American Optical Co., Scovill Mfg. Co., props.

Leader View Camera

 

Buchanan's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Supplies, W. P. Buchanan (Philadelphia, PA), 1893, p. 39

 

Date Introduced: - ; Years Manufactured: c. 1893
Construction: front focus only, rack and pinion focus, single swing, removable and reversible back
Materials: mahogany with French polish finish, nickel-plated hardware
Sizes Offered: 5x7; 5x8; 6x8, 8x10
Notes:

     The only catalog description of the Leader View Camera in 1893 is shown above, and, being in a catalog that has more than one manufacturer, it is not even certain that the description refers to the same Leader View Camera later mentioned in the Scovill & Adams Annuals, but probably.  Until seeing this description, I had thought that the Leader was identical with the model I had called American Optical Waterbury-Type Camera.

The Leader View Camera are advertised on the American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1896-1898 "Bargain Page", which states that they are "First quality American Optical's Cameras".  This "Bargain Page" seems to be the last reference for a number of models, which implies 1) that Scovill & Adams discontinued a number of models around 1896, and 2) that the "Bargain Page" was an outlet for the left-over stock of these discontinued models.

     The non-bargain price of the Leader in 1896 is stated to be $24 for either 5x7 or 6x8.  Compare this with the 1896 price of a Waterbury 5x8 ($16.50); the Elite View 6x8 ($22), the Leader ($24), the Compact View 6x8 ($25), the Centennial View 6x8 ($36); the Star View 6x8 ($36), the Flammang Revolving Back Camera 6x8 ($40), the Irving 6x8 ($40), and the Manifold Camera 6x8 ($45).  The Leader, therefore, may be assumed to be slightly more as complex and as finely finished as the Elite View, and slightly less complex and finely finished as the Compact View

     It must be a very rare or unmarked camera type.

References:
Buchanan's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Supplies, W. P. Buchanan (Philadelphia, PA), 1893, p. 39 (Internet Archive)
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1896, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1895, ads p. 42 ("Bargain Page")
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1897, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1896, ads p. 61 ("Bargain Page")
American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1898, The Scovill & Adams Co. (New York, NY), 1897, ads p. 115 ("Bargain Page")
 


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