Ansco Memo

The Ansco Memo is a 35mm half-frame camera introduced in 1927. It uses Ansco’s proprietary film cassettes (the nowadays well-known 135 cartridge was still seven years away). All Memos feature a wooden body, the photo above shows the latest version of the Memo which is covered with leather and also features a shutter release guard. The earliest cameras were made of varnished wood and there was also a revision with leather covering but without the shutter release guard. All Memo cameras have a foldable wire handle and a tubular optical viewfinder on top of the camera. Film is transported from top to bottom by a simple claw mechanism which is operated by pulling down the film advance trigger on the camera back.


2016-02-29-D800E-Ansco-Memo-0074-Bearbeitet - Kopie

My specimen is equiped with a f/6.3 Ilex Anso Cinemat fixed-focus lens with apertures from f/6.3 to f/16 and shutter times of 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, T and B. Above the lens you find the exposure counter which is numbered up to 50 and has to be reset manually.

The camera came with a single film cartridge only. But thanks to 3D printing I was able to build a second one. Here are some pictures from the first roll of film.




The Ansco Memos
Design for a camera casing – US patent 74211


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