Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

No 5 Folding Kodak Camera

The Eastman Company

Name: No 5 Folding Kodak
Type: Folding (Rollfilm) / Hand & Stand
Manufacturer: The Eastman Company
Country of Origin: US
Construction: Early form of folding camera for 5 x 7 plates or rollfilm in an Eastman Walker rollholder. Wooden body covered in thick leather; case is of cubic form when closed and resembles a satchel. The front face is hinged along its bottom edge and folds down to form the baseboard along which the lens standard is drawn out on a track. The top forms a lid that is also hinged on the front edge and when opened allows access to the inside of the camera to load and unload the plateholders or rollholder.
Production Period: 1890 - 1897
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Model / Variant: Improved Model (TBC)
Plate / Film Size: 5" x 7" plate or Walker rollfilm adapter
Lens: Bausch & Lomb Universal
Shutter: Bausch & Lomb Iris Diaphragm
Movements: Rising and cross front; swing back.
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1892
Serial Number: Serial number 7717 is stamped inside the top of the camera body and on the rollfilm holder.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 213


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Satchel style No 5 Folding Kodak camera in fair condition. The lid has separated from the base (a common problem as the top hinge is formed by the leather covering itself and tends to fail through use and wear), but has been repaired inside. The retaining strap inside is also a repair (the seller stated that the screws are original, but the leather strap is not, though taken from some leather of similar age apparently).

The camera came with its original rollholder. The shutter is a little temperamental. There are a few scuffs and marks on wood, but generally this example of the No 5 Folding Kodak is in very good order throughout.

This model does not have a counter, which according to Coe [4] means that it is dates to 1892 or earlier.

It also seems to have a single fixed aperture, while Coe says that the front opens to set the aperture. I cannot see how the aperture can be changed on this model.

Note too that the label inside the front opening carries the name "The Eastman Company". According to Coe, this name was only used between 1889 and 1892 when it became EKC.


The Folding Kodak satchel models were made in three distinct sizes: the No 4 for pictures 4 x 5, the No 5 for pictures 5 x 7 and finally the No 6 for pictures 6½ x 8½. The No 4 and No 5 are both quite hard to find; the No 6 is scarce as it was made in much smaller numbers. I have seen only a few examples and none in the UK.

The photograph below shows the No 4 (Improved) Folding Kodak alongside the slightly larger No 5 Folding Kodak.

Image of No 4 Folding Kodak alongside the No 5 Folding Kodak