Seneca Camera Manufacturing Co., Rochester, NY

Date Introduced: – ; Years Manufactured: c. 1901-1905
Construction: front and back focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of the base rails); double swing; reversing by removable back;
Materials:  mahogany body, cherry base, red leather bellows
Sizes Offered: 5×7; 6.5×8.5 (photos above); 8×10, 11×14 (1905)
Notes: The differences between the Seneca and the Improved Seneca are: 1) the standards of the Seneca ride on gears and two slots cut in the rail while the Improved standards ride on gears and the top and bottom of one thick slot, 2) the Seneca back tilt gear is at the extreme right side while the Improved tilt gear is recessed 1/2#,  3) the Improved top rear standard clips also act as reinforcement  for the corners, 4) the Improved has easy pull level for back reversal, 5) the Improved has bellows retainer patented Nov. 2, 1905, 6) the Improved has a butterfly-shaped thumbscrew for the front bed attachment rather than a knurled knob.
The photographed camera has a Seneca View label, yet differs from the engraving in the positioning of the front standard rise slot, the presence or absence of reinforcing-type clips for the back, and in the lensboard retaining hardware.

Seneca Camera Manufacturing Co. Catalog, 1903
Seneca Cameras, 1905, Fort Dearborn Watch & Clock Co. (Chicago, IL), p. 5
Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1905

Elwood Caldwell

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