Rochester Optical Co.
New Model Improved Variation 1.5
8 x 10
Celluloid Label - Front Panel: "New
Model Improved Manufactured by Rochester Optical Co., Rochester, NY"
Date Introduced: 1885 ; Years
Manufactured: c.1886 - c.1887
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;
bellows; brass or nickeled brass
hardware; varnish wood
Sizes Offered: 3¼x4¼; 4x5; 4¼x6½; 5x7; 5x8; 6½-8½;
New Model Improved vs.
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
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:
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
American Journal of Photography, March, 1885, p. 9
Catalog P, Photographic Material, J. W. Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, PA), 1886, p.
Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Apparatus,
Rochester Optical Co. (Rochester, NY), distributed by C.H. Codman (Boston, MA), 1886,
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