Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co., Boston, MA


Combination Camera, Reversible Back, Variation 2


8 x 10"

Label, metal, top of front standard, engraved: "Blair Tourograph & D.P. Co., Boston"



Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1884
Construction: front focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single or double swing; reverse by removable back; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; nickeled hardware
Sizes Offered: 4¼x5½; 5x7; 5x8/6½x8½; 6½x8½/8x10; 8x10/10x12
Notes: two section base; front section removes for storage.   This camera is rather bulky, even when broken down, due to the relatively long length of the baseApparently, the combination part of the name refers to the ability to place more than one back on the camera, as above.   The reversible part of the name comes from the ability to switch from horizontal to vertical format by removing and repositioning the back.  The ordinary Combination Camera also reverses, but only by taking the camera off the tripod and re-attaching it by its second tripod mount.  The Combination Camera, Reversible Back, Variation 1 has a peculiar giant front standard extension, while Variations 2 and 3 have a normal front standard.  The Combination Camera, Reversible Back, Variation 2 has metal reinforcement of the front standard while Variation 3 has a similarly shaped, all-wood version (the same variation in front standard can be seen in the Champion).  Variation 3 also sports wing-shaped bottom brackets for retaining the back and a dual right-side thumbscrew.  Since Variation 3 is known from the 1886 reference, Variation 2 may be the earlier of the two.  The photographs above show an 8x0 camera with a second 5x8 back.

The International Annual of Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Vol. I, 1888, W. J. Harrison and A. H. Elliot, eds., E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. (New York, NY), July 1888, ads, p. 11 (in an engraving within an advertisement for L. M. Prince - appears to be a Reversible Back Combination Camera, Var. 2 or Var. 3.




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