1896 Model

The original version of the Kodak No. 2 Bull's-Eye was introduced in 1892 by the Boston Camera Mfg. Co.. It was the first camera to have a small red indicator window to show the number of the exposure, printed on paper backing added to transparent film. George Eastman was quick to recognize the value in that feature so he paid royalties for the patent, and released a copy of the Boston Company's camera with the name "Bullet." But in 1895 Eastman decided to buy out Boston Co. and acquire the patents (and Bull's-Eye name) rather than to continue to pay royalties. In late 1895 he released the "1896 Model" Kodak Bull's-Eye, an improved copy of the Boston camera. It was expensive for the time, priced at $8. It was later upgraded to an 1897 and then an 1898 model. Later improved versions were designated Models C and D, presumably to avoid the appearance of being out-of-date. The latter remained in production up to 1913.

This is the first 1896 Model. Constructed of wood covered in seal grain leather and furnished with brass hardware. (Later models were nickeled.) The No. 2 Bulls-eye was designed to take twelve square images, 3 x 3 inches, on No 101 film (discontinued in 1956).

Features include a meniscus achromatic lens with fixed focus, the Eastman rotary shutter, three aperture settings, viewfinder, and one socket for a tripod mount (not standard thread, however).

In this camera the inside bottom and the underside of the mechanism are stamped with a dealer's name: Travers & Leet, 514 13th St., Oakland, CA. They were major dealers at the time, but the business was dissolved in 1900. (The same company sold my 1895 Pocket Kodak).