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  • Writer's pictureDwight Anderson

Ansco Cadet B2 - Lost and found film

Waiting patiently for something to develop

One aperture, one speed, one color

While sorting through a box of cameras, looking for some to sell, I noticed this handsome fellow had a roll of film left in it. It was on exposure eight, and hopefully, if it hadn't yet been opened by some curious person, might have some images on it. I did a little research on Verichrome Pan, and made a guess on development time for film that was possibly 50 years old. I settled on 5:45 minutes in Kodak HC-110, dilution B at 68 degrees.

A certain beauty in its simplicity

The Ansco Cadet is the simplest of designs, with no exposure adjustments at all. Just make sure your subject is in direct sun and push the lever. And remember to wind the film to the next number.

Through that red window lies a mystery

Ansco made these cameras in the 1940s and 50s as a competitor to the popular Kodak Brownies, but at a price any family could afford. It's made of cardboard, a bit of wood and metal and a single element meniscus lens, with an aperture of F16 and shutter speed of 1/30th of a second.

Waiting for the big reveal

Pulling the wet negatives off the reel was quite exciting, I had some images! I could have developed them for a bit longer as they are a bit light, but easily corrected when scanned. It was fun to see the images of a young family at a lake resort near Brainerd, Minnesota. I recognize the distinctive water tower in the double exposure, and close examination of that image shows some cars that are probably from the 1950s. It's sort of amazing that the film had been in the camera for 60 or 70 years. It's too bad the family missed out on these memories.


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