Dating my Kodak 2D 8x10

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JBrunner, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, I'm not talking about an alternative lifestyle.

    I'm curious if there is a way to date the manufacture of my 2D from the serial number or otherwise. I've searched the internut to no avail, learning only that they were made from 1929 to around 1950.
     
  2. uraniumnitrate

    uraniumnitrate Member

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  3. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Yes I'm another 2D owner who'd like to know how old his camera is – sheer morbid curiosity! Mine has a serial number inthe 200s so I would presume a fairly early one, but not knowing the total production of these cameras, I can't be sure. Did Kodak Use a seperate numbering system for the various different formats?

    I can't find any answers online.
     
  4. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    You might try the George Eastman House instead of Kodak. GEH has a very good collection of cameras and knowledgable staff.
     
  5. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    The Kodak patent museum was donated to the GEH some years ago. I believe Todd Gustafsson there is the technology curator, he will be able to help if anyone can.
     
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Here's an interesting place to look. It has an illustrated article on the 2d (the "d", it states, stands for 'dark finish'), but, alas no specifics on how to date a particular camera. Still...it's a really nice site.

    http://www.fiberq.com/cam/index.htm
     
  7. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    Since the Kodak 2D was manufactured by the Folmer & Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak until 1926 when that division was spun off as the Folmer Graphic Corp and then, after the 1945 reorganization, by Graflex Inc, I believe the 2-D's serial number is a Graflex s/n. Certainly it works for the two I have. The older, marked as built by Folmer Graflex for EKC, is s/n 333745, the newer of the two is s/n 407056 with a built by Graflex Inc. for EKC. According to a list I have, 333745 would have been built by Folmer Graphic between 1941 and 1945; 407056 between 1946 - 1948.
    The list of serial numbers I have is a xerox of page 14 from something by Richard Fowler but I don't remember what. The s/n are grouped in 2 to 5 year blocks from the start of production in 1887 until the end in 1973.
    Over on the Graflex.org site they have a Q&A board where people help each other date their Graflex's. Someone with the screen name "Gandolf" apparently has the actual s/n list on a far more accurate basis than the gross one I have but he has not posted any responses for many months. Apparently blocks of numbers were assigned for the production of a given production run for a specific product.
    bart
     
  8. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Mine has a plate stating that it was manufactured by Eastman Kodak, and as I stated earlier, it has a serial number in the 200s. I thought the design originated with Century?
     
  9. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    Well, the builders plate stating Eastman View Camera 2-D manf. for Eastman Kodak Co. by Folmer Graphic Corp, Rochester NY etc. should be on the front of the front standard, facing out, below the lens board.
    There are 2 and 3 digit numbers stamped on the front of the extension rail on on the extension rail that enabled matching the loose parts to the camera or getting matching replacements, for example the newer one of mine is stamped 185 in several places.
    The six digit serial number is stamped on the left side of the rear standard, facing up, as you face the ground glass. It is hard to see because the rear of the camera/ bellows frame is directly above it .
    bart
     
  10. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Not kidding it's hard to see! Still I found it – 144860 – but the plate on the front definitely says "made by Eastman Kodak Co, Rochester NY". Thanks for the help.


    Richard
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Mine says made "by" and not made "for" also on the front plate below the lens board.

    Dave
     
  12. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    According to the list I have, 144860 would have been built in 1924-1925 and indeed then it was built by Eastman Kodak - by the Folmer & Schwing Dept of EK.
    I expect that after 1906, when EK bought Folmer & Schwing and moved it from NYC to Rochester, Eastman's surviving large format manufacturing was consolidated in the F&S Department. With that capability there, after 1926 with the forced spin off of the F&S Dept into Folmer Graflex Corp, EK subcontracted with FG for their large format needs.
    In addition to the cameras note that other large format items like 8x10 film holders are stamped made by Fomer Graflex for Eastman Kodak.

    bart
     
  13. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    HI Bart

    Many thanks for that – just the info I wanted.

    Your theory about the hiving off of F&S seems eminently plausible, and would explain the change in the makers' plate. So we can assume any 2D with a plate stating "made by EK" would be pre-1926.

    Richard
     
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  15. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    Richard-
    I'd go by the serial number. The court ordered spin off occured in mid 1926. According to the list I have, serial numbers below 150,000 are F&S Division EK; those above are Folmer Graflex Corp.

    Bart
     
  16. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Incidental beneficiary!

    I have 135865 with 22 stamped in various locations. I have a second body, but during the repaint process (why on earth white paint?), they obscured the serial#. 135xxx says "by EK", the other says "for EK by FG". Thanks for the info
     
  17. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    Humm, that's interesting. According to the list I have the 135000 series would fall between 1923-1924 but those 5000 numbers aren't specifically accounted for.
    When I finish the time machine I'll go back and find out for you.
    bart
     
  18. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Got room for a passenger? Simpler times have their appeal.
     
  19. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'm reviving this three year old thread instead of starting a new one on the same subject...


    I've liberated a very well used 8x10 Kodak 2-D from long neglect. The little identifying plate on the front reads.....

    Kodak View Camera
    No. 2-D
    Manufactured in USA for
    Eastman Kodak Co.
    by
    GRAFLEX INC.
    Rochester 8, New York USA​

    the serial number is: 452499

    I'm guessing that this dates it to sometime between 1946 and 1955 but would like to pin it down a little bit...can anybody narrow down the date of manufacture?
     
  20. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    From my copy of the Graflex list:

    4474xx – pacemaker speed – 1947
    452903 – 4x5 pacemaker -- 1947
    453426 – 4x5 pacemaker speed – 1947
     
  21. mark

    mark Member

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    8x10 2d is a different beast than the pacemakers.
     
  22. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Yes, but this 2D was built by Graflex so will follow their serial numbering. A guess would be that there was a small block of numbers somewhere in that gap that was assigned for 2Ds.

    Dan
     
  23. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Wow! Thanks for that link jovo. I've got the 11x14 camera and hadn't been able to find any info on it- and had given up trying.
     
  24. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    My old 2D was my first 8x10, bought back in '78, I think. Its serial number is 160268, and its nameplate inducates it was "made by Folmer Graflex for Eastman Kodak". Does anyone have an indication of the date?

    BTW, I have several other 8x10's, but the 2D was my first, and is still my favorite for working around the house.
     
  25. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Here's what I have:

    154561 – RB Series B – 1926
    157258 – 5x7 2D --
    160990 – 3x4 RB Auto – 1928
    161429 – Series D -- 1927
    162053 – Series B – 1928
     
  26. msage

    msage Member

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    I have a Century Studio that was painted white also. I was told that as these old cameras were retired, they sometimes became "props" for that period of "high key" portraits in the 1980's. Hence they were painted white.
    Michael