Boston Camera Co., Boston, MA

Boston Reversible Back Camera

6.5 X 8.5
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Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c. 1888-89
Construction: front focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single swing; reversing by removable back; three-piece lens board
Materials: mahogany wood body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 5x7; 5x8; 6x8; 8x10

     The Boston Camera Company, 36 India St., Boston, Mass. was founded in 1884 by Samuel Turner.  It is known more for its Hawkeye Detective Camera, which it started to manufacture in 1888, than its view cameras.  That they made view cameras is proved by the metal label on this camera.

     The Boston Camera Co. was bought out by the Blair Camera Co. in 1890.  Blair continued to manufacture this model camera as the Blair Reversible Back Camera, Improved Variation 1, keeping its unique triangle shapes and catch for the thumb to pull the ground glass from out and to the left in order to insert the plate holder (see Blair catalog entry below).

     From 1890, all Blair view cameras tended to adopt the form of back as seen on the example above.  Unique among all plate holder backs, this back's  ground glass can only be changed or extracted by removing a strip of wood held in place by two screws.  Other manufacturers' ground glass is held in by trim wood or more commonly small brads (as in a picture frame).

The International Annual of Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Vol. II, 1889, E. & H.T. Anthony & Co., 1889, ads p. 12 (Boston Camera Company only)
ad reprint in Anthony, The Man, The Company, The Cameras, William P. Marder, et al, 1982, p. 276

Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of Photographic Apparatus and Supplies, Blair Camera Co., 1895, pp. 3-5



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