San Telmo - a Gevabox & a Surprising ImageThursday, May 10, 2018
San Telmo ("Saint Pedro González Telmo") is the oldest barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a well-preserved area of the Argentine metropolis and is characterized by its colonial buildings. Cafes, tango parlors and antique shops line the cobblestone streets, which are often filled with artists and dancers. A street named the "Illuminated Block" is where many of these important historical buildings can be found.
San Telmo's attractions include old churches (e.g. San Pedro Telmo), museums, antique stores and a semi-permanent antique fair (Feria de Antigüedades) in the main public square, Plaza Dorrego. Tango-related activities for both locals and tourists are in the area.
In our last trip to Buenos Aires in 2017 I made it a custom to return to the old barrio of San Telmo on a Sunday. There are many Americans there and I have the suspicion that they are looking for SS/Hitler memorabilia among the wears displayed in the antiques market.
There is a store there that is dedicated to the Argentine caramel called “dulce de leche”. Rosemary and I enjoyed a dulce de leche ice-cream and we purchased some jars of San Ignacio Dulce de Leche which we deem to be the best.
At one of the “puestos” I spotted an old box camera. I haggled with the man and bought it for about ten Dollars. What was surprising about this German-made camera which used 120 format film (taking pictures that are 6x9 cms) was that there was roll of film in it. I was curious and promptly forgot about it.
A week ago while suffering the doldrums of extended rainy and grey days I wondered about the film.
I carefully wound the film back. When I took it out it was Kodak Verichrome which I know to have been a b+w film introduced around 1912.
Of the camera I looked it up and found this:
A rectangular metal box-camera type device with chrome edges, taking 6x9 images on 120 film; made from c.1951 for Gevaert by Hermann Wolf GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany.
Single-speed + B shutter; f8 lens, stopping to f.11 & f.16, focusing 5ft-infinity; two waist-level viewfinders (for landscape and portrait formats).
The date of the introduction of my Gevabox means that the startling nude photographs that were revealed when I processed the film in Kodak HC-110 (8 minutes at 20 degrees in Dilution B) must have been taken soon after. I have scanned here one that will not offend any in social media.