Scovill Mfg. Co.

Waterbury View Camera Variation 1A (Sycamore Wood)

 

5 x 8
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Stamp on rear of platform: "Scovill Mfg. Co., N.Y."
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Stamp next to the piston-type device to make the bed rigid: "Patented". 
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Manufacturer: Scovill Mfg. Co., New Haven, CT factory
Date Introduced:
1885 ; Years Manufactured: Variation 1A: c. 1885
Construction: back focus via push-pull; single swing via side thumbscrew; reversing by two tripod mounts
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 4x5; 4x5; 4x6; 5x7 (starting in 1886); 5x8; 6x8;
Notes:

     The Waterbury View Camera, named for the Waterbury, CT location of one of Scovill's factories, is one of the most common Scovill view cameras.  There are also Waterbury Detective Cameras and Waterbury lenses.

     The Waterbury construction consists of: 
          -the front standard: a box-jointed square (A), mounted on a ~1/4 bottom plate (B), the whole screwed to the front of the main platform (C); a ~1/4" thick facing (D) holds the rise mechanism and the lens board.
          -the rear standard: a box-jointed square (E), which is not as tall as the front standard square, mounted to the two brass side plates (F), which connect the rear standard to a ~3/8-1/2" sliding platform (G).  The sliding platform runs along the  grooved middle of the main platform, and is secured by a knurled knob.

Waterbury View Camera Variation 1A: 
    
The Waterbury View Camera Variation 1A has construction and hardware that are identical to Variation 1 - it is thought to be merely the earliest version of Variation 1, due to the three following features: 
          - the wood forming the box-jointed sections of the front and rear standards is quarter-sawn sycamore, as Scovill also used in two other early models: Unknown View Camera and the New York View Camera.  The face of the front standard appears to be the same as used in Variation 1 Waterburys, said in literature to be a type of mahogany (albeit a very light-colored mahogany).
          - the wood near Scovill's piston-type device to make the bed rigid is stamped with the single word: "Patented".  Waterbury View Cameras Variation 1 and Variation 2 have the exact patent date stamped into the metal of the device itself.  Variation 1A would therefore appear to have been manufactured sometime after the patent, but before the metal stamps were received.
          - the wooden case in which the camera came is typical Scovill spline-joint construction, so has probably been with the camera since its manufacture.  The clasp that fastens the top is an bulky early style that can also be found on a plate-holding box marked Sam'l Peck & Co. from the 1850's or 1860's.

Waterbury View Camera Variation 1
     The Waterbury View Camera Variation 1 (as well as 1A) has a scalloped-edged metal flanges on either side of the rear standard that allow it to tilt front-to-back. 

Waterbury View Camera Variation 2: 
    
The Waterbury View Camera Variation 2 has a squarish-shaped metal flange for tilting the rear standard.  The flange is only on the right side, and only fastens the tilted rear standard - the tilting itself is performed by hinges and a small wooden wedge visible on the left side.  This arrangement was undoubtedly an improvment over Variation 1, which tends to become difficult to tighten reliably as the screws that hold the flanges loosen.  Even though there are quite a few extant Variation 1 cameras, all the engravings in Scovill catalogs appear to be of Variation 2, even back to 1885.  This begs the question of just when, exactly, were the Variation 1 and 1A made?

 

References:
Scovill's Photo. Series No. 1, The Photographic Amateur, 2nd Edition, J. Traill Taylor, Scovill Mfg. Co. pub. (New York, NY), 1883, 2nd Ed. about 1885, p. a10
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), distributed by Andrew J. Smith (Providence, RI), 1886, p. 34
Scovill's Photo. Series No. 12, Photographic Chemistry, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1886, p. a19
Scovill's Photo. Series No. 20, Dry Plate Making for Amateurs, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), 1886, p. a10
Catalog P, Photographic Material, J. W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1886, p. 51
How to Make Pictures, 4th edition, Henry Clay Price, Scovill Mfg. Co., publishers (New York, NY), dated 1887, copyright 1886, p.a8
Photographic Lenses and How to Select Them, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1887, p. 27
Scovill's Photographic Series No. 26, The Photographic Instructor, Prof. Charles Ehrmann, Scovill Mfg. Co., 1888, ads p. xiv
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), distributed by C.H. Codman & Co. (Boston, MA), April 1887, p. 32
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), undated but about January 1888, p. 31
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, Scovill Mfg. Co. (New York, NY), distributed by C.H. Codman & Co. (Boston, MA), September 1888, p. 20
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), January 1889, p. 19
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1890, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), ads p. 69
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), distributed by Oscar Foss (San Francisco, CA), June 1890, p. 20
Photographic Material, Catalogue O & P, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1891, p. 39
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), distributed by Sargent & Co. (Cleveland, OH), April 1891, p. 8
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), distributed by Horgan, Robey & Co. (Boston, MA), June 1891, p. 10
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1892, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1891, ads p. 106
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), January 1892, p. 9
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1893, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1892, ads p. 144
The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1894, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1893, p. 96
How to Make Photographs and a Descriptive Catalogue of Photographic Materials Illustrated, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1896, p. 28



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