The Thunderbird Camera… named after “The American Classic”. Long after receiving this camera, I happened into a small fortune of c41 127 size film. Thought I’d blast a roll through the Thunderbird. I was shocked to find that this camera expressed itself in true form as a pillar of visual culture! The images! After the photo lab gave me the processing for free (yet another mistaken idea that the pictures didn’t “come out”, see terms and definitions ) I had a revelation about this camera … it can only see life as if from a park bench-morning-after episode. Honest to God. Check it out. I love these images!

The stats: accepts 127 size roll film. 12 square exposures. Completely plastic. McKeown’s has it listed under “Brumberger” but it’s just like the Mark XII and I can tell that Herbert George is most likely the father. In fact, the Thunderbird camera is just like a lot of plastic cameras that are named after cars. Most were put out by Spartus. I wonder why this one is named after a brand of fortified wine?

This camera holds hope and I think I may muck around with it a bit … possibly put it on a twelve step program.

I revisited the site of my most favorite Thunderbird Camera image. Though it caught on fire a number of years ago, it remains standing. There was a guy there, totally tweaked-out on meth. His friend came over, thinking I was taking their picture. We spoke for a moment. He appreciated the old camera. He works at Subway. I doubt I’ll be eating there any time soon.

2 Responses

  1. I love the connection with a cheap fortified wine. There is an English “tonic wine” made in the name of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, which is a great favourite of Scottish underage drinkers and ne’er-do-wells. The abbey had a display in the chapel promoting Buckfast Tonic Wine for a “better life” (cheers…) which raised a smile, but the grin was caused by the side chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Buckfast” – that prompted a very different mental picture to what the monks might have had in mind. If you can stand the cough-medicine taste and survive the alcohol&caffeine combination , you too will see the world like the Keystone camera. Before freaking out.

    1. I just looked it up … “Bucky”! That’s hilarious. It looks very Manischewitz-like. I’ll be there in a couple of weeks and I just might need to try it. Or not. Thanks, Tom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Mamiya U

Seriously? He was ALL HANDS! Super HANDy to use. If you’re not too picky about making decent images, the Mamiya U might be for “U”.

Read More »


For those of us with low expectations, this camera will make your heart sing like a violin. She looks like a 126 film camera, but

Read More »

Fotodiox Camera Review

Despite a few glitches, this camera has brought more fun into my life! While using it I had quite the epiphany. More on that later.

Read More »

Rollei 35

A friend gave me this camera. She was going through a major life change – divorce & moving out of the state. Anyway, she stopped by before

Read More »


This is a page for my Minox experiences. The Minox B is arguably the most-dropped camera of all time. That’s the first thing I did

Read More »

KOA Happy Camper Kamera

I believe I pikked this kamera up at a Puget Sound Photographik kollector’s sokiety camera show in Kent, Wa. If you volunteer to work the

Read More »