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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Argus Model A serial number 10195 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Argus Model A serial number 10195

The Argus Model A took the American market by storm during the depths of the Great Depression. It was largely responsible for making 35mm film photography popular in the USA, and it was affordable. By the time production was halted at the beginning of WW II, nearly a quarter of a million had been sold!

Records say that 20,000 of them sold during the first week of their market release in the Spring of 1936. So this one, from the first 10,000 or so made (first serial number used was something like 1001) must have been made during the winter of 1935 - 1936.

I cleaned and repaired this one this week, it was in rather poor shape.
It needed new pressure plate foam, the velvet lens barrel light trap needed to be reattached, shutter needed cleaning, and the lens components needed complete disassembly, repair, and cleaning. One lens element had a chip in the edge, another had fungal growth. I painted the chipped lens edge black to cut reflection. I could not polish out all the fungus damage, the front surface of the rear element still has an area of fine line etching.

Yesterday the sun was out, I loaded the camera with Fuji ASA 100 print film, and tested out my efforts.
Lens delivered on sharpness and clarity.
This camera, like others of the Model A first series, has only one film sprocket wheel, and I made the mistake of trying to wind too far on the frames. As a result the single sprocket ripped through some of the holes on the thin modern film, making for extra spacing on the roll, and also I believe causing the film to "bunch" at one end of the frame.
I will remember next time tio be gentler with early Model A examples.
Otherwise, I was happy with the results.

This was my first visit to this old cemetery in Saint Louis County.

Please remember to click on thumbnail images to see enlarged.
All images are 2010 E.J.Kowalski
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