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 engraving).

4 x 6, Style 1) Swing from the bottom



 

5 x 8, Style 1) Swing from the bottom


Date Introduced: - Years Manufactured: c. 1890-1897
Construction: front focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single or double swing; three-piece lens board; reversed by removable back; single swing is illustrated in both the engraving (1895 reference  below) and the photos
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered:3x4; 4x5; 4x6; 5x7; 5x8; 6-8; 8x10; 11x14; 14x17; 17x20; 18x22; 20x24
Notes:

     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 6x8" camera below).

References:
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), June 1890, p. 4-5 (one engraving is Variation 1 while a second engraving is Variation 2)
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus,
Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1891, p. 4-5
1893 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1893, p. 6-7
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1893, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1892, p. 104
1894 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1894, p. 6-7
1895 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1895, p. 10-11
1896 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1896, p. 10-11
Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1897, p. 10-11
Dept. 5: Photographic Lenses, Supplies, etc. 2nd ed.; Andrew J. Lloyd & Co. (Boston, MA) catalog, 1897, p. 45

6 x 8, Style 1) Swing from the bottom
rocideal6x8a131.jpg (66700 bytes)

 

 

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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