Rochester Optical Co.

Empire State Camera, Variation 1

Below, Rochester Optical Co. Catalog, May 1893, p. 8-9

8 x 10



 

Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1893 - c.1897
Construction: front focus via two gear tracks on top of base rails; double swing from a center pivot; rising front via thumbscrews on both sides of the front standard; reversing by removable back;  base rigidity via a thumbscrew; spring back
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 5x7; 5x8; 6x8; 8x10; 10x12; 11x14; 14x17; 17x20; 18x22; 20x24
Notes: The Empire State is a moderately priced version of the well-made and well-finished Ideal.  The illustrated camera above is 8x10, set up for stereo. Variation 2 has more decorative but less robust swing hardware than this variation and a lever to make the bed rigid instead of a thumbscrew.  While the lever is faster to set up, it often is the site of bed damage, whereas the thumbscrew-type base is rarely damaged.  Variation 3 is a precursor to the Improved Empire State.  The photographs above show an 8x10 size outfitted for stereo with bellows-type septum and Thornton-Picard roller-blind shutter.  Its corner reinforcements are after-market or repair-related.

References:
Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1893, p. 8-9
Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1894, p. 8-9
The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1894, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1893, p. 20
Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1895, p. 12-13
Catalogue "G" 1896 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), 1896, p. 21
Catalogue "G" 1896-1897 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), p. 18
Catalogue "G" 1897 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), 1897, p. 19-20

 

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