Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co., Boston, MA

 

Combination Camera, Variation 2 (rack and pinion focus)

 

Blair-Foss catalog, 1890, p.10
blaircombcat1890.jpg (104210 bytes)

5 x 8"






Label, nickel-plated brass, bottom of front standard: "The Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co., Boston, Mass."

Stamp, top of middle brace of platform/bed: "Blair Tourograph Co., Boston".  This company was superseded by The Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co. in 1881.

Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1883-1894
Construction: rear focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single swing or double swing (5x8 only); reverse by two tripod mounts; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; nickeled hardware
Sizes Offered: 1530=4x5 w/ 5x8 extension; 1531=5x8A w/ 6½x8½ or 8x10 extension; 1532=5x8B w/ 6½x8½ or 8x10 extension
Notes:

     The combination part of the name Combination Camera referred to the ability to have two plate sizes in a small package due to the Blair Patent Extension pieces.   The above camera is 5x8, and the Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co. Catalog, 1884, p. 8 states: "The 5x8(A) is the camera well known as our 'Triumph'".  In the Blair catalogs, the A model Combination Camera had a 13" focus capacity; there was also a B model Combination Camera having a 14.5" focus capacity. 

     The dark-slides in the holders are metallic zinc, an option so stated in the 1884 catalog.  The Combination Variation 1 has friction focus rather than rack and pinion.  The 1895 catalog reference does not have this model in the main part of the catalog, but only in the Annex, used for discontinued models.

     The example above has a metal label that reads: "The Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co., Boston, Mass."  It has a stamp on its platform/base that reads: "The Blair Tourograph Co., Boston".  The Blair Tourograph Co. was superseded by The Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co. in 1881.  That this camera has a label stating that it was made by the later company means that it couldn't have been made prior to 1881.  That the wood was still stamped with the earlier company means that it had to have been made just after the company name was changed - before they ordered and received an updated stamp.  The camera was probably therefore made 1881-1882.


References:
Photographic Times 13, March, 1883, p. V
Untitled 8p. Catalog, The Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Company, Boston, MA, undated, c.1884, un-numbered pages but appears to be pp. 2-3
Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co. Catalog, 1884, pp. 8-10
Photographic Lenses and How to Select Them, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1887, back cover
Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus and Supplies, Section A, Blair Camera Co. (Boston, MA), distributed by Oscar Foss (San Francisco, CA), 1890, p. 10
Anthony's Photographic Bulletin XXV No. 5, May 1 1894, p. xi
Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus and Supplies, Blair Camera Co. (Boston, MA), 1895, p. 45

 

 

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