I have required a very old camera, so far the oldest in my posession. It is a Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic camera from around 1920. The reason I acquired one of these cameras was of historical reasons.
I was writing a book about The Himalayas containing stories from my own expeditions to some of The Worlds highest mountains with flashbacks to the first explorations and ascents of these mountains one of which was Mount Everest.
On the third expedition to Mount Everest which took place in 1924 climbers Mallory and Irvine disappeared high on the mountain. Mallory was found as late as 1999 but Irvine has not been found though he might have been spotted by a chinese climber long ago.
Mallory and Irvine carried a Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic camera, which was not found on Mallorys body, and probably he didn’t carry the camera as he was known to be quite helpless with a camera. Therefore hopes are that Irvine one day will be found and the camera with him. There is a fair chance that the exposed films might have survived in the huge deep freezer of Mount Everest, though it is not for certain. But the images might show what the two climber achieved. The question is: Did they reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1924?
In my opinion it won’t change the fact that Hillary and Tenzing made the first ascent of Mount Everest, as an ascent of a mountain isn’t accomplished before you by own force reach the basecamp. And as Mallory and Irvine didn’t survive they can’t have made the first ascent, but they might have stood on The Roof of The World already in 1924. And that is fascinating.
Read more about the camera and the possibility of restoring the images from the disastrous expedition in my review of the camera.