A Ordinary (1891)
The line of Ordinary Kodaks consists of the models A, B and C, the A Ordinary being the smallest with a picture size of 2.75 x 3.25 inch (7 x 8 cm).
The cameras were introduced in 1891 and discontinued in 1895. The $ 6 A Ordinary was the cheapest Kodak of its time and especially suitable for “young folks”, as the 1894 Kodak catalog says.
George Eastman had created a big market of amateur photographers with his original Kodak of 1888, but at a price of $ 25 the Kodak was no camera for “young folks”. With the A Ordinary he tried to reach the (older) children and create an even bigger market for his photographic products.
Only about 2050 cameras were produced, so it wasn’t a big seller. Eastman finally succeeded in his goal to provide a camera for children when he introduced the Brownie of 1900, which was a tremendous success.
The Ordinary Kodaks are closely related to the Daylight Kodaks. The big difference being that the Ordinaries had to be loaded with film in a darkroom while the Daylight Kodaks could be loaded in daylight with a special film in a lightproof box.
To reduce the costs of producing the Ordinaries, they were not covered with leather, like all other Kodaks. The wood finish was considered cheap in the 1890’s, but now these cameras are admired for their beauty. This, and their rarity, makes them quite expensive.
Salesman sample of a photo taken with a model A Ordinary or A Daylight camera.
Page from Buchanan's Complete Illustrated catalogue, photographic supplies, 1893.