What’s in our Collections? A Box Camera

In our collections, we have an AGFA ANSCO Shur-Shot Box Camera. 
The Shur Shot cameras are basic box cameras manufactured in Binghamton, New York by Ansco, which went through several minor variations and were made in the hundreds of thousands. The Agfa Ansco Shur Shot series began in 1932 and ended in 1940. Shur Shot cameras originally carried the name Agfa-Ansco in use at that time. Post-1941 models were branded as Ansco alone. The cameras were made in sizes for 120 and 116 films. 

The Shur Shot camera is a simple cardboard box covered with leatherette. A structural panel of wood behind the faceplate holds the shutter mechanism (approximately 1/30 of a second), and a fixed aperture of approximately f/13. The image is formed by a single backward-facing meniscus lens behind this. Two brilliant viewfinders were provided to allow framing photos in either landscape or portrait. Most models permitted long exposures by pulling a small tab outwards.  To load film it is necessary to pull out the wind knob and open the back cover, which then permits the entire metal film carriage and lens to slide out of the body. The metal faceplate of the camera can also be taken off by lifting tabs off of small pegs both sides, giving access to the shutter and viewfinder.

The Shur Shot simple, reliable, and maintainable design has preserved large numbers of them in perfectly usable condition right up to the present day. This one was donated by Liz Stinchfield.