The Official Girls Scouts of America Camera was made in Chicago by The Herbert George Company in 1956. The camera is an Imperial Mark XII Flash camera that’s been re-branded. These plastic-bodied cameras were the first to be manufactured in several colors, and various face plates were installed. They also made the Official Boy Scouts of America Camera and the Official Brownie Scouts of America Camera. I found this camera at a thrift store, in the original box, with the original flash unit, original flash bulbs, original batteries, and one roll of exposed 620 color film.
The camera features a green plastic body, a fixed focus (about 6 feet – infinity), one shutter speed (about 1/30 – 1/60 sec) and a single aperture (about f/11). Composition is done with an eye-level viewfinder, creating a 6×6 image on 620 film. In a film changing bag, I re-rolled some expired Kodak T-Max 100 120 black & white film onto a 620 spool to test the camera. I developed the film in New55 R5 Monobath. The images make me think the lens is not lined up with the film plane inside the camera because they are blurry on the left side, but in focus on the right. It might be worth investigating and trying another roll of film. If you have some thoughts, please make sure to leave me a comment.
6 thoughts on “The Official Girl Scouts of America Camera”
I’ve tried several similar cameras from Chicago Cluster manufacturers, including multiple Herbert George Imperials, and I’ve found the unflat film plane problem fairly ubiquitous. These cameras are fun to play with, and many are real lookers, but you have to remember they were basically the American Diana in a lot of ways, and many were only a couple of dollars even in the late 50s and through the 60s. That said, several of them will likely stay on my display wall in perpetuity. 😛
Did you ever (try to) developed the exposed roll that came with the camera?
I did not. If it was black & white, I would have attempted to develop it myself.
I have this same camera with the flash attachment. It’s in excellent condition.
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I was in girl scouts when I was little. My daughters were also in Girl Scouts n now their daughter’s are in girl scouts. I am looking to purchase a girl scout camera for my granddaughters camera collection. We all have good memories of being in girl scouts. If anyone is selling one or knows of someone who is. I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Check eBay. Just know that the Scout cameras look better on a shelf than they do at taking photos. 😅