In the late 1940s, located in the lower Sawyer Woolen Mill factory on lower Mill Street, was a company owned by the MARK BROTHERS, Isadore and Benjamin, part owners in the Keystone Manufacturing Co. in Boston. After WW II they begain producing roll film for medium format cameras and eventually smaller format 35mm film labeled as DOVER FILM. Even 16mm movie film became part of the inventory and shorts of Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, Little Rascals and children’s cartoons were released in coloful DoVer Film packaging. These were from the Keystone Toy Company selling hand crank toy projectors. A company producing a Direct Positive Camera (Speed O Matic) failed once the Polaroid Camera was introduced and the Dover company purchased the molds and began producing a 620 roll film camera that produced 16 4.5 x 6cm images. The camera is equipped with a yellow filter for black & white scenics and a portrait filter mounted on the front. Camera instructions and exposure information was printed on a metal plate attached to the back of the camera. The lens has a built in rotary disc with five openings (f/stops) and the shutter is a single speed. Flash bulbs were used with a flash attachment built onto the camera with a removable reflector. The camera was packaged in a cardboard box with a colorful label attached to the front. The camera was designated as a 620A. However, the box shown has 620B. They offered two package options. One with a hard cardboard case designed to fit the camera…and a second option (620B) without the case. Instead it offered an OD green sleeve for the flash reflector and included a cable release. The group photo above shows a Hollywood Junior Press kit offered to kids with a special press card, press pin, assignment book and the camera minus the two filters attached to the front. It was offered in a shoe box style container. Ansco offered a PRESS CAMERA KIT for Christmas in 1949. It is believed that the DoVer Film Company planned to offer a similar kit. However, there is no evidence that it ever reached the public. It is believed that a few prototypes were produced and in the hands of executives. The kit shown was acquired from one of the executives and is the only complete kit known to exist. A partial kit appeared in an auction several years ago…possibly from another executive’s estate. In my 50 years of collecting, I have never seen another. Isadore Marks was the president of DoVer Film and died in 1951…so the camera was only produced for a few years.
Items featured are from the Thom Hindle DoVer Film Collection..images may not be reproduced without permission.
original sign from Dover, N.H. factory and film counter displays from the Thom Hindle DoVer Film Collection