– Kodak Amateur Flash Outfit | Kodak | beginning 20th century –
Kodak and its mission to make photography something for everybody! I wonder how many weekend photographer and relatives got burnt with this candid outfit for the “Amateur”. If we compare this lamp to others like Agfa and Hamaphot, also in my collection, it is dramatic the lack of security one amateur would have to deal with this Kodak.
When I bought it I spent quite a time thinking how could it be used with no conclusion that would look reasonable. But when I acquired a Kodak Brownie Nº2 owner’s manual, I had a glad surprise to see a section that features the Kodak Amateur Flash Outfit with clear instructions on how to take pictures with it. Imagine nowadays a serious company trying to market something like that. One has to hold it with one hand, carefully set a lit match lying side by side to the extremely flammable flash pownder without touching it, of course, nor its flames, by all means, and then raise it and drop it forward to let the powder meed the flame.
I used flash powder already and it is a big hassle when it burns. You can’t control or predict very well whether it will pop out of the container and part of it always does. It is like fireworks burning loose, not high in the sky, but in you hands. This container is too shallow and I can’t go with the idea that the powder will be flowing towards the flame. But well, maybe people had more skills than we do nowadays.