Search Database


A Camera Collector's Labor of Love

Historic Camera History

At a very young age Tom Kowach received a special gift from his grandmother. When she gave it to him she instructed him to not tell any of his brothers and sisters becasue it was just for him and she did not have any more to give the others. It was an old kodak box camera. Tom had never seen a box camera before and was facinated by this simple box that could take a photograph. From that point he was hooked on the engineering and art of camera design. In his teens he started to visit antique stores and garage sales in search of cameras.

Tom ended up becoming an engineer working in the California aerospace industry. He loved camera design and computers. In 1996 with the wave of the internet revolution, Tom began to play with web site design and began developing a few sites for himself and a few friends. The Historic Camera site started in February of 2002 to enhance his hobby of camera collecting. He never grew tired of his Internet hobby or camera collecting and research.

In August 2002, the Historic Camera Collectors Club was established with the goal of archiving and sharing information about antique cameras and photography with everyone. In Toms view it was our duty to preserve and protect our history, both physical and intellectual, so that future generations will be able to enjoy the journey, so in fact "we need be the caretakers of our history. In 2011 Tom placed an ad in craigs list for anyone who would be willing to help with the sites content. He was lucky to have many responses, but one person stood out. To his delight Tracy Gregory agreed to help with writing photographers biographies. She was a pro and has been providing quality content for years helping to inlighten and inspire everyone. The site ended up being of interest to photographers not just collectors so the clubs name was reduced to just the Historic Camera Club. Over the years the features have come and gone due to usage and interest. Tom established satellite club hubs at Flickr and Facebook which proved to be much more agreeable to members and those venues have consitantly increased in use and membership.

The site includes three main areas of research: camera information, camera company history and biographies of photographers and important people of photography . Hope you enjoy visiting the web site.

If you have any feedback, questions or suggestions, just drop Tom an email at

Explore Historic Cameras Extensive Librarium of Camera Company History

Historic Camera Companies

Explore Historic Cameras Extensive Librarium of Biographies

Historic People