Copyright © 2016 by John Clark & Ron Giovannelli · All Rights reserved
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About Us - John Clark and Ron Giovannelli
Ron and I are lifelong best friends, and camera collecting began for us during the early 1970's when we would hit the local flea markets with our dads. We eagerly looked forward to this weekly escape from our college studies and part-time jobs.
Ron began picking up pocket folding and box cameras, which in those days could be purchased for 10, 25 or 50-cents each; if one paid several dollars, it would have been an exquisite piece. I told Ron that my Dad and I would keep an eye out, now knowing what he collected. The deal was, as I would acquire a small group of cameras, Ron would stop by periodically and I would sell them to him for whatever I paid.
This arrangement didn't last long, as one day I took a small stack of folders from the closet that were awaiting Ron's pickup. I began to study them more closely by opening them, working their shutters and noting the patent numbers. Something inside me snapped as I realized most of these cameras were 50 years old. I was intrigued, and the accompanying musty smells sealed the deal for me.....I had arrived. That stack never took delivery, but it gave birth to a passion we have shared for over 40 years!
We branched out, taking the hunt to antique and thrift shops, antique shows and eventually local and regional camera shows as they took rise in the 1980's. We also purchased many sight-unseen cameras from collectors and dealers through the Shutterbug Ads. This was archaic by today's standards, with little to no descriptions, subjective grading and no photos. Despite having a slow learning curve, our modest collections grew and we were able to luck out on a few one-of-a-kind pieces that can be considered rare today. We were also blessed with wives who understood and supported our passion, which made it all the more wonderful.
The result, many great memories were made during a much simpler time, that could never be duplicated today if we were just starting out.