American Optical Co., Scovill Mfg. Co., props.

View Camera Boxes (Model No.'s 21-28)

 

A Descriptive Catalogue of the American Optical Co.'s Photographic Apparatus (abridged), Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1871, p.3

 

Asher & Adams Railroad Atlas, 1876

 

 

 

Manufacturer: American Optical Co. New York, NY factory
Date Introduced:
1870 ; Years Manufactured: c.1871 - c.1882
Construction: rear focus via push-pull with fine focusing screw; 0/1/2 swing; non-reversing; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered:  #21=4x5; #22=6x8; #23=8x10;#24=10x12; #25=11x14; #26=14x17; #27=17x20; #28=20x24
Notes:

     In their 1871 catalog, the American Optical Co. offered three very closely related models, all having non-tapering bellows (from least expensive to most expensive):

-1.  Number 2 View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 40-50 & No. 130:  These are described as "good, well made, true and reliable, not so highly finished as the No. 1 goods, and without the patent brass guides.  These had a folding platform, no swing, and no vertical sliding front; no mention of wood types - as simple a camera as would take a photograph. 

-2.  View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 21-28:  These had a folding platform, single or double swing, vertical sliding front, but not the patent brass guides and no mention of wood types.

-3.  Number 1 View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 1-7 (their best model):   had solid or folding platform, patent (John Stock's patent Aug. 4, 1863) brass guides along the rails of the platform, a fine focusing screw, and made in mahogany or walnut finely finished using the French Polish method.

     Later, American Optical introduced the Improved View Camera Boxes, which had tapering bellows, which allow the camera to be much more compactly folded.    

     The View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 21-28 would have looked like the engraving above, only without the patent brass guides. 

References:
A Descriptive Catalogue of the American Optical Co.'s Photographic Apparatus (abridged), Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1871, p.3
Photographic Times Vol. 1
, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1871, p. 15
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, Scovill Mfg. Co., distributed by Wilson, Hood & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1873, p. 34-35
Asher & Adams Railroad Atlas, 1876
American Optical catalog, 1878, p. 14-15
Illustrated Catalogue of General Photographic Supplies, Thos. H. McCollin (Philadelphia, PA), 1882, p. 11, 14
 

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