Kodak Australasia - The Brownie Camera Range Made in Australia
Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd started camera production at its Abbotsford factory in 1957. Operations moved to the company's new Coburg facility a few years later in 1961.
The first camera to be produced locally, at Abbotsford, was the Kodak Brownie Flash II. This was a small box camera with flash capability for indoor and night photography. This model camera was originally designed and built by Kodak Limited in England, and parts for local products were imported from England for Australian assembly.
The Brownie Star series was the next range of Kodak cameras to be produced in Australia. The Star cameras were assembled from more than 95% Australian parts, as an increasing range of components was made locally from 1958. The first Star camera made in Australia was the Brownie Starlet, followed by the Brownie Starmite and then the Brownie Starflash.
The Kodak Brownie Star series products were the first low-priced cameras "designed to take color slides, as well as color and black-and-white snapshots". They were small and easy to use, and also came with flash capability. The Brownie Star range was extremely popular, and ten million of the three models of the Star series cameras were sold around the world in five years.
Museums Victoria holds examples of the Brownie Flash II and Brownie Star cameras in its collection, and also holds a range of marketing material including point of sale price tickets, user guides, information bulletins and 16mm television commercials.
Kodakery, No. 82, Sep 1977, p.3.
Kodakery, No. 168, Mar, 1985, p.5.