Adventures with my Box Brownie: Part 2 How to load your film!

I picked up another film from the developer this week.  And as always it is that moment of trepidation that is half the fun, what will the pictures be like, did I breathe and blur, have I managed any double img001 (2)exposures and is that a good or a bad thing?

The gentleman behind the counter took my docket and reached for the packet which was sitting waiting by the till. “Can I just ask what camera you are using?” he said while handing it across to me.  When I told him he seemed surprised and during the conversation that followed he explained that he hadn’t seen a Brownie film in a long time and was impressed by how good the pictures were. I left a very pleased lady.  Please note he was impressed by the camera, not me but still . . .

I was even happier when I saw my new pictures, is it me or am I really getting the hang of this?  Perhaps then it is time to talk about the details. In my last article My Box Brownie camera, Adventures with Parralax Error! I gave my so-called top tips, maybe it would be helpful to explain a little more on how to use this natty little camera.  Of course as I have explained before it is just soo complicated!

This picture is apparently what my friends imagine I look like when I am out with my Brownie.  It is understandable in a way, the idea of me roaming the Cornish cliffs with a camera which is heading for 100 years old is comical I suppose. 

It does conjure wonderful, soft-edged reminiscences of the past.  I am sure that when George Eastman and Kodak put the first Brownies on sale on 1901 they had no real inkling of the revolution the little black boxes would create.

It was in fact Queen Alexandra who really began the craze for the Brownie. When the papers let it be known that she was using one to capture memories of her children all of a sudden everyone wanted one.  The ingenious simplicity of Kodak’s little camera meant that photography was something that everyone could do.  It was a magic that we could all be a part of! And lets face it we have never looked back, even in todays digital age of the selfie and camera phone we still delight as much as ever in capturing those moments in our lives, big and small to look back on.

I mentioned before coming to grips with my Brownie and how it works was a bit of a trial and error experience so I thought that I would provide a little ‘How to load your film’ slide show just in case I have inspired anyone to give it a go!


How to load your film:

Use the metal clasp to open up the back of the camera
Open back flap
Pull out the winder to release the inner case
Remove inner case, which has TOP imprinted on it to handily show you which way round it goes when you put it back in!
Slip the tapered end of your flip into the slot in the bottom spool and put in place
Unravel just enough film to slot the film into the top slot


Push the sloop of film into place


Push the winder knob back in, if it won’t go you have the inner case the wrong way around!
Wind the winder in an anti-clockwise direction and watch in the counter window for the number one to appear.  Bob’s your uncle! You are ready to go!




I provide all the content on this blog completely FREE, there's no subscription fee. If however you enjoy my work and would like to contribute something towards helping me keep researching Cornwall's amazing history and then sharing it with you then you can DONATE BELOW. Thank you!

9 thoughts on “Adventures with my Box Brownie: Part 2 How to load your film!

  1. Brilliant! Just what I was looking for. I recently found my dad’s old Brownie 2 in the loft and I have just ordered an Ilford FP4 film. I am sure that I can follow your instructions to load the film however I have memories of my dad finding somewhere dark to load the film. Are you saying that this isn’t necessary?

    1. Hi Brian, no not necessarily when you load the film, although be careful not to put out more film than you need to load. Be careful when removing the film, just incase it has not wound all the way back! Good luck! They are so much fun to play with!

  2. I have several Kodak six 20 brownies ranging from model c through to model e not tried them all but I took photos with a model d and the photos are great . I would swap them

Leave a Reply