Marcy's Ansco Buster Brown [formerly the "No Name Box Camera"] Review:

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I refer to this camera as No-Name-Box camera. Why? Well, it's got no name on it! It looks like your average box camera. It smells like your average box camera. It tastes like your average box camera. Wow! Sure glad I didn't step in it!

Anyway, at a glance, this appears to be a very nondescript box camera. Just your average Joe, sittin' on the shelf. A closer look reveals that this box camera was once loved. Truly loved. It accepts 120 size film and still had a 120 spool in it when I opened the back. A plastic 120 spool. So, this camera has been loved sometime since 1975 anyway, wouldn't you agree? No-name has no name. The manufacturer was probably written on the original handle. The original handle strap has been replaced by a piece of rubber. Yet another sign of its once-loved status. Someone has added masking tape around the front edges. The masking tape was then painted black. I don't think it's a Brownie because it's a bit squat for a Brownie ( 4 3/16" tall by 3 7/16" wide by 5 5/8" long). Also, the little metal clip thing that holds the back shut doesn't look Kodak-like. The body and innards are wood. On the side of the wood innards is stamped "Patented June 23, 1902, Nov. 24, 1903, Sept. 20, 1910". There are top and side viewfinders. A metal tab in the top center pulls up for a smaller aperture. The shutter opens on the downward and then again on the upward. So, that does it for the description, let's get down to the nitty gritty: 120 film glided through easily. I like the diffused look of the images. Not exactly the average box camera soft focus here. Just nice images. I can understand why this camera was once loved.

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UPDATE: One evening I decided to sit down with the new edition of McKeown's and try to figure out exactly who this camera is. I started at the beginning, in the "A's" I did consider that this camera could be some weird brand that starts with Zz, or something like that. But I was undeterred. As luck would have it, it's an Ansco! An Ansco Buster Brown, either a No. 2 or a No. 3.

Tell-tale giveaways:

The D-ring winder knob, round frames around rectangular viewfinders, and that bat-wing shaped metal latch on the back.

McKeown's PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS (2201-2002) states, " No. 2 Buster Brown c1910-24. 2 1/4"x 4 1/2" on 118 film. $5-15. : No. 3 Buster Brown - c1906. 3 1/4"x4 1/4" $5 - 15."

Click here for Box Camera 101.

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