Rochester Optical Co.

Empire State Camera, Variation 3

Below, Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Co. Catalog, 1903, p. 27 (note the little thumbscrew on the side of the front standard for rise adjustment, the minor variation noted below)

Below, Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Co. Catalog, 1905, p. 37 (note that rise adjustment has moved to behind the front standard, the minor variation to that above)


5 x 7
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Date Introduced: ~1902 ; Years Manufactured: c. 1902-1913; 1915 - c.1926
Construction: front and rear focus via two gear tracks on top of base rails; double swing from a center pivot; rising front via thumbscrews on the right side of the front standard; reversing by removable back; base rigidity via a thumbscrew and two rods; spring back
Materials: mahogany body; cherry base; black fabric bellows; brass hardware
Sizes Offered: 5x7 (illustrated above), 6x8, 8x10, 11x14, 14x17
Notes: This camera is identical in every aspect to the Empire State, Improved, except for one item: the label reads simply EMPIRE STATE.  Minor Variation: between 1903 and 1905 (see engravings above) the method of rising front changed from an internal screw mechanism to a behind the front standard mechanism.  The camera was offered in Premo Camera catalogs as below through 1913.  The 1914 Premo Cameras catalog introduced the Eastman View No. 1 as the replacement and improvement to the Empire State.  No Empire State of any kind was offered in the 1914 Premo Cameras catalog.  The extinction was short lived.  The 1915 Premo Cameras stated: "For those who want larger size view cameras [the Eastman Views No. 1 and 2 only being offered up through 8x10], we will furnish the regular Empire State model in the 11x14 size...".  Presumably, this 11x14 only Empire State looked like the above with crooked rear standard tilt hardware, rather than the later Eastman View 11x14, which has straight, Century Camera Co.-like rear standard tilt hardware.  By 1927, the Empire State 11x14 only was no longer offered and the said Eastman View 11x14 only was.

References:
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Co. succeeded by Rochester Optical & Camera Co. (Rochester, NY), 1902, p. 42
Premo Cameras,
Rochester Optical Co. succeeded by Rochester Optical & Camera Co. (Rochester, NY), 1903, p. 27
Premo Cameras
, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1905, p. 37
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1904, p. 33
Photographic Materials and Supplies, The Gloeckner & Newby Co. (New York, NY), c.1907, p. 10
Complete Catalog of Cameras, Apparatus & Accessories for the Amateur Photographer, Catalog A, Sweet, Wallach & Co. (Chicago, IL), c.1908, p. 42
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY) 1908, p. 36
Photographic Cameras, Supplies and Lenses, Williams, Brown & Earle, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA), c. 1908, p. 31
Catalogue of Professional Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, N.Y.), 1909, p.29
Lloyd's Photographic Supplies, Andrew J. Lloyd Co. (Boston, MA), c. 1909, p. 28 (no engraving, but sizes listed)
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1909, p. 29
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1910, p. 29
Photographic Apparatus and Supplies Catalog No. 35, Sweet, Wallach & Co. (Chicago, IL), c. 1910, p. 55
Rochester Photo Supply Co. Catalog, (Rochester, NY), c. 1910, pp. 9-10 (special offer on Century View No. 1 and Empire State Cameras, as if a close-out)
Catalogue No. 33 Photographic Goods,
Von Lengerke & Antoine (Chicago, IL), c. 1910, p. 8
Illustrated Catalogue
, The Gloeckner & Newby Co. (New York, NY), c. 1910, p. 14

Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1911, p. 30
Photographic Digest Vol. 1 No. 3, March 1911, p. 17 (as the Northwestern View Outfit No. 2)
Catalogue of Eastman Professional Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), c. 1911, p.43
Illustrated Catalogue, The Gloeckner & Newby Co. (New York, NY), c.1912, p. 14
Premo Cameras
, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1912, p. 31
Illustrated Catalogue, The Gloeckner & Newby Co. (New York, NY), c. 1912, p. 14
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1913, p. 31
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1915, p. 31 (11x14 only)
Number 30 Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Outfits, Lenses and Supplies, Robey-French Co. (Boston, MA), c. 1915, p. 49 (11x14 only)
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Outfits and Supplies No. 38, Sweet, Wallach & Co. (Chicago, IL), c.1915, p.51
Eastman Professional Photographic Apparatus and Materials 1917, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), p. 39 (11x14 only)
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Division, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1917, p. 29 (11x14 only)
Premo Cameras, Rochester Optical Department, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1918, p. 27 (11x14 only)
Eastman Professional Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1923, p. 29 (11x14 only)
Eastman Professional Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY), 1925, p. 26 (11x14 only)
Catalogue No. 27 of Cameras, Kodaks, Lenses and Photographic Accessories 1925-1926, Central Camera Co. (Chicago, IL), 1925, p. 58 (11x14 only)
Catalogue No. 31 of Cameras, Kodaks, Lenses and Photographic Accessories 1926-1927, Central Camera Co. (Chicago, IL), 1926, p. 68 (11x14 only)

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