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No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak (1907)

This camera is one of the larger ones of the Folding Pocket Kodak family. It takes pictures of 4 x 5 inch (10 x 12,5 cm) on daylight loading roll film or glass plates.

The camera is not very interesting or historically important, but one story is worth mentioning: it was a No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak that made the first photos of the North Pole in 1909. How about that?

Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary had been traveling to the Arctic region since 1886. From 1891 onwards he took Kodak cameras with him. He prefered 4 x 5 inch cameras because these made large enough pics but were also relatively small and light. I have written an extensive article (part 1) (and part 2) about this, which is available as a PDF.
On his 1908-1909 expedition he finally reached the North Pole, and with him he had a No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak. He made a number of photos with this camera on the spot, which later were used to prove that he really had been on the Pole or al least very close to it.

The No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak

 

  • was introduced in February 1907
  • and discontinued in april 1915
  • 28,000 were made
  • it cost from $ 20 for a simple lens & shutter configuration to $ 78 for a Volute shutter and Tessar lens

Sample photo made with the No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak

 

 On April 7, 1909 Peary reached the North Pole, where this photo was taken with a No. 4 Folding Pocket Kodak

 Ad from the Photographic times, March 1907

 

 

 

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