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Working 1/8 scale Kodak Brownie was created for Queen Mary

Working 1/8 scale Kodak Brownie was created for Queen Mary

A 1/8 scale replica of a Kodak Brownie camera, which has been made for Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, is on display at the National Media Museum located in Bradford, England.

In the early 1900s, Kodak has introduced a cheap camera series for photography aficionados. As most Eastman Kodak cameras of that time, the series was a complete success. Multiple versions have been available and all of them have sold like crazy.

Kodak Brownie Queen Mary
Kodak Brownie Queen Mary’s Doll’s House camera is on display at the National Media Museum in Bradford, England. Credits: Julian Dyer.

Queen Mary ordered craftsmen to build a unique dollhouse just for her

One of these cameras is the Kodak No. 2C Brownie, which has been selected to be a part of the so-called “Queen Mary’s Doll’s House”. Queen Mary has been King George V’s wife and she has ordered the artists of the 1920s to create her a 3-foot dollhouse.

A dollhouse does not mean anything without everyday objects. Beside chairs, tables, and other household objects, a miniature camera has been selected to be added into the house. Since the Kodak 2C Brownie was pretty popular, the craftsmen have chosen to create a smaller one for Queen Mary.

Kodak Brownie replica
Kodak Brownie replica has been created for Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. It is a working 1/8 scale reproduction of the popular device. Credits: Brian Coe.

Miniature Kodak Brownie camera replica is actually working

This was not an ordinary 1/8 replica of the device. Instead, the engineers had to make it fully-functional. Well, they duly-delivered and this tiny Kodak Brownie camera is capable of taking photos.

Unfortunately, the museum does not allow photographers to take it and snap some quick shots, as it is considered a valuable piece of history. However, in order to show that it did work at some point, there are a couple of prints on display next to the miniature camera.

Queen Mary Doll House
Queen Mary Doll House in pre-production. The artists were still adding the final touches, but Kodak 2C Brownie camera never made it into the dollhouse. Credits: Royal Collection.

Queen Mary repudiated the camera because it was available for regular folks

The 2C Brownie has a sad story. It is said that even though it was created for Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, the camera never made it into the dollhouse with the rest of miniature objects.

It appears that Queen Mary heard that such a device was available to regular people, so there was no room for something like that in her “palace”. Kodak has also made an Autographic No 3A camera for the dollhouse, but its story is even more obscure than that of the 2C Brownie.

This information comes from Julian Dyer, who has visited the National Media Museum in 2012. The photographer says that this has to be the world’s tiniest working Brownie, but if you know of another, then be sure to let us know.

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Working 1/8 scale Kodak Brownie was created for Queen Mary