|image by Iza Lemargouillat (Image rights)|
The Rower is a French camera inspired by the Universal Univex A. It has a bakelite body and takes 3.5x4cm pictures on a special six exposure film, made by Gevaert. It has a folding frame finder on the side of the body, a meniscus lens and a simple instant shutter. The lens elements were made by Boyer, according to the user manual presented here at Photoptic. It is said that the Rower also existed with a Signax-Rower f/64 lens (see the same Photoptic page).
It is usually said that it was made from 1936 by FAP, the original source of this info is probably Vial's book. However Vial also says the 1938 Norca was the first FAP model, and a FAP ad shown here at S. Halgand's site says the company was founded in 1938. Also the Rower boxes (illustrated for example here at Photoptic and here at Halgand's site are only marked Rower Made in France, with no FAP marking. What is sure is that FAP made the Norca Pin-Up after the war, based on the Rower body.
- Vial, Bernard. Histoire des appareils français. Période 1940–1960. Paris: Maeght Éditeur, 1980, re-impressed in 1991. ISBN 2-86941-156-1.