I was in my local auction house on Monday and spotted three old cameras in one lot. A couple were nice-looking (but seemingly valueless) Kodaks – an old folding ‘Junior’ and a Box Brownie. The third was intriguing, a simple box labelled ‘Zeus’ and ‘Made in England’ and inside a very, very basic compact-sized 35mm camera with an almost home-made look to it.
I made a few notes and headed home to do a bit of research on eBay/Google but on the little Zeus drew a complete blank. So I posted a message on photo.net’s Classic Cameras (pre-1970) Forum and the rest, as they say, is history.
In a nutshell someone on that list pointed me to gbcameras.org.uk which had somehow eluded my Googling, and a quick email to the site owner David Gardner (who also happens to be newsletter editor for the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain) and a very enthusiastic reply came back asking for more info. The long and the short is that I ended up winning the camera on David’s behalf and it will soon be winging its way up the M1 to him in Sheffield.
The history of this little camera is something of an enigma – we don’t even know who made it and when, although David does have the address of the distibrutor from a magazine advert from 1950. That’s it – that’s all that seems to be known about it, anywhere!
Anyway, temptation got the better of me and I walked around Kew yesterday with a B&W film in it. If anything comes out, I’ll post the pictures here!