Thanks to Mr. Ramanathan and his cousin, Mr. Shreethar, we found another hidden gem here in Singapore! The Vintage Camera museum is situated in Kampong Glam, along Jalan Kledek. You will be able to recognize this museum even from a distance due to its distinct architecture. This is probably the world’s largest camera-shaped building which houses over a thousand vintage cameras. And to enter the museum, you would first need to walk through the ‘lens’.
Walking Through the Lens
This museum isn’t particularly very big, but they do have an extensive collection of vintage cameras, dating all the way back to the 18th century. Upon entering the museum, you will find the main exhibition hall where all of the vintage cameras are on display. There’s also another exhibit, the Click Art section, which showcases some Trick Eye Art pieces that were painted by co-owner, Mr. Shreetha himself.
Vintage Camera Collection
Both Mr. Ramanathan and Mr. Shreethar had started collecting vintage cameras since 2000. The duo has gathered an extensive collection of vintage cameras which also includes rare pieces like the Mammoth camera, pigeon cameras, 3D camera, pistol cameras and, a Japanese machine gun camera.
They must have spent quite a bomb to amass so many of these antique cameras which were sourced from all over the world. Most of the cameras here looked well-maintained, and many of these cameras might still be working too.
I was inspired to find out more about the history of cameras after visiting the museum. It will have been way cooler if I have found more a little more about the vintage cameras before visiting the museum. So to make your trip to the museum a more fruitful and educational one, here are some nuggets of interesting information about the rare cameras on display.
Did you know that the Mammoth Camera was invented by an American Photographer, George R. Lawrence in 1900? It could be the world’s most massive camera built during his time.
Eastman View Camera
This camera was manufactured by Eastman Kodak Company in the 19th century. The distinguishable features are the expandable bellows made of leather and polished cherry wood extensions.
All these vintage cameras which are encased neatly in these rows of box-like shelves looked cool. I wish that I could check out all the cameras displayed here and to find out the stories behind every camera.
The Tiniest and Cutest Cameras
There’s also a display of the mini cameras which are even smaller than the size of my fist.
The Click Art Section
We spent half of our time here trying to capture the best shots with these Trick eye portraits. It was certainly fun trying to immerse ourselves in make-believe.
Before stepping out of the museum, don’t forget to check out the vintage cameras displayed at the counter. You can have a feel of these old cameras in your hand.
The thought of translating reality into images is mind-blowing, isn’t it? No one could have possibly dreamt of capturing still images way before the 18th century, but somehow, someone innovative just did it. And today, the camera industry is always evolving into something even more magical and out of the world.
Sometimes we need to take a look back into our past to realize how amazing this world had been.
Our present is inspired by our past. Every wonder how Instagram came about?
Ticket Prices: $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and children below 12.
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Vintage Camera Museum
8C & 8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263
Tel: 6291 2278