NO. 3 KODET CAMERA
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York 1894-1896
The No. 3 Kodet Camera was manufactured in the U.S. for the U.K. market, with only 405 units produced. Taking 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 images on plates or roll film, the rear compartment was capable of holding either three double plate holders or a Kodet Roll Holder with a 48-exposure capacity. The camera was available with either an Achromatic or Rapid Rectilinear lens, both having a wheel stop aperture.
The No. 3 Kodet is the more difficult to come by of the two box-styled Kodets, the other being the larger 4x5 No. 4 Kodet (1,413 produced). Made in far less numbers, the No. 3 Kodet is almost never seen today and seldom found in the U.S.
The Kodet Series represented Kodak's economical alternative to more expensive offerings such as their Folding or "Satchel" Kodaks. Despite their simpler construction and lower prices, they had less features and proved unpopular. As a result, fewer Kodets were made and relatively few survive.
The Kodet Adjustable Shutter that many of the series' models were equipped with, has proved troublesome and the leather coverings found on most surviving examples are in poor shape. Owning three of these box-styled Kodets, I can personally attest to this, as two of them have serious leather issues with detached doors and the shutters on all three examples need attention.
These issues notwithstanding, Kodets are highly sought after by collectors. Most of the Kodet models are more difficult to acquire than many of Kodak's other cameras of the period. Rarity aside, I've always been attracted to the quarter-sawn sycamore wood that is found on some of the models. And, as it is with so many self-casing cameras of the 1890's, their deteriorating exteriors belie the beauty found within.