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The "automatic" Graflex models

 
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I learn more about the Graflex and Graphic cameras, I note that the a many of the early Graflex models include "auto" in their name.

Can anyone tell me what is the sigificance of this term? It is tempting to think that it stood for "automatic", but it is not at all evident in what way these cameras were more "automatic" than the others.

Thanks.

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Best regards,

Doug
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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,
Nothing significant about "Auto" in the name, was made in many diff styles and sizes, 2x3 thru 5x7....stereo models thru later series that pioneered the drop down front doors w/rails and long bellows draw models, that preceeded/influenced the design of the Crown/Speed Graphic models
....probably the longest and best selling from 1906 thru 1941 of any model produced
....many changes over the years, but was the so called workhorse of the line!
Have a nice day....Bert
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Bert,

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 359
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug;

It probably does not apply to your camera, but Kodak produced some "Auto" models of roll film cameras between the World Wars that had a provision for writing on the film through a small door on the back of the camera. The "Auto" in the name was short for "Autographic" refering to the ability to "autograph" a photo right on the film so that it would appear on all finished prints.
Just a bit of trivia that might provide another posibility.

C. Henry
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Yes, In fact I have a camera with the Autographic feature (a No. 3A Pocket Kodak), which doesn't have "Autographic" in its name. Interesting enough, I was just writing about the working of the Autographic feature in the exhibit description for that camera.

But as you point out, that certainly isn't involved in the names of the various "Auto" Graflex models.

I think the various Kodak models with that feature whose name did reflect the feature used the full word "Autographic", but maybe not always.

Thanks for your input.

Best regards,

Doug



[ This Message was edited by: Doug Kerr on 2006-10-05 06:26 ]
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the late Dick Paine's Book A Review of Graflex, it seems that the first "Auto" Graflex coinsided with the first Graflex to have the window curtain shutter. Previous cameras had a two piece shutter like most 35mm cameras.

Now turning that fact into something automatic will be a stretch.. Automatic spacing? I wnated to say the mirror tripped the shutter automatically because competitors of the time often had to do both manually, but this feature was standard on the original non-Auto Graflexes.

With Graflex, it's best no to thiink to hard on finding a logical conclusion or reason. It only leads to frustration.

Les
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Doug Kerr



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 177
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Les,

I had just noticed that situation this morning (after perusing Paine myself), and was going to post a note calling attention to it.

The relationship is indeed a stretch, but you know how marketing people are!

It makes as much sense as applying the term "Speed" to the emergent Speed Graphic, which I understand was meant to emphasize the high shutter speed available with the FP shutter. Of course, that didn't make the camera suitable for taking shots of fast-moving objects (unless you liked the "leaning into the wind" metaphor.)

I suspect this is as close to an answer as we are going to get.

Thanks for your insight into this.

Best regards,

Doug
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