Blair Tourograph & Dry Plate Co.
Combination Camera, Reversible Back, Variation 2.5
Date Introduced: - ; Years
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;
Sizes Offered: 4¼x5½; 5x7; 5x8/6½x8½;
Notes: two section base; front section removes for
Apparently, 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. 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. Variation 2.5 has some features of
Variation 2 (e.g., the metal reinforcement on the front), but also unique
features, such as the open top front standard, and a three piece bed (including
one hinged piece), which is a marked improvement over the two piece bed that is
largely useless until the two pieces are reunited.
There are small difference between the above two examples,
the most obvious of which is that on the verticals of the front standard (that
end in mid-air), the wood is rounded to the contour of the hardware in the top
example, whereas the wood is merely cut off square in the bottom example.
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