Central Camera: Chicago’s Oldest Camera Store

The classic neon sign of the Central Camera Co. in downtown Chicago. It draws you in. Begs you to browse. To buy Kodak film. Chicago’s oldest camera store, it was founded by Hungarian immigrant Albert Flesch in 1899.

The store moved here in 1929 at the height of Prohibition, just before the stock market crash. It’s been here ever since, always in the shadow of the L train.

The neon sign probably dates from not long after the store’s move to its current location, certainly it’s no later than 1940-something.

Update: check out one of Central Camera’s catalogues, from 1936 on Retronaut.

Central Camera, Chicago
230 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL
Website: centralcamera.com
Visible: 24/7

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

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