American Optical Co., Scovill Mfg. Co., props.
View Camera Boxes (Model No.'s 21-28)
A Descriptive Catalogue of the
American Optical Co.'s Photographic Apparatus (abridged), Scovill Mfg. Co.
(New York, NY), 1871, p.3
6� x 8�" Folding Platform Camera.
It has a stamp on its front standard that reads: "Am. Optical Co. Manufacturer,
New York". This would appear to be, in the 1871 Scovill catalog pages, a No. 2
(2nd Quality) Camera Box for 6�x8�", without brass camera guides ($15.00).
Most of the back is not original, though.
Stamp on front standard: "Am.
Optical Co. Manufacturer New York", and another stamp, the stamped
assembly number: "2"
American Optical Co. New York, NY factory
In their 1871 catalog, the American Optical Co. offered three very closely related models, all having non-tapering bellows (from least expensive to most expensive):
-1. Number 2 View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 40-50 & No. 130: These are described as "good, well made, true and reliable, not so highly finished as the No. 1 goods, and without the patent brass guides. These had a folding platform, no swing, and no vertical sliding front; no mention of wood types - as simple a camera as would take a photograph.
-2. View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 21-28: These had a folding platform, single or double swing, vertical sliding front, but not the patent brass guides and no mention of wood types.
-3. Number 1 View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 1-7 (their best model): had solid or folding platform, patent (John Stock's patent Aug. 4, 1863) brass guides along the rails of the platform, a fine focusing screw, and made in mahogany or walnut finely finished using the French Polish method.
Later, American Optical introduced the Improved View Camera Boxes, which had tapering bellows, which allow the camera to be much more compactly folded.
The View Camera Boxes, Model No.'s 21-28 would have looked like the engraving above, only without the patent brass guides.
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