Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

No 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak box camera

Eastman Kodak Company

Name: No 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak box camera
Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Co.
Country of Origin: USA
Construction: Leather covered wooden box. Early versions varied in construction, but fairly quickly the design stabilised on a form where by the film carrier and lens assembly is fixed to the underside of the top, which then drops into an open cube forming the sides and bottom. The two are fixed together by a brass strip slide that is built into the base and engages with a flat screw head on the bottom of the film carrier. Single reflecting finder.
Film: 101 rollfilm (3½" x 3½")
Lens: Achromatic
Shutter: Rotary
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Production Period: 1895 - 1913

The original version of the Bulls-Eye camera, produced by the Boston Camera Mfg. Company in 1892, is historically significant as the first camera to use Samuel Turner's new numbered paper backed film (requiring the introduction of the red window). George Eastman was later to licence to use the numbered rollfilm in the 1895 Pocket Kodak before buying the company to secure the rights to the patent in August 1895.

The original Boston model is what led EKC to bring out the Bullet camera. The Bulls-Eye camera was continued by Kodak as the No 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak, albeit with some design changes, alongside the No 2 Bullet Kodak.

As with many of the rollfilm box cameras of this period, the inside of the No 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak is rather more attractive than the somewhat plain exterior!

Model / Variant: 1897 Model
Date of this Example: 1897
Serial Number: Looks like 4761 stamped into wood inside back under top edge.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 66

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Marked internally as "Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester N.Y., successor to Boston Camera Mfg Company".

The camera in the remains of its original sales carton (no lid & splitting down the edges), in plain cardboard but with the Bulls-Eye trade mark symbol on the end face.

It also retained its original manual, with the Bulls-Eye trade mark repeated again on the cover, which is in very good condition. It also has an original mounted photo - "Sample showing quality and size of picture made with the Bullet and Bulls-Eye cameras."

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Model / Variant: Model D
Date of this Example: c1905
Serial Number: TBC
  • Common [x]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 54

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A nice example of the No 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak camera obtained from the Ukraine and marked with a retailers badge in Russian. Included with the camera were the original instructions that have been translated into Russian.

This camera is in very good condition, with only minor marking to the external leather. The metalwork is bright; handle is intact.

Notes for Collectors

Note that there is no No 1 Bulls-Eye, but there is a No 3 Bulls-Eye and a No 4 Bulls-Eye as well as 'Special' models. Note that the numbering scheme adopted for this family of cameras (and many others) relates to the film size used by the camera. The sizes (in inches) corresponding to each of the numbers here is as follows:

No 2: 3½" x 3½"
No 3: 3¼" x 4¼"
No 4: 4" x 5"
No 5: 7" x 5"

Beware - this numbering scheme was not adopted universally across the Kodak range or over time. For example the Brownie cameras do not adhere to this pattern - consider for example the No 2 Brownie box camera for 120 film (2¼" x 3¼").