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THE CHICAGO FERROTYPE Co - Mandel-ette (1913 - 1929)

Box Cameras

Mandel-ette (1913-1929)

The Mandel-ette has been patented by Louis Mandel on the 14th of April 1914.

This camera was producing direct-positive postcards. Instead of a back door, a light-tight sleeve allowed the photographer to place a hand inside the camera body. Doing this, he was able to install an unexposed postcard for exposure.

After the portrait was shooted, the photographer introduced again his hand in the sleeve in order to remove the exposed postcard and drop it through a slot located at the bottom of the camera.

Then, the exposed postcard was falling into a tank attached under the camera and contained the development solution. After some seconds of treatment, the postcard was removed from the tank back into the camera chamber. Finally, the picture was withdrawn through the sleeve and dried.

The prints made with such process were dull and with an important contrast. Despite this poor quality, the interest for this type of camera was real. Several other camera makers reused the same concept (Cf. Speed -O-Matic) with more or less efficiency.

The arrival of the Polaroid film in 1947 conducted to the obsolescence of this camera process.

The Chicago Ferrotype Co was founded by the brothers Louis and Mandel Mandel, circa 1911.

Cameras produced by this company were made for street photographers. It allowed to obtain instantly and on site, prints in different formats and photographic supports (Tintype, positive direct, Postcard), depending of the model of camera used.

These cameras were advertised in newspapers. Sold at a low cost, they were presented as offering some significant incomes for amateur photographers.


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