What Do You Keep When You Whittle a Collection of 2300 Cameras Down to 200?

Video: Every photographer, at some point, becomes a collector too. Some photographers collect lenses worth thousands of dollars a piece. Others collect camera bodies of a certain brand. David Silver collects old cameras, and at one point he had over 2300 of them.

Now his collection has shrunk to a little over 200 and the focus has become razor sharp. Instead of every kind of camera Silver now collects only box cameras with a mid-century modern flare. You, at some point, might have collected box cameras too – they’re the disposable cameras that were so popular before smartphone cameras ended their necessity. The Kodak Brownie is another box camera you might have heard of.

Silver’s collection of box cameras, including dozens of colourful Savoy toy box cameras, is a little further out there. Beyond his love of mid-century modern, Silver also has a small collection of bellows cameras like they would have used at the dawn of photography.

The rest of his once enormous collection has been sold, and Silver now spends his times working on a book detailing the history of cameras and operating the International Photographic Historical Organisation, which identifies old cameras and helps sellers locate buyers.