American Optical Co., Scovill & Adams Co., props.
Star View Camera
How to Make Photographs and Descriptive Price List, The
Scovill and Adams
Co., 1892, p.
5 x 7, marked "The Scovill & Adams Co. New York"
Label on Top of Front
Standard: "The Scovill & Adams Co. New York"
"American Optical Co.
New York The Scovill & Adams Co., Proprs."
Celluloid Label on top of
Front Standard: "American Optical Co. New York The Scovill & Adams
Stamps on the Removable Back:
"Patd Sept. 16, 1890" and "Amer. Optical Co."
Stamp next to a Device
(one of two) to Make the Hinged Bed Rigid: "Flammang's Pat. Oct. 20, 1885"
American Optical Co. New York, NY factory
Even though the label says American Optical, this camera is not as well finished as the similar Flammang Front Focus, and therefore may actually be a Scovill factory product. Scovill catalogs are not very clear on which cameras are Scovill and which American Optical, thereby trading on the American Optical brand, which had a deservedly high reputation.
This model is essentially a St. Louis, Variation 3, but with metal posts as a front standard. Indeed, it replaced the St. Louis model between the Scovill & Adams March 1889 catalog and the Scovill & Adams March 1890 catalog.
The bed is in three sections, with the front section removable, although you have to know the trick to pull the front section sideways to remove it. The front extension is missing on the above camera. The model was stated to come with a canvas case. By late 1896, the Star was consigned to the "Bargain Page" of the American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1897 (page lxi), which probably indicates an attempt to get rid of discontinued stock.
Even though not marked as such, the Star View Camera is always seen with the patented system on the ground glass frame consisting of four springs, one of which has a detent to keep the frame open or loose for loading the plate (Scovill Mfg. Co. (W.H. Fuller, assignor), #407587, 23 Jul 1889).
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