A Pair of Seeing Eyes

Day 16: Still on the Camera kick…

Two cameras from two different estate sales.

One is a mini-spy camera, made in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s, during the heat of the Cold War. Came with a leather case that was made in New York (I’m guessing city, not state). Custom made? Who knows. This camera would be very discreet, I’m sure!

The Polaroid, not so much. This is the 250 Automatic Land Camera, which was made between 1967 – 1969.  This came from the estate of a retired military photographer who was assigned to the Nuremberg Trials.

Cannot tell you how thrilled I was to see the same Polaroid that I have sitting at a cafe table on the cover of Patti Smith’s new memoir: M Train! She actually uses her camera(s), though. Ah well.

Enough words: here’s some photos!

two cameras
Polaroid 250 Automatic Land Camera and Universal Minute 16 spy camera


I think they look very nice together. What do you think?

spy camera close up
Minute 16 close up. 

10 thoughts on “A Pair of Seeing Eyes

    1. Not sure – have an early memory of visiting a woman who reminded me of my grandmother – but we were in no way related. I simply passed her house every day to and from school. Eventually, she invited me in to her parlor for milk and cookies. Every surface and every wall seemed to have photographs, many dating back to the Civil War. She was a widow and her late husband had been a photographer during the Civil War. Not Matthew Brady, but striking and memorable. I think that’s when it began – not cameras but photographs.

      But cameras have their power as well. Mysterious machines, cameras! For the moment, my cameras are simply objects of interest. Would LOVE to get the Polaroid working!


    1. That’s great to hear! We had a large box of black and white photos that my mother kept in the garage. Which flooded during a monsoon. Very few photos survive, but lots of memories!


    1. I use a small Canon digital and my cell phone, mostly. My husband has a box of old cameras, gathering dust. Sigh. Do you know what type of camera your dad had back then? Some interesting cameras were made in the 1950’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am a horrible photographer, but am fascinated by cameras. I think back to the “collection” I have had in my life time. Do you remember those old polaroids, where the picture slid out and developed right before your eyes?


    1. Yes – I remember those Polaroids – it was like magic, watching them develop! I knew an artist who used large format Polaroid film to create scenes & still lifes which she would then hand color. Fascinating!


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