Sunart Photo  Co., Rochester, NY

Vidi View Camera
Columbian View Camera

Jas. H. Smith & Co. Catalog, 1901, p. 19 (as Columbian View)
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8x10 Vidi View
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Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c. 1900
Construction: back focus via push-pull; double swing; reversing by removable back; 
Materials:  mahogany body, cherry base, brass hardware, black fabric bellows
Sizes Offered: 6x8; 8x10
Notes:

The Sunart Photo Co., of Rochester, NY, was founded in 1893.  They made folding and magazine cameras, and two view cameras: The Vici View and The Vidi View.  In 1899, their assets were obtained, and a new company, the Seneca Camera Manufacturing Co., was founded in 1900.  Seneca established itself as one of the most popular cameras of the early 20th century.  The Vici View continued with little alteration as the Seneca View, and later, the Improved Seneca View.  Likewise, the Vidi View continued with little alteration as Seneca's Competitor View.

The camera illustrated above is a Vidi with Sunart label.

This camera is advertised in the 1901 Jas. H. Smith & Co. catalog as the Columbian ViewChicago (the location of Jas. H. Smith & Co.) hosted the Columbian Exposition in 1893.  It is not much of a stretch to imagine that Smith derived their name for this camera from that expo.  The camera illustrated below is also a Vidi/Columbian View.  But it has an apparently genuine Century Camera Co. Century label, and even sports a CCC (Century Camera Co.) shutter.  Surely the Smith Co. is playing a practical joke - genuine Century cameras have a completely different design and hardware

References:
Catalogue of Photographic Sundries, Jas. H. Smith & Co. (Chicago) Catalog 1901, p. 19 (illustrated engraving)

 

6 x 8
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