E. & H.T. Anthony

Champion Equipment, Variation 3 (c. 1898-1899)

 

Anthony Catalog, February 1898, p. 7

 

5 x 7" Champion marked "Greenpoint Optical Co."  The Greenpoint factory was owned by E. & H.T. Anthony





Stamps, rear end of base or platform: from left to right:
1) "G.O.C." logo, for Greenpoint Optical Co., a subsidiary of E. & H.T. Anthony & Co.,
2) "Pat. Nov. 11, 84" (clamp hooks for making platform rigid) and "Pat. Feb. 20, 83" (amongst other features not present here, the quick release, slotted tripod mount), and
3) "Pat. May 18, 1886" (
side-mounted screw on rear standard for swing adjustment)  and "Pat. Mch. 27, 1888" (spring back)




 

6 x 8" Champion marked "Greenpoint Optical Co."  The Greenpoint factory was owned by E. & H.T. Anthony




Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c. 1898-1899
Construction: rear focus via push-pull; single swing; reverse by removable back; Anthony plywood lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base track; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 4x5; 4x6; 5x7; 5x8; 6x8; 8x10
Notes:

     The Champion View Camera was a relatively inexpensive camera manufactured for the amateur photographer.  It was made in one form or another for at least 19 years beginning in 1887.

     There are no small number of Variations, generally distinguished by the following features:

Champion Variation 1 has a tilt-down ground glass frame, and is split here into three sub-variations. 
     Champion Variation 1A has the tilt-down ground glass frame and its swing hardware knob built into the top hardware piece.  This is the same camera as Anthony's Amateur Equipment No. 2B., which describes a handsomely finished camera (but not mahogany) having a single swing, and the engraving illustrates the top hardware that combines a ground glass clip with the swing set thumbscrew.  It is possible that this variation was never called Champion - that the switch of the name from Amateur Equipment No. 2B to Champion coincided with the construction change from Variation 1A to Variation 1B.  It is placed here to emphasize the continuity of Anthony's version of an inexpensive, back focus, square bellows camera.
     Champion Variation 1B has the tilt-down ground glass frame, but its swing knob is on the right side bottom of the rear standard.  It has a normal thumbscrew to make the bed rigid.
     Champion Variation 1C has the tilt-down ground glass frame, and the swing knob on the right bottom, but has a large brass plate to make the bed rigid.

Champion Variation 2 has a spring-held ground glass frame / spring back.

Champion Variation 3 has the open front style adopted in April, 1900.

 

Relationship between the Champion and the NPA Camera
     The Champion looks almost identical to the more expensive
 NPA Camera, so much so that the models are easily mistaken.  Both appear to have been made by a Scovill Mfg. Co. camera factory in Connecticut rather than by the New York American Optical factory, which was owned by Scovill and manufactured their more expensive models.  Generally, the Champion is made from less expensive wood and hardware, and is less expensively fitted and finished than is the NPA Camera.  The two models might be expected to be parallel to each other in variations and time frame.  However, this is not exactly the case.  In order to completely delineate the difference between the Champion and the NPA Camera over time, the following table has been developed, each row of which shows a feature or construction of one of the models, an example photograph illustrating the feature or construction, and the years it occurred in each model, if any.

Feature / Construction in the Champion and NPA Camera Models vs. Year    

Feature / Construction

Example

Champion

N.P.A.

Wood Used in Camera Body (Bed/Platform is Always Cherry)    
     Cherry c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion)
Variation 1B
Never
     Mahogany c. Jan. 1891 to at least 1903
Variations 1B, 1C?, 2,3,4
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A. as identical to Equipment 2B, and the newly added 7B and 8B) to at least 1903
Variations Brass Guides, 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4
Hardware Finish      
Plain, as punched or cast, not lacquered; brass-colored when new, slowly ages to darker (as in the example to the right) c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to at least 1903 c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A. as identical to Equipment 2B, and the newly added 7B and 8B) through c. Jan. 1889
Variations Brass Guides, 1A (early), 1B
Draw file finished
     The hardware, along with the screws holding it, are flattened by drawing a medium-coarse file over its surface, leaving visible lines (going from NW to SE in the example), then lacquered; remains like new as long as the lacquer is undisturbed; ages to brown where the lacquer is missing
Never c. 1890 through to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A (late), 2, 3, 4
Nickel-plated, lacquer is not needed; shiny when new, ages to matte finish (as in the example to the right) Never 16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
Ground Glass Frame Back / Putting in a Plate Holder:      
     Ground glass frame tilts down out of the way; two small springs hold the bottom of the plate holder; a clasp holds the top c. Jan 1891 - c. 1897
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C
 
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Jan. 1889
Variations Brass Guides, 1A, 1B
     Clunky spring back ground glass frame; ground glass frame pivots from the middle; the plateholder slides under the ground glass frame. c. unknown
Variation 2 (hypothetical)

Not ever seen in catalogs and probably never manufactured; called Variation 2 (hypothetical) to be analogous to the variations in the N.P.A. model
c. 1890 to c. 1900
Variation 2
     Flat spring back ground glass frame; ground glass frame pivots from the middle; the plateholder slides under the ground glass frame. c. Feb. 1898 - c. Aug. 1899
Variation 3 (are all of these NPA?)
c. unknown
Variation 3 (hypothetical)

All  N.P.A. engravings from May 1891 up to the 16 Apr 1900 Supplement (introduction of Variation 4) have hardware of the type Variation 2.  But French polished N.P.A. models with flat spring ground glass hardware are extant.
     Spring back ground glass frame; ground glass frame pivots from the left end     16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
Fastening the Bellows Draw:      
     Large flat behind the rear standard having a rotating flipper-shaped handle; rear standard is attached using a slotted center frame member / sliding t-shaped hardware within the slot c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Jan. 1889
Variations Brass Guides, 1A, 1B
     Thumbscrew is below the rear standard; no center frame member; rear standard is attached using a horizontal slot in the frame / brass sliding hardware on each side 16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
c. 1890 to at least 1903
Variations 2, 3, 4
Swing Back Fastener:      
     On top of rear standard, combined with the tilt-back clasp hardware Unknown c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Jan. 1889
Variations Brass Guides, 1A, 1B
     Thumbscrew on the right side of the rear standard c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to at least 1903
Variations 2, 3, 4
c. 1890 to at least 1903
Variations 2, 3, 4
Making the Hinged Bed/Platform Rigid:      
     Patent clamp hooks c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
     Thumbscrew on the right side of the frame bed/platform 16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4
Front Standard Construction:      
     Solid rather than frame c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
 
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
     Frame rather than solid; lighter weight 16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4

 

16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog to at least 1903
Variation 4

 

Bellows Shape:      
     Straight / Non-tapered c. August 1887 (1st mention of the term Champion) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
c. May 1885 to Sep. 1886 (as Anthony's Amateur Equipment 2B) and
c. Sep. 1886 (1st mention of the term N.P.A.) to c. Aug. 1899
Variations 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 3
     Tapered; smaller in front; lighter weight 16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog - at least 1903
Variation 4
16 Apr 1900 Supplement to the 1899 catalog - at least 1903
Variation 4

 

References:
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. (New York, NY), February, 1898, p. 7
Descriptive Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus (Professional Catalog), E. & H.T. Anthony & Co., New York, NY, July 1899, p. 43-44

Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. (New York, NY), August, 1899, p. 27

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