has a black colored insert in the back. This is used when the camera is loaded with roll film. A metal plate that is part of the insert, covers the door in the side, so if this is opened, the incoming light cannot spoil the film.

In April 1904 the curtain went down for the No. 2 and No. 4 Bullet Special cameras. The regular No. 2 and No. 4 Bullets had been discontinued already in 1902 respectively 1900. I think this was due to the popularity of roll film with the snapshooting family photographer. Eastman concentrated on these users and the cameras that were intended for them: the roll film only No. 2 and No. 3 Bull's-Eye cameras.

Of the No. 2 Bullet Special about 4000 were made.