The Eastman Dry Plate & Film Co./The Eastman Co.

Interchangeable View

Eastman Catalog, 1888, p. 4

5 x 8

Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1884-1891
Construction: front focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); double swing; reversing by removable back; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; red leather bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 4x5; 4x6; 5x7; 5x8; 6x8; 8x10; 10x12; 11x14; 14x17; 17x20; 18x22; 20x24
Notes: Eastman had an apparently active branch in England, and this model was sold there as well as U.S.; at least one example was observed having a celluloid label marked London instead of Rochester, NY, as these examples here.  It was offered with either flip-up ground glass or spring loaded ground glass (1888 catalog, p. 7), but all or nearly all of the extant examples are flip-up.  The flip-up style was identical to English cameras of the period, and used English-style plate-holders, in that, once the ground glass has been flipped out of the way, the holder is placed flat on the back about two inches short of its final position, then pushed home (rather than being pushed its entire length under a spring loaded ground glass).  These facts have prompted speculation that the camera may have been designed or manufactured in England.  Either way, this camera is made with very tight tolerances - an extremely well-made instrument, and almost all of the examples in existence are as tight and functional today as when they were manufactured 120 years ago.

Photographic Lenses and How to Select Them, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1887, p. 33
Photographic Materials and Apparatus, Eastman Dry Plate & Film Co. (Rochester, NY) Catalog, January 1888, p. 2-7
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. 27; 84
Catalogue Illustrated, W.D. Gatchel (St. Louis) Catalog, 1888, p. 30-32
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1890, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), ads p. 48
Photographic Material, Catalogue O & P, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1891, pp. 47-48

5 x 8


6 x 8

Canvas case for four 6 x 8 holders


8 x 10

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