Well, its been awhile, but I hope to resume at least twice per month posts moving forward. Thanks for reading.
Quirky, capable and fun. That’s how most people who’ve used the Norita 66 Single Lens Reflex camera describe it.
Dante Stella writes, “The Graflex Norita 66 is a 6x6 SLR that looks like a 35mm SLR on steroids. It is the spiritual ancestor of the Pentax 6x7 and a contemporary of the Pentacon 6. It takes 12 exposures on 120 or 24 on 220, with the film type selected by the pressure plate and a switch on the counter. The camera has a large cloth focal plane shutter that travels from right to left (from the back) with speeds of B, 1-1/500 sec. Diaphragm is automatic, and the lens has a stop-down lever. The camera body is brass, with glossy black enamel. It is lovely, even if it is worn a little bit.”
The history of the camera and its maker from wikipedia:
"Norita was a Japanese optical manufacturer. Founded in 1951 by Toshio Norita, it originally made lenses for binoculars but moved on to prisms and thence pentaprisms for SLR cameras.
Musashino Kōki had been making a 6×6 SLR called the Rittreck 6×6 from 1968; for which Norita had been making the pentaprism finder and the three lenses (wide, standard, and tele). When Musashino decided to terminate production of this camera, Norita decided to expand from being merely an optical designer/manufacturer to manufacturing cameras, and took over machine tools, assembly, and some staff from Musashino.
For its new "Norita 66", Norita expanded the range of lenses: the 55/80/160mm selection for the Rittreck became 40/55/80/160/240/400. Additionally it produced a 75mm f/3.5 lens with built-in shutter (bypassing the focal-plane shutter for high-speed synchronization with electronic flash); but most remarkably the speed of the 80mm standard lens was increased to f/2, fast for a medium-format lens.
Norita tied up with Singer, owner of Graflex, and exported cameras to the US, where they were sold as, and inscribed, "Graflex Norita". Norita also exported cameras to France, West Germany, the Netherlands, and Czechoslovakia.
Norita no longer exists."
See this You Tube overview of the Norita 66
Video can also be accessed here https://youtu.be/rTmTWqnLR6A
Here are the lenses for the Norita (source unknown)
Norita would also produce a 70mm f/3.5 leaf shutter lens and a 400mm f/4.5 telephoto in addition to the standard lens range shown above.
The Norita was for a short time in the 70s, a "cult classic" camera - mainly for its fast 80mm f/2 standard lens. This was the fastest standard lens for medium format available at the time.
Posting a few items on ebay today. Click the pictures below to go to the auctions. Thank you.
February 15, 2105
I recently acquired two new pieces to add to my collection. The first dates to very late 1850s/early 60s. It is a business card from Alexander Perry, an "Ambrotype and Melainotype Artist" from Waltham, Massachusetts. John Craig's Daguerreian Registry remarks about Perry:
Below is an advertisement Perry placed in the 1871-1872 Directory of Waltham and Watertown by Greenough.
The second item is an instruction card that was placed inside a Cartes de Visite album. This probably dates to the late 1860s. Veteran image collectors tell me these "trim cards" are still sometimes found inside old CDV albums produced in the 1860s and 70s. Interstingly, there is very little information on the web for the "New York Photograph Album Depot." However, I found examples of their albums on Etsy and Ebay (below).
Courtesy Etsy Seller ClassicClothing
Image Courtesy Ebay Seller parkavenueantiques
February 1, 2015.
Gabriel Harrison was a true character and 19th century Renaissance Man. Wikipedia defines a Renaissance Man as, "a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas." That was Harrison, a man who lived a life devoted to the various Arts including Daguerrean Fine Art.
The most significant and modern article on Harrison is by Grant Romer, written in 1979 and published in Kodak's IMAGE Magazine. Click here to read (pdf).
Gabriel Harrison From PAJ 1851 Vol 1 No 3
One of Harrison's masterpieces is called, "California News" and shown in the image is Gabriel himself, his son and his Studio Owner and boss, Martin M. Lawrence.
In 1898, The Rochester Camera Company brought the Folding Gem Poco to market. Among the countless other folding plate cameras being sold at the time, this example was a fixed focus model which the maker claimed, "is the positively the smallest, most unique, and practical 4x5 camera ever constructed."
These economical plate camera models commonly featured a flat polished wood lensboard/standard with a simple landscape lens encased within. Their simplicity and combination of lacquered wood, brass and red leather bellows make them attractive cameras to own.
From Rochester Camera Company's 1898 Catalogue
An example of the Folding Gem Poco Camera
Some existing examples of this camera have the waist level viewfinder located on the left and some have it on the right of the lensboard. The catalogue shows it on the right (facing the camera) while the camera above has its finder on the left.
This camera was also labeled as the Folding Hub Camera, sold by the department store Dame, Stoddard and Kendall in Boston. DS&K were importers, wholesalers, retailers in cutlery, scissors, knives, photographic supplies, fishing tackle and some sporting goods.
DS&K was established in 1800 and is still in business today operating as Stoddard's Cutlery in Newton, Massachusetts ! Thats a 215 year run....pretty impressive.
The Folding Hub Camera shown with the Folding Gem Poco Camera. Other than a few minute differences (viewfinders are on opposite sides), these are the exact same cameras.
June 1898 Advertisement
It appears these cameras were only produced for a year or so, but in good numbers. The few ads that are found online are all from the 1898 and early 99 period, including one ad from a UK dealer. In 1900, the Rochester Camera Co. was basically absorbed into a larger firm and then ultimately purchased by Kodak. While not rare, these uncommon cameras show up on ebay perhaps two or three times per year.
December 6, 2014
Like hanging holiday lights on the house, I present some images of the season....
1916 Cardboard Window Sign from Kodak (owner of the Premo line). Copyright AntiqueCameras.net
Not a decoration for the season but rather an 1890s Broadside from Charles Henry Newman, a photographer from Andover Massachusetts.
The website http://andoverhistorical.org/blog/?tag=charles-newman writes,
"Charles Henry Newman (b. 1872 d. 1944).....was a life-long Andover resident and was town photographer from 1891 until his death in 1944. For nearly five decades Charles Newman created a visual record of Andover through photographs of its people, places, and events."
And from: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/record.php?id=76892127
"Photographer and printing contractor, of Andover, Mass.; graduate of Phillips Academy; son of Henry Jewett Newman, American painter and grainer, and Harriet (Hattie) Stevens Newman; m. Edith Maude Randall."
To listen to an audio program featuring Graham Nash, famous musician, photographer and photography collector discusses early photography.
From Radio Station KKCR.org
November 22, 2014
This fall hasn't afforded me much time to post new written material, but I thought I would at least share some visual treats.
First, is this Boudoir Card circa 1890. Featuring a photographer with his Rochester Optical New Model Camera, 5x8 size with nickel plated ROC No. 2 lens and "cloverleaf" waterhouse stops. Boudoir cards are cabinet cards but larger, measuring 5.5" x 8.5" as opposed to cabinet cards which measure (usually) 4.25" x 6.5".
Copyright & Collection of AntiqueCameras.net
Business card from W. Klemet in orange. John Craig's Daguerreian Registry has the following entry: "Ambrotypist, 608 Frankford Road, Philadelphia, Pa., 1860-1861"
In 1863, a William Klemet is listed in a Philadelphia Business Directory as a "segarmaker."
Copyright and Collection of AntiqueCameras.net
Here is a Daguerreotype Plate Box from Scovill. These were for Scovill's "Extra" plate which began selling in 1850 or 51. This box carried 6 dozen plates - 36 slots and each slot held two plates. It also has one unused plate. What I really love about this box is that on the side is written "Specimens" which reflects back to the terminology used by Daguerreotypists at the time.
And the winner of the 4th Annual Antique & Classic Camera Image Contest is.......
Jonathan Kolstad and his fabulous image shown below
In my opinion, this image is a great combination of creativity and originality. It is also well executed and exhibits beautiful tonality. Well done and congratulations.
October 21, 2014
Thanks to everyone who submitted images for the contest. While there were fewer submissions than in prior years, I feel the images are stronger than ever and many reflect the popularity of using older processes to produce images.
Please see below and select your favorite image. You may only select one image and you may only vote one time. Many thanks to everyone.
PLEASE VOTE !
IMAGE # 1
Copyright David Bodie Bailey
IMAGE # 2
Copyright Will Dunniway & Company
IMAGE # 3
Copyright Jonathan Kolstad
IMAGE # 4
Copyright Andy Wong
IMAGE # 5
Copyright Paul De Angelis
October 4, 2014
ANNOUNCEMENT The 4th Annual Antique & Classic Camera
Today starts the 4th annual Antique & Classic Camera photo contest. Images submitted for this contest must include within the image, an Antique or Classic Camera(s), Lens(es), or any other related photographica. The image can be created by any means - digitial capture, analog or whatever process you like.Remember: the subject must contain an Antique or Classic camera, lens or related item.
Among all the entries, I will select the top 5 or 6 images and then post those on my website for viewers to vote on to select the final winning image. Winning photographer will receive $ 100.00 CASH sent via paypal.
If your image is selected as one of the 5 or 6 finalists, it will be showcased on this website and/or this Blog.You will be credited for the image and all rights remain with you forever. We do reserve the right to permanently leave or display a copy of your image (with full credit) on antiquecameras.net. The top 5 or 6 images will be selected based upon originality, aesthetic appeal and subject interest (keeping in mind the Antique & Classic camera/lens theme of my website).
I am accepting images now through October 18th. On or about October 25th, the 5 or 6 finalist images will be posted on this blog for voting by the viewers of my site. Voting will finish on November 1st. Final image winner to receive prize no later than November 8th, 2014.
THE IMAGE MUST INCLUDE AN ANTIQUE OR CLASSIC CAMERA, LENS OR OTHER PHOTOGRAPHICA (otherwise crassly known as "Camera Porn").
The image can be of anything as long as a camera, lens or photographica is included within the image.
How to Submit
Email your images as an ATTACHMENT (please don't embed the image in the email body) to firstname.lastname@example.orgYour submission must have been taken by you.
You can submit up to 3 images per person.Please list your credit information for your image (ie.., Copyright John Doe 2014 ).The image dimensions must not be wider than 850 pixels.. In the interest of proper display, I may need to resize your image(s). Files should be no larger than 1Mb in filesize. Your photo MUST be in JPG format. Post-processing and image borders are allowed.
For inspiration, images from previous years are shown below. Good luck !
The Rochester Optical Company sold its Premo B camera from 1894 to 1902. The 1897 Sears Catalogue called the Premo B, "...one of the most popular hand cameras on the market. It is strictly high grade throughout....."
The Premo B came in two sizes, 4x5 and 5x7. Made for amateurs that wanted to own a well made camera capable of good quality images at a mid-range price.
About a year ago, I purchased a very fine example of the Premo B with its original cardboard box. Like other antiques and vintage collectibles, the box is more valuable than the item (camera) itself.
Image Copyright 2014 AntiqueCameras.net
Image Copyright 2014 AntiqueCameras.net
Image Copyright 2014 AntiqueCameras.net
Over the nine year run of this camera model, there were minor updates and modifications made over the years. Using Larry Pierce's superb website of camera catalogues, this particular example can be identified as being an 1897 model. How ? Looking through the 1894 to 1902 catalogues, only the 1896 and 1897 catalogues list the Premo B in 4x5 size with Victor shutter and rapid rectilinear lens at the price of $ 21.00 (on box label). Next, comparing the 1896 catalogue entry to the 1897 entry, it revealed that only the 1897 model had a singular folding hinge (located on the right when facing the camera). In 1896, the camera shows two hinges.
Image Copyright 2014 AntiqueCameras.net
TOWLER, JOHN [editor]. The American Photographic Almanac for 1864, Being an Annual Appendix to Humphrey's Journal of Photography, New York: Joseph H. Ladd, 1864. 12mo, pp. 144, 18 (ads), original red cloth boards with gilt stamped lettering on upper panel inside blind-stamped decorative border.
TOWLER, John, educator, born in Rathmell, Yorkshire, England, 20 June, 1811. He was educated at the Giggleswick grammar-school and was admitted a member of St. John's college, Cambridge, in 1833. After coming to this country he was elected in 1850 professor of modern languages and literature in Geneva (now Hobart) college, at whose medical department he was graduated in 1855. From 1853 till 1872 he was its professor of chemistry, toxicology, and medical jurisprudence, and dean of the medical faculty. Subsequently, when this institution was merged into the Syracuse school of medicine, he was given the chair of anatomy, and in 1868 was transferred to the chair of civil engineering and chemistry in Hobart. These places he resigned in 1882 to become United States consul at Trinidad, British West Indies, where he remained until 1886. Since that time he has devoted his attention to literary work at Orange, New Jersey Professor Towler was co-editor of Hilpert's "German and English Dictionary" (4 vols., Carlsruhe, 1846), and he also edited after Hilpert's death an abridged edition of the "Dictionary" (2 vols., Pforzheim, 1846-'7). He was editor of "Humphrey's Journal of Photography and the Allied Arts and Sciences " and "The American Photographic Almanac" in 1864-'7, and for five years subsequent to 1867 he wrote an article each month for the "Philadelphia Photographer." He published translations of Schiller's "Don Carlos," "Die Braut von Messina," and "Die Rauber" in the same metre as the original (Carlsruhe, 1845-'8), and made translations of German war songs. His other works include "Der kleine Englander" (Carlsruhe, 1845); "The Silver Sunbeam" (New York, 1863) ; "Dry Plate Photography" (1865) ; "The Porcelain Picture" (1865) ; "The Magic Photography" (1866) ; "The Negative and the Print" (1866) ; "The Tannin Process" (1867) ; and "The Photographer's Guide" (1867) ; and he has translated Karl Friedrich Rammelsberg's " Guide to a Course of Quantitative Chemical Analysis" (Geneva, 1871).
I was recently introduced to some very unique artwork, inspired by classic film cameras. Made of concrete, these fine pieces are the work of artist, Alex Stanton. And rather than explain much more, I think the photos below will speak for themselves.
All images Courtesy of and Copyright Alex Stanton
Alex explained to me why he uses the medium of concrete. "They’re meant to be fossils of technology. I absolutely love older film cameras and the concept is these beautiful cameras are somehow petrified, this is what they would look like dug up thousands of years from now."
All of these sculptures are available to purchase on Alex's ETSY page. Most of his sculptures are priced at around $ 100 USD shipped. Unique pieces worth a look.
I recently purchased this Daguerreotype on ebay. The seller thought the man might be wearing a toupee. I think I agree. Wikipedia states, In the United States, toupée use (as opposed to wigs) grew in the 19th century. One researcher has noted that this is in part due to a shift in perceptions over the perceived value of aging that occurred at that time. Men chose to attempt to appear younger, and toupées were one method used.
August 23, 2014
I'd like to bring to your attention a very fine and well researched book (volume) by Stefan Hughes, called, Catchers of The Light, The Astrophotographers Family History. This volume contains detailed information on many early photographers and is well worth reading, particularly because it is available, for free, at the link below.
With a Demonstration of Early Photographic Technology
Friday, September 19, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Learn about collecting early photography and hear from collectors and curators as they discuss collectors' motivations, the issues of attribution and dating and other challenges of collecting. Discover how institutions benefit from collectors' instincts, expertise, and knowledge of the photography market. Bring your own 19th century photographs from your collection or family archive for a chance to have them analyzed by experts.
Ron Cowie, a fine art photographer and instructor at the New England School of Photography will demonstrate how 19th century photographs were made using the wet plate collodion process.
Roundtable speakers: photography collectors William B. Becker, Dan Colucci and Greg French; moderated by Francois Brunet, Professor of American Studies and the History of Photography at the University of Paris; and Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture, Design and Photography at the MIT Museum.
This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Daguerre's American Legacy: Photographic Portraits (1840-1900) from the Wm. B. Becker Collection in the Kurtz Gallery for Photography. The exhibition will be open to the public during the program.
While my primary collecting focus is on equipment and ephemera of the 1840-1879 period, I also collect items from the Rochester Optical Company (1883-1903). My most recent acquistion is a very fine chemical bottle. It measures approximately 8 inches by 2.5 inches and hold 16 ounces of fluid. The seller said it was dug from the ground. Great, circa 1892, piece to rescue.
Given the bottle's size, it is almost certain it contained developer. ROC sold a few flavors of developing solution over the years. Below is a catalogue page from 1896 featuring the various types available at the time. Note that they sold the developer in a glass bottle with an outer cardboard box.
Image Courtesy Ebay Seller poohjo_1999
Highly recommended early photography related books at Amazon.com
August 2, 2014
In 1884, Samuel Turner started The Boston Camera Company. One of his first products was the Gem Camera Outfit. Selling for $5.00, the amateur photography outfit featured a camera, focusing screen, plate holder, dry plates, printing paper and chemicals for developing, fixing, toning and printing all packed in a "strong carrying-case with handle" as well as a tripod.
Early advertisement (Nov. 1884) for the Gem Camera Outfit
In March of 1887, the Boston Camera Company ("BCC") published; Photography at Home: A Brief and Comprehensive Treatise on Dry Plate Photography with Illustrated Catalogue of Cameras and Accessories.
One of the catalogued items was the Gem Camera as shown below. Note the mention that over 3,000 outfits had already been sold in the previous 2 years.
Shown below are two Gem Cameras (lower left and right cameras) from the collection of the late, Wayne Cogan.
These are fairly difficult cameras to find these days and not many examples survive. Below is another advertisement for the camera, c. 1888.
While I've never owned the Gem Camera, I did purchase an example of the "carrying-case". Although the painted lettering is well worn, the box is really quite nice with a beautiful warm patina.
Curiously, the catalogue states and the illustrations show, the wooden carrying-case has a handle, yet my example doesn't show any evidence of a handle ever attached.
Collection of AntiqueCameras.net
Collection of AntiqueCameras.net
The late, great camera collector, Mike Kessler had a Gem Camera and its wooden box in his collection - note handle.
Image Courtesy Rob Niederman
Quite recently, I acquired another piece of The Boston Camera Company's history, a postal cover, listing the business address as 35 Batterymarch Street. BCC was only at this address in 1884 and part of 1885 according to my research.
Collection of AntiqueCameras.net
July 25, 2014
This post lacks an overall theme, but I trust you will find the following of interest.
London based, photographic materials dealer, Hockin & Co., published the book, Practical hints on photography: its chemistry and manipulations, in 1860. Included in the book is Hockin's catalogue of photographic equipment.
Illustration from Practical hints on photography: its chemistry and manipulations (Google eBook) John Brent Hockin London, 1860
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
Unknown maker, American, daguerreotypist
Portrait of Unidentified Daguerreotypist, 1845, Daguerreotype, hand-colored 1/6 plate Image: 6.7 x 5.2 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/16 in.) Mat: 8.3 x 7 cm (3 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
"Among photography's first photographic advertisements, this image presents a formally dressed man exhibiting nine different daguerreotypes grouped in a display frame. In his left hand he holds two closed, cased daguerreotypes; two more closed cases lay on the table, which is draped with a floral cloth. He may have been the daguerreotypist of those images, presenting and promoting his own wares. Perhaps he was a specialist in portraiture since the visible images are all portraits with a variety of sitters and poses. On the other hand, maybe the photographs are of members of a family from whom he, or the person for whom the daguerreotype was made, had been separated. Facing the camera directly, the man even presents himself like a beacon of light in his gleaming white shirt."
Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program
Unknown maker, American, daguerreotypist Portrait of a Man, about 1854, Daguerreotype Cut-down 1/6 plate Image: 6.8 x 5.6 cm (2 11/16 x 2 3/16 in.) Plate: 7.3 x 7.2 cm (2 7/8 x 2 13/16 in.) Mat: 8.3 x 7 cm (3 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
"Every element in this portrait contributes to its daring effect. The image is radically composed, cutting across the man's top hat and across his left hand. In that hand, he clutches a barely glimpsed piece of paper or a book, the contents of which are provocatively denied the viewer. The sitter's steady gaze connotes a commanding assuredness that enlivens the exchange between subject and viewer. Sunlight passes through a window, producing a graphic shadow of his hat on the wall behind and brushing the side of his face with luminosity."
"Samuel Leon Walker (1802–1874) was one of the earliest daguerreotype photographers in the United States and was widely regarded as one of the best photographers during the 1840s and 1850s. He lived and worked in Poughkeepsie, New York. Walker was born in 1802 at New Salem, Massachusetts, and enjoyed careers as a daguerreotypist and photographer, writer and spiritualist. There is some evidence to suggest Walker was an assistant to Samuel F. B. Morse in New York; he then had a studio in Albany before moving to Poughkeepsie by 1847. He seems to have stopped photographing between 1854 and the early 1860s when wet collodion photography began to supersede the daguerreotype and poor health limited his activities. By May 1864 Walker had returned to photography and was practicing the collodion process in his Photographic Institute. The only known collection of Walker’s work is held by George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and the twenty daguerreotypes there consist of portraits including studies of his own children which Sobieszek claims are ‘some of the most exciting images created by the daguerrean artist.’ His daguerreotypes of his daughters are reminiscent of the work of Lewis Carroll in their directness and latent sexuality. He died on 25 April 1874 aged 72 years when he was described as a man of great artistic taste with a love for his profession."
Image Courtesy of Historic New England @ http://www.historicnewengland.org/
Image Courtesy of Historic New England @ http://www.historicnewengland.org/
June 13, 2014
August Semmendinger was an interesting character in the history of camera making in the United States. Semmendinger (1820 – August 6, 1885) was a manufacturer of Photographic equipment and earned his first two photographic patents in 1860; patents 27,241 and 29,523. And in 1873 and 1874 two more patents; 145,020 and 149,255.
Advertisement from The Art of Retouching, 1880. NY.
An 1865 advertisement published in Trow's New York City Directory
Publised in an 1873 issue of The Photographes Friend published by Richard Walzl.
I recently acquired a Semmendinger Camera very similiar to the model listed on the Semmendinger website as in the collection of the California Musuem of Photography at the University of California Riverside. See http://semmendinger-camera.com/semmendingercameras.html about half way down the page.
This studio model is likely from the early 1880s. The camera is free from wet plate stains. It is marked as an Excelsior camera as all of his cameras appear to be. The square back of 12x12" dimensions is capable of multiple formats with the use of the proper holder. The serial number of the camera appears to be # 221 as stamped on the top of the rear frame where there are also stamped number "8"s in the wood but which are probably part matching indicators.
The bed is non-folding which makes for a rather large camera that weighs in at 28 pounds and is three feet long from lens hood to rear bed rail. The mahogany wood is quite stunning on the camera and it has a wonderful patina to it.
Despite a long running business, there doesn't appear to be too many extant Semmendinger cameras.
One his most beautiful and highly sought after cameras is his Excelsior wet plate camera, famous for its little drawer in front that could house a lens cap or waterhouse stops. Below is an example from the Jordan Patkin Collection, shown here with the permission of his family.
Another example sold on Ebay in 2009. Unknown photographer.
May 23, 2014
Continuing on from the previous post, I created a quick "teaser" video of the MIT Museum's exhibit, Daguerre's American Legacy.
Be sure to watch the video below in High Definition by clicking the small cog ("settings") in the lower right hand corner and set to 1080HD
If you cant see the video below, follow this link to youtube.com
Leica Shop / WestLicht Auction are selling the very rare Lancaster Pocket Watch Camera (Mens) on ebay.com
A cool 45,000 euros or $ 61,450 US Dollars.
May 11, 2014
Collecting "things" is an odd concept if you think about it too much. We are born, we live, we die. You can't take your prized possessions with you. We are merely temporary caretakers of the objects we acquire. There are few theories about the psychology of collecting and over the last few years, I've been asking myself why I am so passionate about collecting antique photographic equipment and images. For me, I think it's about preserving and respecting the past and appreciating the impact and power of photography.
Collecting took on a new meaning for me recently when I lent some of my "treasures" to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - "MIT" Museum for an exhibit called, Daguerre's American Legacy: Photographic Portraits (1840-1900) from the Wm. B. Becker Collection. Mr. Becker has a fanastic collection of Daguerreotypes on display and to supplement the exhibit, I was asked to supply some Daguerreian equipment and related photographica to the exhibit. This was the first time I have ever done this and I must say that its very gratifying to be able to share my collection with so many other people in this way. While I have always shared some of my collection through this website, that's "only" a "virtual" method of sharing. At the MIT Museum, I am able to share the actual, in-the-flesh, items for others to see and enjoy.
The Boston Globe recently published an article about the exhibit which you will find below.
Some of the items I lent and you will see on exhibit are:
A quarter plate American Chamfered Box Daguerreotype Camera, c. 1848
A half plate American Lewis Style, non-Chamfered front, Daguerreotype Camera, c. 1858
A Voigtlander Petzval Lens, whole plate size, Serial # 611, c. 1842
A CC Harrison Petzval Lens, quarter plate size, c. 1851
A Scovill Daguerreotype plate supply box, c. 1852
Business cards, billheads, broadsides, CDVs of photographers and their cameras, Daguerreotype tokens and more....
The image below is the entrance to the Kurtz Gallery at the MIT Museum which houses the exhibit. In the background, you'll see a 7 foot enlargement of my 1846 broadside featuring Daguerreotypist, William Matthews, who was taking likenesses in Windham Centre, New York during January 1846 (broadside is dated).
Image Courtesy of the MIT MUSEUM
April 26, 2014
John P. Soule was, according to Wikipedia, "born in Phillips, Maine on October 16, 1828. His brother, William S. Soule, also became a photographer.
J.P. Soule maintained photographic studios on Washington Street in Boston, ca.1861-1882. As a photographer, his subjects in Boston included buildings, the 1869 National Peace Jubilee, the great fire of 1872, and carte-de-visite portraits. He also photographed mountains in New Hampshire, and the 1866 fire in Portland, Maine. He exhibited works in the Charitable Mechanic's exhibitions of 1850, and 1874 (bronze medal).
In addition to taking photographs, Soule published works by Martin M. Hazeltine and others. Crediting of photographer's original works followed rather murky standards. For instance, photographs "by John P. Soule" of natural scenery in California appeared in Samuel Kneeland's Wonders of Yosemite Valley, and of California (1871). However, "the photographs ... credited to John P. Soule on the title page ... have recently been re-attributed to the photographer Martin Mason Hazeltine. Soule, a publisher of stereoviews, purchased many of Hazeltine's California negatives, copyrighted them in 1870, and began selling them in Boston."
Soule joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts in 1865, and belonged to the Freemasons.
After leaving Boston around 1882, he travelled west again. "In 1888, John Soule moved to Seattle, where he continued to work as a photographer. Soule photographed the aftermath of Seattle Fire of 1889 and the rebuilding thereafter. He continued to live in Seattle and occasionally take photographs of the growing city until his death in 1904."
Another recent purchase was the 1/6 plate Daguerreotype below. The unique thing about it is how the light on the bow tie adds a three dimensionality to the image.
April 17, 2014
I thought I would post a couple of very nice items that have been sold recently (not to me).
First up is this beautiful tin sign advertising Seneca cameras. Seneca featured American Indians in much of its advertising. Seneca's 1912 catalogue features, basically, the same exact image (below sign).
Courtesy of Liveauctioneers.com & Showtime Auction Services (CA)
1912 Seneca Catalogue - Courtesy of Larry Pierce
The next item was another advertising piece - this time for Kodak. Surprisingly, this only sold for $ 285. I thought it would fetch much more. Quite an interesting piece for display. Circa 1930.
Image Courtesy of dantiques01 on Ebay
And, lastly, a Hit Camera in its original store display. This one I thought might fetch $ 500 or so, but it ended up brining a whopping $ 1,009 !
Locating broadsides from the Daguerreian era is particularly fascinating given you can learn so much about how the business operated as well as what the "artists" themselves thought was important to emphasize to its customers. Having a multi-paged advertising piece is even more impressive and enlightening. The New York Public Library possesses just such a piece from the well known Meade Brothers.
Various histories of the photographic lens have been written over the last 150+ years and each has its own "version" frequently based on the author's country of origin. Presented below is a history of the lens written by Reginald S. Clay in The Photographic Journal of the Royal Photographic Society, November 1922 issue.
Credit: The Royal Photographic Society (RPS.org): The Journal Archive Project