I have been taking photographs since I was a small child. My very first camera was a Kodak. Not the famous Box Brownie. It was a Kodak Brownie 127 with 127 film. (Apparently Version 1, 1956 to 1959) Here is an old advert for a similar camera, a Cresta (120 film), costing 40/8, that translates to £2 4p in new money. I still have the 127, and its box. I also have the old OXO box that I used to keep my film and negatives in. Another article about the Brownie 127 with prices.
Photography runs in the family. My farther was a part time professional photographer with a home studio. I remember a wide, maybe 10ft, roll of blue cloth, with stars stitched into it as a backdrop, with flood lights in the ceiling and on stands. The kitchen had blackouts so it could be turned into a darkroom for home developing and printing. I am not sure which enlarger he had.
I used to transfer my film from the camera to the developing real inside a black bag, in the dark. Then add the chemicals and gently agitate. Later, after hanging the film to dry, like clothes on a washing line, with pegs, the printing starts. It was magic to see the image slowly coming to life on the paper, then more drying. If you are interested about current instructions, I have found this site of instructions for Developing Black and White Film at Home (read comments about not pouring chemicals down the sink) and this site by Ilford. At the time, in our household, and many others I suspect, Ilford was THE name for Black and White film and paper, and Kodak for colour.
I don't recall any attempts at home developing of colour film, of any size. That was always sent to Wallace Heaton in London. Wallace Heaton was the premier photographic retailer in London, with A Royal Warrant (suppliers of photographic equipment to their majesties the Queen and the Queen Mother, and H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh) first granted in 1938. I may even have one of their famous Blue Books.
For more about Photographic Memorabilia, I toughly recommend the site.
After the Kodak period I moved to Pentax as my first SLR. I think it was bought from Fox Talbot Photographic Supplies. My brother, who is a professional photographer, Trevor Hurst Photography helped with the choice of camera and introduced me to the camera supplier. The camera was a Pentax SCM KM. I found a Pentax KM Manual on a camera manual site.
This was the equipment I took travelling with me;
|Asahi Pentax||Lens||1:1.8 / 55mm||1253210|
|Asahi Pentax||Lens||1:3.5 / 135mm||5304159|
|Asahi Pentax||Lens||1:2.8 / 28mm||6041338|
|Vivitar||Teleconverter||2x - 22|
|Metz||Flash||Mecablitz 303B L23BC||32805|
Following the KM I bought a Pentax LX kit. This was Pentax's professional offering to compete with Nikon's F3. It had interchangeable Viewfinders and Focusing screens. The motor drive was impressive at 5 frames per second. It also had a databack.
Macro was a particular interest with the LX special viewfinders together with extension tubes, bellows and reverse adapter. Add a Pentax 100mm Macro Lens and you have a truly spectacular macro capability, for real greater than life size photographs. I recall taking a photo of a greenfly, full frame 35mm. Depth of field, less than one millimeter. I will try to find it.
I have remained loyal to Pentax over the years, for my main SCR. I moved on to digital SLR with *istDs and now have a K5. However, compact cameras include Fuji, Olympus, and Nikon, as well as Pentax. The Video Cameras started with full size, shoulder, semi-pro VHS camcorder, Panasonic M10.