American Optical Company

American Optical Co., New York, NY (1858- )
American Optical Co., New Haven, CT
American Optical Div. Scovill Mfg. Co. (1867-1871)
American Optical Co., Scovill Mfg. Co., props. (1871-1889)
American Optical Co., Scovill & Adams Co., props. (1889-1902)

From the time that American Optical was bought by Scovill Mfg. Co., the two companies often produced series of cameras almost identical in construction, except that the American Optical cameras had better woods and higher grade of finish – i.e. the Scovill was the cheaper version of the American Optical.
Many of the ads for the earlier cameras use the same engraving to illustrate more than one model. For example, catalog 1 will advertise model 1 and model 2 cameras using an engraving to illustrate model 1. Another catalog will advertise model 2 only, using the previous model 1 engraving.

The American Optical Co. still exists as a manufacturer of optical microscopes.

Elwood Caldwell

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