About The Slides

Dad shot his pictures with a Kodak Pony 135 camera (to the best of my knowledge) and used Kodachrome film for the image capture. Kodachrome is (or should say was) a film used for slides, and I often wondered why he went that route. I always assumed it was simply because he wanted a group viewing of the pictures using a glass beaded screen and a slide projector, but maybe he understood that Kodachrome had excellent archival qualities. If you are interested, please click on the Kodachrome Wiki.

The routine following the completion of a roll of film was to walk over to Frankford Avenue on a Monday (usually) since Dad had off on Mondays and Frankford Avenue had the camera store (to develop the slides), the bank and the utility companies where he could pay the bills. He also frequented a discount store called Joseph’s (Danny, remember that?). At first, we did not have a car but Dad continued this practice because he liked to walk. I enjoyed the walk with him on many occasions. The following week he’d make the rounds again to do his chores and pick up the film. Then at a convenient time after that, he broke out the projector and we viewed and commented on the shots.

The Kodak Pony 135 was given to my parents as a wedding present in 1953 and I assume it was intended primarily for Dad’s use. (There’s a funny story associated with that, but it’s sort of a family secret.) In addition to the camera itself, Dad had the brown leather case and the flash attachment (with cover). The bulbs themselves were a little smaller than a golf ball and the glass globe was covered in a blue plastic. The plastic coating and the flash cover were a safety measure since, along with a brilliant flash, they produced a lot of heat and were susceptible to shattering when fired. If I remember correctly, for indoor use (with a fixed shutter speed) the aperture was set for a specified distance (camera to subject) and for outdoor shots a chart supplied with the film provided the recommended combinations of aperature and shutter speed for varying target and lighting conditions.

Dad must have either had the original Kodak Pony 135 (sometimes called the Model A) or the Kodak Pony 135 Model B based on the production years for those cameras, based on the fact that they were married in 1953. There were minimal differences between these two models excepted for the scripted Model B lettering on the newer version. These cameras had a Bakelite body and were designed by Arthur H. Crapsey for the Kodak Company. The Pony cameras had simple viewfinders and were not provided with rangefinders. As evidenced in many photos on this site, that made framing the image somewhat difficult for the occasional user. However, they did incorporate Kodak’s better glass lenses; the three element Anaston lens. Some specs follow:

  • Model A Production: 1950-1954
  • Model B Production: 1953-1955
  • Film format: 135
  • Shutter: Kodak Flash 200 1/25 – 1/200 (M sync only)
  • Lens: Kodak Anaston 51mm f/4.5 – f/22

So all in all, I hope you like this background information on the Kodak Pony 135 and the Kodachrome slide film.

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