Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Argus A - The First American 35mm Camera

Argus

The affordable Argus A 35mm camera hit the market in 1936, at a time when Kodak was still focused on medium-format film. This $12.50 camera caused a sensation because 35mm photography was the domain of expensive German-engineered Leicas. The company sold 30,000 cameras in the first week and over 500,000 were made before production ceased 15 years later. In fact, the Argus A is probably the reason that amateur photography shifted to 35mm roll film.

I was blissfully unaware of all this until Hrad Kuzyk passed on a link to his site. Here's what he has to say:

"Why use an Argus A? Simple. They're plentiful and cheap. They're vintage (1936-1951). They're easy to fix. They're stylish and eye-catching. They use off-the-shelf 35mm film. Why not?"

To demonstrate how rugged these old workhorses are, Kuzyk took an A2B to Iraq. His site's Photos section features several dozen shots from the desert. He comments that the vignetting in some images is most likely from ambient dust; a reminder how hostile that environment is to photographic equipment.

If you'd like to know more about these cameras, Kuzyk offers an excellent 75-page guide called 35mm For The Proletariat: A Modern User's Guide To The Argus A/A2 Camera for free download. I wish more people would do things like this to popularize vintage gear. Argus is still in business today, although their modern cameras don't have the charm of these classics. [Thanks, Hrad. Stay safe.]

The Argus A/A2 Camera Page
35mm For The Proletariat (User's Guide for the A/A2)

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