Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York                       1925-1930



Introduced in 1923, the Cine-Kodak marked Eastman's entrance into the 16mm amateur motion picture market.  This interchangeable lens variant, among several others identified by collectors, appears to be the last and rarest.


Now designated as the Cine-Kodak Model A, these later versions were believed to have been manufactured between July,1925 and possibly early 1930, just as the model's production was being halted. The camera's name was changed to distinguish it from the Cine-Kodak Model B that was introduced about July,1925. These later versions of the Cine-Kodak, are the only camera's that actually state "Model A" on the manufacturer's tag. Although the Cine-Kodak Model A name is typically associated with the interchangeable lens feature, this feature has been found on a camera having a "Cine-Kodak" name tag. Cameras featuring the new lens system (with the "Cine-Kodak" tag), were probably being built prior to the introduction of the Cine-Kodak Model B. This suggests that interchangeable lenses were introduced by the latter half of 1925, and by 1926, the first interchangeable lens f1.9 camera makes its formal introduction in Kodak's catalogs.


Kodak's 1926 catalog featured the Cine-Kodak Model A, as it had been previously offered as the Cine-Kodak between 1923-1925, with a fixed f3.5 lens. Also offered in the 1926 catalog was this new version featuring an interchangeable Kodak Anastigmat f1.9 25mm lens (standard) and a Kodak Anastigmat f4.5 78mm lens (telephoto). These lenses had special screw mounts unique to this model, allowing for easy and rapid change out. The camera shown here is equipped with the standard f1.9 lens:





The manufacturer's tag on this example bears Serial No. 4180, along with ten patent numbers cited:




Of the many patents that covered the camera's design, Julien Tessier an employee of Eastman Kodak was granted at least half of them.  One patent, No. 1,405,463 that was granted to Tessier, does not appear on the manufacturer's tag above.  That's because it covered the focusing lens mount found on earlier versions of the camera with the fixed lens, that was no longer required with this interchangeable lens version.  Also of interest is that Patent No. 1,507,357, granted to Albert S. Howell on September 2, 1924 for the film spool mount, can be found on the tag. Despite Bell & Howell being Eastman's competitor in the emerging amateur market, use of this patent was evidently licensed to Eastman.

The last Patent No. 1,688,370 shown on the manufacturer's tag corresponds to a date of October 23, 1928:



                                 Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office



                                  Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office



                                  Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office



                                  Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


Having Patent No. 1,688,370, would place the manufacture of this example sometime after October 23,1928 and the end of production in either late 1929 or 1930. At that point, the Cine-Kodak Model A was discontinued and it's not shown in Kodak's 1930 catalog. No reference has been found in Kodak's catalogs to a "Series K" designation. It's undetermined as to whether this designation represented something different than any other Cine-Kodak Model A having interchangeable lenses, or whether the "Series K" really applied to all interchangeable lens versions, and just wasn't designated as such in factory catalogs.


As to the camera's rarity, the interchangeable lens version was offered for about four years during the Cine-Kodak/Cine-Kodak Model A's approximate seven-year production run.  Despite the numbers one might expect, I've only come across maybe five or six examples having interchangeable lenses, as seen on the Cine-Kodak Model A Series K featured here.  Considering that the years leading up to the Great Depression were rather prosperous, I'm guessing that sales were probably steady along with the camera's production.  The Wall Street Crash which followed on October, 29, 1929 no doubt affected the country's production on many fronts.  However, the Cine-Kodak Model A, which was already on its way out having largely been replaced by the popularity of the Cine-Kodak Models B and BB, would continue in production for several months thereafter, and into early 1930 by some accounts.

I'm assuming that the serial number sequence was carried forward through all versions of the Cine-Kodak/Cine-Kodak Model A, but this may not be the case. Several serious cine collectors have made efforts to study and document serial numbers, variants and other features of the camera that may one day provide more insight. As with anything else featured on this website, I welcome anyone's input towards new information, corrections or a different perspective regarding what's been presented here.


In comparison to the much greater number of earlier, fixed-lens Cine-Kodaks that survive, these interchangeable lens variants are no doubt very rare.




























                          From Kodak's 1926 Catalog "Kodaks and Kodak Supplies"



                                From Kodak's 1927 Catalog "Kodaks and Kodak Supplies"