Rochester Optical Co.
The Ideal Camera, Variation 2
Rochester Optical Co. Catalog, 1895, pp. 10-11; Two styles of
front to back swing movement: 1) Swing from the bottom of the rear standard
(left hand engraving); 2) Swing from the center of the rear standard (right hand
4¼ x 6½,
Style 1) Swing from the bottom
5 x 8, Style 1) Swing from the bottom
Date Introduced: -
Years Manufactured: c. 1890-1897
This model sizes 14x17" and larger were back focus and had no rack and pinion gears. It commonly came with a canvas case and holder. The Ideal was Rochester's top of the line camera of this forward focusing style, while their almost identical Empire State Camera was more moderately priced. The Ideal Variation 2 differs from the Ideal, Variation 1 by having a spring-type back instead of a hinged ground glass and twisting cam-button back.
The camera below has a metal label, rather than the usual celluloid label shown above.
Note from the two engravings that Rochester produced variations in the device that holds the bed rigid. The right-hand engraving has a single thumbscrew for the hinged bed and double thumbscrews for the detachable bed, whereas the left-hand engraving has Rochester's lever device for the hinged bed and a single thumbscrew for the detachable bed. The double thumbscrews were a function of camera size - they appear on cameras about 11x14" and larger; smaller format cameras had single thumbscrews for their detachable bed (e.g., the 6½x8½" camera below).
6½ x 8½, Style 1)
Swing from the bottom
8 x 10, Style 2) Swing from the center
Label on the bottom of the front
standard: "Rochester Optical Co. The Ideal"
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