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Herbert George: Herco Imperial (620 Snap Shot)
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1950s. 620 film, 6x6cm exposures, plastic, box-type camera.
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The Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot is a simple plastic box camera that was manufactured by the Herbert George Co. of Chicago (which would later become the Imperial Camera Corporation). It was introduced to consumers at a reasonable price of $3.99 in 1951 so that it was affordable to most households. It was manufactured in several variations of printed face plates and molds, most notably a Roy Rogers version with the image of Roy on a bucking horse and the words Roy Rogers spelled out below the lens by his lasso. This and other box cameras like it were initially sold under the brand name “Herco” and then, somewhat confusingly, under the “Imperial” brand. The Herco has fixed-focus lens that’s locked in at an aperture of f/11. The shutter is fixed at 1/60 seconds and can be activated by sliding the small silver knob downward. The Imperial also features a simple viewfinder on the top as well as two sockets for an optional flash attachment. There’s a red window on the back to check your frame count and a rubber handle so you can take the camera with you on the go. The camera outer case is made of Bakelite and the other materials in the camera are Aluminum, steel, brass, plastic, and glass for the lenses. It is just a 620 film box camera with a one speed leaf shutter. It has no double exposure protection and takes twelve 2 ¼”x 2 ¼” exposures. The inside chamber is plastic and molded by the Superior Plastics Division of Herbert George.
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