Thom Hindle and his Camera Collection
Uncommon examples and confessions of a collector.
Jim Cerny, story and photographs
On March 3, Thom Hindle gave a presentation at the Seacoast Camera Club titled "First and Unique Cameras … Tintype to Digital." The introduction was handled by Paul Hoade, the club president, with about 30 people in attendance, mostly club members.
Thom brought enough cameras and related collectibles to cover five tables, a display that emphasized cameras that were firsts or unique, but which included toys, wearable pins and buttons, and several slide rules! Thom has had a lifelong involvement with cameras, collecting in the "early days," long before eBay came along. In addition he has 100,000 glass negatives. Visit his Images of the Past
Web site for more details.
Pictured below are several of the cameras Thom brought and discussed, followed by a list of camera highlights.
Prosch triple-action stero shutter. Very rare.
Polaroid Land camera. Tom Thumb radio camera.
A teak camera made for the tropics.
Speed Graphic with flash. Note the Army green color. Speed Graphic detail.
A few highlights:
- Concealed cameras: Examples of concealed or hidden cameras included: a film camera disguised as a Zippo lighter; a Casio digital watch; a Reese's pieces package; and a Russian Kiev spy camera that preceded the Minox.
- Boston Bullseye: This was the first camera to have a window in back to track the film; Kodak bought out the Boston Company and made their own bullseye.
- Kodak firsts: The Kodak Retina camera was the first to use daylight loading film; their Spartus Press Flash was the first to use built-in flash; Kodak produced their Instamatic in 1963, that took the "peanut" flash bulb.
- Wooden Gem camera: This is a very rare 1899 model of a camera by Simon Wing. It makes tintypes, placing 15 on a 5x7 plate, to be cut apart later by the photographer.
- Camera with radio: The Tom Thumb camera (see image above) is one of a very few models of camera that included a built-in radio.
- Speed Graphic: Made by Graflex (see image above), this version was made for the U.S. Army and Thom noted "it's the camera that recorded World War II."
- Polaroids: Polaroid made the first Land camera in 1948; in 1970 Polaroid introduced the SX-70, a true SLR camera that made color photos in 14 seconds – the battery was in the film pack.
In recent years Thom's collecting has expanded to items with a camera-related theme, including figurines and salt & pepper sets!
At the end Thom took questions. He managed to avoid answering the two most interesting ones: (1) What does your wife collect? and (2) What will happen to all your stuff some day? Hard questions for any collector!
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