The Kodak Beau Brownie is a box-type camera from the 1930s with an Art Deco facade made by designer Walter Dorwin Teague. Find out more about this camera after the jump!
The Kodak Beau Brownie was produced between 1930 and 1933 in two versions: the Beau Brownie Version 2 for 120 film, and the Beau Brownie 2A for 116 film. Both versions were available in five colors: pink, blue, green, brown, and black/red.
The look of the Beau Brownie is characterized by its facade which is in line with the time it was produced – the passage of the new art, which is connected to the forms of nature, to the modern, which is more geometric. Although the ’30s in the United States is characterized by the birth of the Streamline Moderne, which was driven by Walter Dorwin Teague, the Beau Brownie reflects an aesthetic that remained traditional for the time.
Walter Dorwin Teague is the first Industrial designer who was also the one who laid its foundations. He also was one of the proponents of the Streamline Moderne. He designed many devices such as Kodak Bantam Special, Kodak Coquette, the Petite, and the Vanity or Girl Scout.
I have two Beau Brownies in my camera collection, both in black and red. This version is the easiest to be found; others are very rare and, when seen in the market, expensive. When I started dabbling in photography three years ago with my Diana, I was swept by a collecting frenzy and the Beau Brownie was the second unit that I bought. I was seduced by its beautiful facade, reflecting a particular time and expertise.
If you want to understand the functioning of Kodak Brownie, I suggest you refer to this website, which provides user manuals in PDF form for all editions of this camera, and of course that of the Kodak Beau Brownie.
Finally, the time has come. I would soon take this little gem from my collection and see its capabilities with color film.