During a recent restoration of our 1955 Yashicaflex A-II twin-lens reflex camera, we discovered that the leather case held an interesting surprise!
The thread below is taken from our Flickr page (Yashica Sailor Boy).
Chris “As part of a restoration of my c1955 Yashima (Yashica) twin lens camera’s leather case, I discovered that the red felt material inside the case used backing made from Japanese newspapers! Leave it to the Japanese during the mid 1950’s to make good use of something that would normally have had one use and then thrown away here in the West. What really surprised me was how easy the felt pulled away from the newsprint without destroying the paper. I hope to get the writing translated… maybe some interesting clues as to where the case was made and when.”
Chris “The leather case was made for a Yashica Flex model A-II from 1955. The camera was purchased from a seller from Hiroshima, Japan. The camera was made in Tokyo and I am not sure if Yashima (Yashica) made their own leather cases or if they were made by a supplier. Maybe the newspaper will yield some clues as to where.”
Chris “I now know that it is a picture of Prime Minister Yoshida. This was a special edition newspaper made for (?) the Japanese National Railways (JNR). It appears that the paper is dated 17 February 1949. ‘Special Treated Approval Number 154 Issue’.”
Ken “The caption at the top actually records the newspaper’s national railways special handling permit #154, and does not identify the actual date of the issue in question. The article has to do with a controversy the prime minister created when he criticized a newspaper for allegedly spreading rumors about a political scandal concerning the shipbuilding industry. The scandal erupted in January 1954 and became one of the main causes of the fall of Yoshida’s government. It is not clear which newspaper this article comes from, but from the anti-government tone of the writing it is possibly the Asahi.”
Chris “Thank you so very much KenjiB_48. It helps to know this as it makes more sense for the Japanese company that made the leather case would have used a current (1955) newspaper for a camera made in 1955.”
The inside front of the leather case held a similar surprise. It would appear that in the mid 1950s, some Japanese manufacturers found ways of recycling almost everything produced. Used newspapers, I would think, could be had for free. Why not use them for backing the felt to the leather. Pretty smart!
Thanks for your visit!