The Back Story on the Camera by Kevin E. Newsome

The Back Story on the Camera by Kevin E. Newsome

Old cameraI met Karl Slover about 1989 when he attended my son’s school rendition of The Wizard of Oz. My son, Logan, was a kindergartener and played the Cowardly Lion. Karl was the guest of honor and made a brief presentation before the play, talking about his roles (he played several different parts) as a Munchkin in the film version in 1939.

My wife, Kaye, and I, served as his hosts for the evening and spoke with him at great length (he was quite talkative!). A few years later, my wife picked up an old camera at a consignment antique shop in South Tampa where Karl lived. The store clerk pointed out that the section of antiques where she found the camera were items belonging to Karl. Sure enough, the price tag said “Slov” so the clerk would know who to credit after the sale.

The camera is an Ansco Agfa No.1 Readyset Royal, which were being produced in the late 20’s to early 30’s. The camera was well taken care of, very likely in use in 1939 when Karl was on set with The Wizard of Oz, but I have no way to substantiate that. Only that he still owned it in 1991 when she bought it.

Karl died at age 93 in 2011 in Georgia.

Fortunately, the camera takes “120 roll film” which is the same size film used in medium format film cameras today. I’ve order some and will run some tests to determine how to best use the camera (there are virtually no controls – it’s a “point and shoot” – but no computer inside to tell it what to do, either!

After a week or so of testing, I hope to say it’s ready for service, on set in The Emerald City once again!

Kevin E. Newsome will be the photographer at Emeralds & Rubies
Newsome’s Studio of Photography, Inc.
11738 N. Dale Mabry Hwy | Tampa, FL 33618
813-968-2810 |

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