Rochester Optical Co.

New Model Improved Variation 2
(Thick Frame)

Rochester Optical Catalog, 1895, p. 15
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4 x 5
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4 x 5
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Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c.1890-c.1899
Construction: back focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single or double swing; three-piece lens board; non-reversing
Materials: Honduras mahogany body; cherry bed; black fabric bellows; brass or nickeled brass hardware varnish finish
Sizes Offered: 3x4; 4x5; 4x6; 5x7; 5x8; 6-8; 8x10
Notes:

New Model Improved vs. New Model:
     The New Model Improved is a New Model, but with rack and pinion focusing rather than push-pull.  The two models were produced simultaneously over a long period of time, and each had a number of variations, not all of which are illustrated in catalogs.

     There are at least three variations known of the New Model Improved:

New Model Improved Variation 1:
     Variation 1 has a very thin wood frame around its ground glass.  Therefore, for any given plate size, Variation 1 is a smaller camera than either the Variation 1.5 or Variation 2. 

New Model Improved Variation 1.5:
     Variation 1.5
has the thicker frame around its ground glass.  It has the cam-type releases for the ground glass frame, seen in other models, most commonly The Ideal, e.g. The Ideal Variation 1.

New Model Improved Variation 2:
     Variation 2
continues the thicker frame around the ground glass, but goes back to the simple center clip for the ground glass frame.  The cams were would seem to have been more expensive to make than could be continued for this very low cost camera.

References:
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), June 1890, p. 9
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus,
Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1891, p. 9
Photographic Material, Catalogue O & P, James W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1891, p. 37 (as Improved Model Camera)
1893 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1893, p. 12
1894 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1894, p. 12
1895 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1895, p. 15
1896 Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1896, p. 15
Catalogue "G" 1896 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), 1896, p. 23
Catalogue "G" 1896-1897 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), p. 20
Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), May 1897, p. 15

Catalogue "G" 1897 Photographic Apparatus and Materials, Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago, IL), 1897, p. 22-23
Dept. 5: Photographic Lenses, Supplies, etc. 2nd ed.; Andrew J. Lloyd & Co. (Boston, MA), 1897, p. 46
Photographic Apparatus,
Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), distributed by Horgan, Robey & Co. (Boston, MA), 1898, p. 13
Photographic Apparatus, Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), 1899, p. 15
Illustrated Catalogue No. 18, L.M. Prince & Bros. (Cincinnati, OH), c. 1899, p. 36
 

Comparison of New Model Improve Variation 1 (left) to Variation 2 (right), enlargement normalized so their ground glass is the same size
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5 x 8 early version with dark wood, nickel-plated hardware and metal label
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5 x 8 (later?) version with lighter-colored wood than above, brass hardware and celluloid label
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View at the hinges of the base, showing the focus gears, a stamp reading "Made by Rochester Optical Co.", and the lever that holds the bed rigid

The label on the front standard

The stamp on the top of the wooden case


 



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