History                                 The Vest Pocket Kodak

Many different makes of multi-element lenses were fitted. Famous British, American, French and German lenses were used and all had their front elements located ahead of the shutter in the conventional way. Cameras so fitted, were much more expensive.

As well as fixed-focus versions, several lenses were focussing types.

The Autographic VPK
From 1915 to the end of production in 1926 all VPK's had an 'autographic' facility. After an exposure a 'trap door' on the back of the camera was opened to reveal part of the film's backing paper. Thus exposed, a one-line message could be written here to occupy the space on the negative between the pictures. Pressure from a supplied metal stylus on the exposed backing paper in daylight would imprint the message onto the film. After winding-on the film, the autographic procedure could be repeated after each exposure.

Whereas 127 film was used up to 1915, Autographic A-127 film was needed after 1915 to enable this facility. Film was side-loaded into the camera by unlocking a side plate before inserting the film and connecting it to a waiting take-up spool.

Also from 1915, as well as usual black-painted VPK Special cameras, Japan Crystal (crackle) finish and most costly of all, Morocco leather camera coverings were also available.

Although the outer dimensions of the camera remained the same, over the years it got heavier. The original VPK weighed 250 gm, while a typical VPK Autographic Special of 1926 weighed 300 gm.

The famous focussing British Cooke lens
fitted to a VPK Autographic Special.

An opened autographic trap-door revealing the films special backing paper.


Metal stylus used to write a message through the backing paper onto the negative.