Folding Rochester- seeking info

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by bdial, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A friend who is not a photographer just handed me a 19th century Rochester OPtical Co folding plate camera. It looks to be a 4x5, and is a Self-Casing folder, from what I've gathered from Google hits.
    The shutter functions, there is no focal length marked on the lens, apertures are marked from 8 to 64. The lens has some haze, and some separation, I'm not sure about fungus.

    I'm curious if anyone in APUG is familiar with these and could perhaps help me determine it's value, or recommend dealers or collectors I should contact.
    Thanks
    Barry
     

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  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    MOre specific info is necessary to try to estimate a price. Is it truly a plate camera, or will it take standard film holders? Pics of theback open and closed would help. The lens is "apparently" marked in U.S (not United States) stops, but this is nit a certainty without seeing it. Ball park guess would only be a wild one at this point. It is a little rare in this condition, but not extremely wo.
     
  3. Photographica

    Photographica Member

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    I'll go out on a limb and say that it looks like a Poco. The Poco was originally the design of the Rochester Camera Manufacturing Co. not "Optical." Around the turn of the century (1900), Optical and Camera merged with each other and several companies to form Rochester Optical and Camera Company. Around 1903, Eastman bought the merged company and changed the name to Rochester Optical Company. In 1907 Eastman added "Division of Eastman Kodak" to the name. The Poco camera line survived these changes. I think your camera is from the 1903 to 1907 time during the second Rochester Optical Company era.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Thanks for the quick response.
    It does not take standard holders, and has no holders with it.
    The inside GG opening measures 6 11/16 in x 4 3/4.
    The line across the GG in the photos is a cobweb, the GG is intact.
    The number embossed on the back is 18682.
    The bellows looks to be in good shape overall. It has some separation of the inside lining at the bottom. It's still supple however. The exterior leather is pretty well shot though.
     

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  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Barry,

    I have a close cousin of this camera. It would have come with film holders that stored inside the case - between the GG and the viewing window in the back. Mine has the holders but is in much worse condition than yours. Dick Welch collects this type of camera and can give you more info. I'll PM his number to you.

    Here is a great history of the Rochester camera companies. As you can see, the naming of that particular company gives clues as to the manufacture date. I have to say that I'm not sure it's worth all that much, but Dick will set you straight.
     
  6. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    1893 Rochester Optical Premo A. Can send catalogue page if you wish

    Dan
    antiquecameras.net
     
  7. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Dan,
    Thank you, this is very helpful.
    The catalog page makes me more curioius on the sizing, given the GG size (6 11/16 x 4 3/4), this camera is a 5x7 model? A 4x5 holder definently does not fit, I don't think I have any 5x7 holders to try out.

    The link for your article doesn't work BTW.

    Thanks,
    Barry
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
  9. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    yes, its a 5x7 model. GG sizes are not always exactly stated size....same way as lumber today...a 2 inch wide board is only 1.75ish in reality.


    link works for me :>

    Dan
     
  10. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I'll bring one "of an appropriate age" to the auction, if you'd like me to, Barry.

    The link works for me as well
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Hmmm, that means I have to go to the auction.:wink:
    That would be great, see you there, I'll bring extra money.

    Dan, I'd hate to blame it on Safari, one of your links in another thread works ok for me, but this one doesn't. I'll try from a pc.

    Thanks Dan, Whitey.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
  12. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Please do let me know about the link and Safari..... I use Mozilla myself.....

    Best
    Dan