photography, writing, fine art... stuff ... other stuff ...
heyday was from the 1920s to the 1950s, though there are much earlier ones. They were the cameras that ordinary
people used to record their families and their great events.
I buy them on eBay for about £10 / $15, choosing mainly the less expensive cameras from good manufacturers - Zeiss Ikons, Voigtlaenders, and Ensigns - and I like the older Kodaks, which take long-obsolete film sizes. Part of this work will be learning how to restore them to working order ... with the right tools it can be done by more or less anyone. Part of the fascination is this human accessibility, in contrast with modern electronic or digital cameras. This is a subject which Ed Romney has written about; his web site is well worth exploring.
Here are three images from the first roll of film I put through one of these cameras.
It's a Zeiss Ikon Nettar.
The negs are 6cm by 4.5cm.
The images are of folk at DoJ, a final year student in the canteen, a person in the college shop,
and a first year student - the only one caught working - found by chance
in the plaster room.