Seebold Invisible Camera Corp

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by David A. Goldfarb, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The "Seebold Invisible Camera Corp." was the successor to Grundlach in 1928, founded by John Seebold and Walter Ashby, and the manufacturer of my new-to-me Korona 7x17" camera. I've found a few references to the history of the company, all acknowledging the oddness of the name, but does anyone have any idea why they meant by "Invisible Camera Corp." I'd hardly think of using a 7x17" camera if I wanted to be "invisible." Or was it the corporation that wanted to be invisible?
     
  2. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    What nameplate does your camera have? I've got a couple of Koronas and the 7X17 has a Gundlach-Manhatten nameplate while the 8X10, which appears to be a newer model, just says Korona (it's leather handle does say Gundlach). I haven't yet seen any cameras with a Seebold nameplate.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It says:

    Korona Panoramic View
    Seebold Invisible Camera Corp.
    Rochester, N.Y.
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    My 4x5 says simply 'Korona' on the name plate, but my 8x10 is as Dougs' 7x17 with the 'Korona' name plate and 'Gundlach' on the leather. I've seen a few of these, but never one that said Seebold anywhere on it.

    However, check out this history - it seems to have some insight. Apparently, the name 'invisible' was some form of foreshadowing for shortly after that point they went under...

    http://www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/Rochester.html

    - Randy
     
  5. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Yesterday I got to hold an Ermanox -- heavy little sucker, but I could imagine that as being perceived as 'invisible' in the 1920's which is the same time period as Seebold. I'm sure it fired-up a lot of people's imaginations about the possibilities of surreptitious shooting.

    [​IMG]

    The 7x17 was not be the only camera that Seebold made (or intended to make), as this old TIME story explains:

    The very first security camera?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2007
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmmm...security camera--that sounds like the thing.

    I've seen an Ermanox in the case at Olden Cameras. They are quite small.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Great name for a big camera.

    I have owned two 7X17 cameras with the name Korona, and Seebold Invisible Camera Corp. One was in mint condition, perhaps had never been used. When I opened it for the first time the bellows cracked everywhere.

    So far as I recall I have not seen the name Seebold Invisible Camera Corp on any camera other than the Korona 7X17.


    Did you get the rear track with the camera?

    Sandy
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It sounds like mine is in similar condition to yours. It came in very nice general shape with three original holders, the rear track, the two stabilizers, a lensboard with an Ilex 5 flange (which works for the two main lenses I'm using with the camera), the original case, about 40 sheets of FP4+ and three processing trays, and the bellows cracked everywhere inside and beginning to come unglued outside. The previous owner said he had bought it from a Chicago studio, where it had stayed indoors most of the time.

    I bought it knowing I would likely have to replace the bellows, but its just holding together well enough that I thought I might try and patch it with the B&S kit, so I've been going through it, regluing all the folds and patching where regluing isn't enough, little by little. I do about 15-20 minutes in the morning and the evening, and it's slowly coming together. From the outside it looks pretty good, and I've got no leaks at this point, so from here on in, it's just a matter of finishing up the regluing and putting an extra coat or two of the patching compound so that it doesn't come apart in the field.

    I also had Barry Young make me a second tripod socket which I'll use with an RRS B35 QR plate, so I can do verticals without the camera twisting on the tripod head.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2007
  9. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    The rear rail and the stabilizers seem to be rare as hens teeth - you did good!

    - Randy
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Shinnya made his own stabilizers for his Korona 7x17, and they seem to work perfectly well.
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've been working on a set for my 8x10, and the concept is fairly straight forward, but getting an original set is quite the nice find. I *think* that you can get the geared tracks for to make a replacement rear rail from Microtools, but I've not measured the teeth myself so they may not have the same measurements as the originals. The woodwork is a snap, but I've always had a special place for original parts...

    - R
     
  12. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    I have an 8x20 Korona that is labeled:
    Korona Panoramic View
    Gundlach-Manhattan Optical Co.
    Rochester, N. Y.

    There is more info here:

    http://www.fiberq.com/cam/gund.htm
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    With the rear track and stablizers you have a great 7X17 camera.

    It really is worth a new bellows. If you don't want to go that far, I would suggest taping the corners with 3" wide book binders tape (see Gaylords). Just extent the bellow all the way out and lay the tape flat on the four corners, then carefully fold. This will give you almost a new bellows since virtually all of the pinholes are on the corners.

    Sandy King
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually on mine the corners were good, unlike what one would normally expect. The leaks were mainly from just the delamination of the wooden stays that form the folds from the outer covering, and then the large center strips on the outer covering were coming apart from the strips running along the corners, and the fabric inside was cracking at all the folds.

    Eventually, I'll probably just get a new bellows, like I did for my 11x14", but the patching is going well enough that I'll finish it and see how long it lasts.
     
  15. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

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    David-

    I own a Hyperion soft focus lens made by the Seebold Invisible Camera Company. Of course they HAD been made by Gundlach so this all fits together. Thanks for the research.

    Russ
     
  16. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Just guessing but Kodak introduced 16mm in 1923, so it might have been that they adapted the gauge to surveillance use, as you suggest later in the thread.

    I have also owned several 35m remote triggered surveillance cameras, but don't remember the manufacturer; they had a motion picture-style pull down claw and provision for a 50 foot load BUT pulled a 8 perf horizontal image rather than the standard 4 perf high motion picture frame....

    Yes, I wanted to make my own Vistavision camera, but like most overly ambitions projects...
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  18. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Wow, that's a beaut'! Very nice find indeed.

    - R
     
  19. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Definitely a nice looking 7X17 Korona. And that camera is still a real user.

    The case configuration appears to be something that a lot of Koronas, both 7X17 and 12X20, had. I have one of those cases that originally came with a 12X20 Korona, same configuration, i.e. space for the camera and three of four film holders. I sold the Korona and now just use it to carry extra holders.

    Sandy King