Unknown maker (prob. England)
Sliding-Box Camera c. 1850
5 x 5
This is a simple, yet serviceable camera
constructed by hand by a cabinet-maker. Which maker is unknown, as with
most such cameras. The hand-cut dovetail joints can
be seen along the bottoms of the standards. The rear has a hand-cut tongue
& groove joint. It is most likely of English origin.
The lens is a Holmes, Booth & Hayden (NY)
radial drive with long lens-shade, c.1850.
The sliding-box was used as a focus mechanism
in the early part of the photographic era, when camera-making was attempted by
craftsman used to making chests of drawers. Its appeal was that such a
camera could be made entirely by a cabinet-maker, whereas bellows-making was a
specialty foreign to wood-working circles. By 1860, camera making
manufacturers (who had their own in-house bellows-constructors) began to
dominate camera production, and the sliding-box design fell out of use.
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