Here you will find free, highly detailed price and information guides on popular Classic Cameras & Lenses, as well as many related links. While my main collecting focus is on pre-1900 American made wood cameras and lenses, I enjoy all aspects of camera collecting and photographic history.
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19th Century Antique Cameras
For the last 20 years, I have concentrated my camera collecting on one specific category; Pre-1900 wooden view cameras made in the United States and they must be 4x5 or smaller in size. Ideal candidates for my collection are quarter plate cameras of the 1880's and 1890's by the likes of Scovill, Anthony, Blair, Rochester Optical, Horsman, American Optical, as well as more uncommon or unknown makers of the dry plate period. Below are a few of the cameras in my collection.
Anthony Eureka / Perry Mason Companion Camera
4 x 5 American Optical "76" Camera c.1884
Below is a Rochester Optical Company Commodore camera in 4x5 size. First made in 1885, the Commodore is less common than other cameras from this maker and there are at least two versions. The earlier versions feature a solid rear wood bed, as shown below, while later models featured the more common rail frame system. See here for the later model Commodore in 4x5 size.
Below is an 1886 Catalogue entry for the camera:
Rochester Optical Commodore 4x5
4 x 5 Tailboard Camera - Maker: Unknown c.1885-1890
A simple American tailboard camera with no markings to distinguish the manufacturer.