Fuji’s Pet 35 – 1959

Fuji Photo Film Company’s Pet 35 was introduced in 1959. As best as we can tell, the Pet was only available in the home market. Few nice examples exist today and even fewer with their original leather case.

Here’s an example of a very popular camera for Fuji during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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A Pet 35 leather case in all of its 1950s glory!

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The Pet 35 fits snugly into its leather case – the front does not detach so it always flops around (and weakens the crease).

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One of the coolest logos around.

If you run across a nice Fuji Pet 35 don’t pass it by. They are very much a real 35mm camera with excellent qualities – a glass lens with selectable apertures and adjustable focus. We haven’t run a roll of film through it yet but it’s on our list.

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

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1955 Camera Case Mystery

During a recent restoration of ourĀ 1955 Yashicaflex A-II twin-lens reflex camera, we discovered that the leather case held an interesting surprise!

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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.”

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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!

Chris ^.^

Custom Presentation Box for the Tower Type-3… 1953

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1953 Tower (Nicca Camera Co.) Type-3 35mm Rangefinder with custom box.

This custom designed box is based on original Tower (Nicca) designed presentation boxes of the early to mid 1950s. The leather case, which is the original from 1953 was reconditioned – the leather was gently cleaned with saddle soap, some loose stitches were properly glued to prevent further separation and the felt interior of the case was also gently cleaned and refreshed. The case hinged flap had become separated so another piece of leather was attached and it’s as good as new. The entire case was conditioned to bring out the vintage patina.

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The 64 year old leather looking great with a wonderful brown color.

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Looking fine after six decades.

As collectors, Carol and I enjoy restoring vintage cameras and when necessary, reconditioning the often neglected leather cases. We love camera sets that include the original boxes, but when they’re not available we like designing custom boxes based on original designs and colors.

Thanks for your visit! We love comments so feel free to share yours!

Chris and Carol

Yashica’s YT-300… a neat little radio from 1959

Yashica produced more than just cameras during its boom years. As a leader in the field of electronic photography in the middle to late 1960s, Yashica’s early electronic devices ranged from such diverse items as transistor radios, record players, movie projectors, editing equipment and tape recorders to name but a few.

Most of the earliest electronic devices are rather rare now (as one would expect after 50 years) and only occasionally does something come up in auctions both on the web and in estate sales. I suspect that the more common electrical items such as projectors and editing equipment are still flooding eBay and other on-line auction sites.

Finding an early radio such as the YT-300 and YT-100 is a bit harder. Here we share some of what we’ve been able to collect over the years.

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Nice complete set from around 1960.

Yashica YT-300 Radio Brochure

Not a bad price for such a sophisticated radio.

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Really really rare to find a working Yashica tape recorder!

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Yes Yashica even branded their own magnetic tape for their recorders.

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Yashica YT-300 portable transistor radio. Designed in late 1959 it was very popular in the early 1960s and was one of the many electronic devices that helped Yashica develop their hyper successful electronic cameras that followed.

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Yashica YT-300 in its very elegant leather case. The case itself is a work of art and craftsmanship.

Thanks for your visit! If you come across a working Yashica radio or tape recorder snag it! They’re really rare and a fun little reminder of the first transistor radios and how cool they were.

Chris