Blair Camera Co.

Reversible Back Improved Variation 1

Blair-Foss catalog, 1890, p. 3
blrbicat.jpg (31716 bytes)

6x8, nickel-plated hardware



 

Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1887 - c.1895
Construction: front focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single or double swing; reverse by removable back; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; nickeled or brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 1500=4x5; 1501=4x5; 1502=5x7; 1503=5x8; 1504=6x8; 1505=8x10
Notes:

The Blair Reversible Back, Improved has been divided into four variations, the definitions of which have changed as of 10-1-2016:

Reversible Back Improved Variation 1 (c.1887 - c.1893):  1) the middle base section heavily braced with wood struts, 2) the rear standard that has single swing via angular brass hardware at its bottom, and 3) a wide square section at the bottom of the front standard, reinforced by the front standard hardware.  The Blair 1893 catalog states that the Reversible Back Camera and the Champion Reversible Back Camera are superseded in design.  This variation exists in literature engravings.

Reversible Back Improved Variation 2 (c.1887 - c.1893):  1) braced middle base section as in Variation 1, 2) the swing hardware at the bottom of the rear standard is a rounded triangular shape different than Variation 1, and 3) the wide square section at the bottom of the front standard, as in Variation 1.  This variation has not been seen yet in literature.

Reversible Back Improved Variation 3 (c.1893): 1) braced middle base section as in Variation 1, 2) unlike either Variation 1 or Variation 2, there is a single swing via a straight hardware piece leading from the base to a center pivot, 3) the front standard has uniform width, rather than a wide square section at the bottom.  It has not been found yet in a Blair catalog, but, having the same base as Variation 2, it probably was made about the same time as Variation 2.  This variation has not been seen yet in literature.

Reversible Back Improved Variation 4 (c.1893 - c.1898): 1) all base sections are simple and un-braced, unlike Variations 1, 2 and 3,  2) the rear swing pivots from the center via a straight hardware piece as in Variation 3, and 3) the front standard has uniform width, as in Variation 3, but the hardware does not extend as far up the standard as in Variation 3.  This variation has been seen in literature engravings.

Cases for it came in two sizes - a long one could store more plate holders.  Trim could be made to order.  The Blair 1895 catalog states that the Reversible Back Camera, the Combination Camera, and the Champion Reversible Back Camera are superseded in design. 

References:
Photographic Lenses and How to Select Them, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1887, back cover
Scovill's Photo. Series No. 22, Photographic Printing Methods, Rev. W. H. Burbank, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1887, ads page 19 (engraving in an advertisement for L. M. Prince & Bro. (Cincinnati, OH))
The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1888, C.W. Canfield, ed.; Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), copyright 1887, ads p. 25 (engraving in an advertisement for L. M. Prince & Bro. (Cincinnati, OH))

Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus and Supplies, Section A, Blair Camera Co. (Boston, MA), distributed by Oscar Foss (San Francisco, CA), 1890, pp. 3-5
Anthony's Photographic Bulletin XXV No. 5, May 1 1894, p. xi
Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus and Supplies, Blair Camera Co. (Boston, MA), 1895, p. 44 (annex to catalog)

 

6x8, brass hardware


yet another 6x8, nickel-plated hardware




 

 

 

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