A Brief Look Inside the Mind of a Vintage and Antique Camera Collector

Check out this short interview which delves into the topic of camera collecting through the eyes of a man enamored with the mid-century modern aesthetic. Not content with just collecting, though; David Silver wants to leave behind a legacy.

In this video from Gizmodo's "Show Me Your Nerd," we meet Silver, President of the International Photographic Historical Organization, whose love affair with vintage and antique cameras started with an old 3A Folding Pocket Kodak, gifted to him by his father. From that, he at one stage had amassed a collection of over 2,300 cameras. As his collection grew to be his passion, however, he decided to quit his full-time job as a civil servant and he entered into the world of antique and vintage dealership. Since then, he has trimmed his collection down to 200 cameras, including a small collection of old wooden and brass bellows cameras, and a rather quirky collection of mid-century modern box cameras. While his new collection of cheaper, more plastic-y, vintage models seems a little at odds with his penchant for the magnificent leather bellows of some of his older collection, Silver is pragmatic; as the older antique cameras are what earn him a living, it's the bug-eyed faces, multiple colors, and varied clean lines of his cheaper, plastic collection that satiate his urge to hunt for little treasures.

When he handles his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Camera or one of his simple point and shoot Savoy cameras it's clear that he has a deep appreciation for the machines, and it's from this fascination that he feels he can both contribute and pay homage to the history of the camera with he calls the book on the evolution of the technology camera. It's a work in progress, and judging by this interview it could be a good one; maybe the one.

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1 Comment

Roberto Serrini's picture

Cool, but I actually use all my vintage cameras... and I have a pretty mean collection that is constantly growing. From Glass plate, to Polaroid, Lenticular, medium format, 35, 120 etc I think its a damn shame they just sit on a shelf ... If you wanna know how beautiful (or atrocious) a camera is, I suggest running some film through it... the journey has been quite interesting: