The Ansco Craftsman was a kit camera produced from early 1950’s through the 1959-60’s. The camera was tested as an easy to build kit camera for school kids. Helping them learn to build a simple tool that they could use to take photos. The camera was marketed to boys in Boy’s Life magazine in which adds would regularly run describing how simple the camera was to build and use. It retailed for $3.50 in 1951 which adjusted for inflation would be about $35 today. Not bad for a camera that takes 120mm film and creates a very large 6x9 negative.
The camera was sold as a kit to be put together using simple hand tools. Construction materials consisted of wood, cardboard, plastic, and metal. You could build one and be out shooting your favorite film in the same day using only a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver. Later in the camera’s production run it was also sold a s finished kit. But it’s nice to think that all Craftsman’s floating around were build by an excited kid ready for their own camera. The camera has a single shutter lever with only one speed. It has two viewing windows one for portrait and the other for landscape. Rounding out the camera is a single film advance knob, which makes this one of the fasted cameras to shoot. Just point, click, advance, simple as that!
This Ansco Craftsman is in fantastic shape! It will take your favorite 120mm film color or black and white. The lens can flare in direct sun, but with a camera so simple it's hard to complain. It's currently for sale at Richmond Camera in Carytown for $35 so stop in, grab your film and go enjoy your day!