American Camera Mfg. Co. Rochester Optical & Camera Co., made for American Camera Mfg. Co.

Date Introduced: – ; Years Manufactured: c. 1904
Construction: front and rear focus via rack and pinion (two gear tracks on top of base rails); single swing; three-piece lensboard; reversing by removable back
Materials: mahogany body; cherry bed; black fabric bellows; brass hardware;
Sizes Offered: 5×7; 6.5-8.5; 8×10; 11×14; 14×17
Notes: Appears to be the very similar to Rochester View, Variation 3, in that it has the short extension in the rear, but differs by bearing the rather practical corner reinforcements of the Empire States of the era, e.g., Empire State, Variation 3.  If it had full-size front and rear extensions, it would be identical to the Empire State, Variation 3, but it does not – the rear is so short as to be almost “what were they thinking” length.  The label above reads “Poco View Made for American Camera Mfg. Co.”   Note that the label specifically states that the camera was made for the American Camera Mfg. Co.,  rather than  made by the firm, oddly stated, as if it was manufactured by a different company and the American Camera Mfg. Co. merely sold it.  The Poco name was first used by the Rochester Camera Mfg. Co. and then by their successor Rochester Optical & Camera Co., but in the Poco Cameras catalog of 1902 (Rochester Optical & Camera Co.) and the Poco Cameras catalog of 1903 (Rochester Camera & Supply Co. succeeded by the Rochester Optical Co.), this very model is referred to as the Rochester View, despite the fact that the remainder of the catalogs are filled with one Poco named camera after another.  Only in the 1904 catalog of the American Camera Mfg. Co. (already owned by EKC by this time) is the model named as the Poco View Camera.  Are you confused yet?  Below is an identical camera, but in 5×7 format, except that the rise for the front is now behind the standard instead of inside, apparently done at the last minute, since the hole for the thumbscrew was already drilled, and has had to have been covered with a plain brass plate.
Poco and Buckeye Cameras 1904, American Camera Mfg. Co. (Rochester, NY), unknown page no.

Elwood Caldwell

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