Blair Camera Co., (Boston, MA)

Rollerblind Shutter - c. 1888


Just because the Walker-Eastman Rollerblind Shutter was manufactured starting in 1886 doesn't mean that Thomas Blair wouldn't invent his own version.  There do not seem to be many of these still extant; its period of manufacture or popularity must have been limited.

The film was loaded in the darkroom, as were all focal-plane shutters of this era.  From the direction of the above photograph, the ground glass tilts down to thread the film behind.  The full and empty rollers installed in the compartments on either end.  For attachment to the camera, it mimics the removable camera back, in that it has a projecting thin ridge all around that fits correspondingly into the camera's two vertical plates at the bottom and large single clip on the top.  It  weighs a ton; the stress in the thin ridge at the clip was tremendous.  The size of the ground glass of this example is 6x8".

The photographer that owned it also owned the pile of plateholders shown - he probably used them when the rollerblind shutter stopped working.  Like most rollerblind shutters, the blind hangs up, inviting you to break it.


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