New Model Camera, Variation 1, Beveled Bed 4×5

Date Introduced: 1884 ; Years Manufactured: c. 1885-1891
Construction: back focus via push-pull0/1 swing; no lensboard or three-piece lensboard; reversing using a second tripod mount (now missing); ground glass frame hinges down
Materials: mahogany or cherry body; cherry bed; red leatherette bellows; nickeled hardware; varnish finish
Sizes Offered: 3.25×4.25, 4×5, 4.25×6.5, 5×7, 5×8, 6.5×8.5, 8×10
Notes: Rochester Optical Catalog of Photographic Apparatus, June 1990, states that the New Model has been on the market for six years.  New Models of this era were built differently depending on size.  As catalog entries state: all sizes above 4×5 have folding bed for compactness.  The 4×5 (top engraving and photos above), then,  had a non-folding base, which has been filled in with solid wood, while the remaining sizes have the usual folding bases, but apparently still filled in with wood.  A camera at the George Eastman House has some additional variations (  Another 4×5 camera of this general design is known to exist, and the inside cover of its case is stamped Manufactured by Campbell & Co., Zanesville, O.  The outside cover of the case is again stamped Rochester Optical Co.  It is probable that this Campbell camera was purchase of or ordered from ROC, and Campbell & Co. merely sold it.  The one design feature that all of these early New Models possess is the beveled edge of the base.  Note the difference in the ground glass hinges on the above two cameras.  The 4×5 hinge is separate from the wooden pegs that engage the plateholder when inserted, while the 5×8 has the more usual hinge that integrates the pegs into the hinges.
Illustrated Catalog of Photographic Apparatus, C.H. Codman & Co. (Boston, MA) catalog, June, 1886, p. 7 (the engraving above)
Queen & Co. Photographic Material, 
James W. Queen & Co. Catalogue P., 19th edition, 1886, p. 49
Queen & Co. Photographic Material, James W. Queen & Co. Catalogue O.&P., 22nd edition, 1891, p. 37

Elwood Caldwell

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