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National Museum of Australia

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25mm lens for movie camera used by Sir Robert Menzies

1993.0026.0001.004

25mm lens for movie camera used by Sir Robert Menzies

Object information

Physical description

A 25mm silver coloured metal and glass lens with black text around the rim which reads 'KODAK ANASTIGMAT F - 1.9 25 mm U.S.A. PAT. NOS. 1,620,337 - 1,685,600', and with the numbers '66033' stamped on the attachment plate.

Statement of significance

The Dame Pattie Menzies collection no. 1 consists of a leather camera box with embossed initials R.G.M., a magazine Cine-Kodak 16mm camera, 2 boxes Cine-Kodak Kodachrome 16mm safety Colour film, lens, light filter box and cover, light filter in plastic pouch, 25mm lens, film information cards. The camera belonged to former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and was used by Sir Robert for home movies and to record many of his overseas trips.

Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies (1939-1941 and 1949-1966), first entered Federal Parliament in 1934, and became leader of the United Australia Party and Prime Minister in 1939. Following party dissention in 1941, he resigned from office, but became Prime Minister again in 1949 when he won a Federal election as leader of the Liberal Party. A staunch supporter of Australia's continuing links to Britain, famously declaring himself to be 'British to the bootstraps', Menzies had a passion for home movies and his collection, held by the NFSA, shows family events, international travel, national events and Australian life. His movies were filmed on this Eastman Kodak's Cine-Kodak camera, produced from approximately 1925-1950, which was the world's first 16mm movie camera, and the first movie camera manufactured by Kodak intended for use by the general public for home use. The Cine-Kodak was the only hand-crank movie camera manufactured by Kodak. The camera is operated by turning this crank at a steady 2 revolutions per second, producing 16 frames per second. Remnants of green and yellow masking tape, which allowed the Prime Minister to identify his luggage, remain on the embossed leather camera box.

Object information

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