This may be silly, but I am very curious about history and came across this illustration of an old view camera. I was wondering If the eye attachment, darkcloth was a used item in this era or is this just an illustration. I have found nothing about it, and was very interested. I also think this idea is amusing...
It's called a viewing hood and they are quite real, whether that particular illustration represents a real product or just the general idea. Here's a couple slightly different examples: http://www.graflex.org/articles/view-hood/ and http://www.graflex.org/articles/series-d/.
I have similar on 5 LF SLRs, many took an optional binocular magnifier. This one's just one of many types of viewing aid. The ground glass screens on pre-WWII cameras weere not that bright and anything that helped was useful.
Hey, thanks for the reply. I had just never seen this particular kind and was intrigued.
Seems like a pretty wicked and useful hood!
I don't know about that one. I can guess why it didn't catch on, turn your head too quick and pull your camera over.