Unknown maker (prob. England)


Wet-Plate 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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