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No. 2 Folding Pocket Kodak (1899)

This is a typical camera for the so called family photographer, who wanted to have an easy to use apparatus to take snaps of the children, wife / husband or family dog on the porch. It is

  • light
  • flat and easy to carry in a pocket
  • easy to operate because of the simple shutter settings
  • fitted with a fixed focus lens on the models from April 1899 (introduction) to May 1904
  • fitted with an automatic focusing lock at 8, 25 and 100 foot positions on the models from May 1904 to April 1910 (discontinuation)

The camera took 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch (9 x 9 cm) photos on daylight loading film. Its price was $ 15. Over 48,000 were made.

There are two major variations:

  • the early models have a leather covered lensboard (1899-May 1904)
  • the later ones (May 1904-1909) have a wooden lensboard.

Original manual


Clipping from the British Journal of Photography, 1899.

The No. 2 Folding Pocket Kodak could be transformed into a plate camera with the help of a Guénault Adapter. The regular back was taken off the camera and the adapter was pressed onto the picture window. The adapter has a ground glass which can be taken out and replaced by a slim plate holder for one glass plate. 

Roger Guénault from Nantes received French patent 303602 on September 10, 1900, for his adapter. There were adapters for the No. 1, 1A, 2 and 3 Folding Pocket Kodaks. Each adapter was sold with its own leather purse, so it could be carried in a pocket conveniently. The advantage of the adapter was that the photographer didn't have to wait until the complete roll of film was shot before s/he could develop the negatives and see the results. The single glass plates could be developed one by one, as soon as the photo was taken.