Thursday, October 28, 2004

Michigan Photographic Historical Society

Last Sunday, Oct. 24, my daughter and I spent the day in Novi, MI at the MiPHS photographica swap. We put in most of our time at a table selling off donated books and magazines that the Society was selling off, and sold them all--generating $300. Everyone got some bargains, for sure. The old 1930s and 40s- era magazines were really fun to leaf through. I picked up a wonderful hard-bound copy of Wright Morris' "Photographs and Words" published by The Friends of Photography.

For more information on Wright Morris:

As collectors and photographers, we delight in going up and own the ailes checking out the various cameras, odd pieces of equipment, and chatting with the sellers and other photographers. Marjorie once again outdid me, though this time I was not really actively buying anything. She picked up another Argus C, An Argus C3, and Argus AF, and a C2. My only Argus purchases were a pretty decent C2 in a case for $5, and an Argus slide viewer and a handful of Argus 126 cameras for $5. What I spent most of my money on was the latest edition of McKeown's Camera Guide, a whopping 1200+ pages and 48,000 cameras...
Definitely worth having, whether you want to gauge the prices for buying/selling, evualuating for insurance purposes, or merely to have your eyes glaze over at the sheer numbers cameras (10,000 illustrations)!

Some shoppers among the treasures.

The variety of cameras at these shows is amazing, since as a photographica show, it caters mostly to small sellers and collectors, not big-time vendors selling new equipment. Digital cameras were not for sale there, and I felt somewhat guilty snapping pics with a digicam...but these are web-destined anyway, not on my wall. The MiPHS swap differs from other camera shows in another way, too -- there are many image vendors there, so if you are looking for tintypes, ambrotypes, Deguerreotypes or old photos, it is a great swap to attend. I never know what I'll see at this swap, and even if I don't buy the odd camera, many sellers understand that it's all about showing off, too. The rare 16mm micro-camera from Universal Camera with gigantic flash reflector (by comparison) was a neat camera that i had read about but never seen. It was pretty cheap, too, but I left it for a Universal collector. Kodak made so many cameras that I can't imagine specializing in those...

A bevy of cheap Kodaks from Alan Bulgrin

One thing missing at these shows are young people. My daughter Marjorie stands out in the crowd becuase she is 16, a female, and is actively interested in silver-based photography as well as collecting certain types of cameras. By large, the crowd at camera shows is over 40 and male. I did note that many of the image collectors there were women. Whereas the hardware collectors are largely male.

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