Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff


Jacques Bolsky designed his first camera in 1923, the Cinegraph Bol. It was a 35mm camera, for still or motion picture photography that could also be used as a projector. In 1927 he introduced a movie camera called the Bolec. It later became the Bolex, and the rights to the design were sold to Paillard in 1931.

The Bolca was his next design, which later evolved into the Bolsey Reflex. In 1939 the rights to this design were sold to Pigeons S.A., and it became the Alpa.

By the time this had happened, Bolsky had left his native Switzerland, and had immigrated to the United States, and had changed his name to Bolsey. He felt it was time to design a camera that was of high quality, yet was affordable to the general public.

The Bolsey line of cameras were born. It started with the Model B. Many other models followed. But the economy slowed, and the pressure from inexpensive imports was too much for Bolsey's company to withstand. In 1956 he sold everything to the Wittenauer Watch Co. He had also sold the design for the low end model that was slated to become the Model A to LaBelle. They sold it under the name LaBelle Pal.

Bolsey wasn't done yet. He went back to movie cameras, and designed one of the smallest 8mm movie cameras, which could also take stills. The Bolsey 8 was doomed by the change of the market to Super 8. Jacques Bolsey died in 1962.

Bolsey 35mm Cameras