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  1. #1
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Seebold Invisible Camera Corp

    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?
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  2. #2

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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.
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  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It says:

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

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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.



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

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Magazine, 15 Aug 1927

    Burglar Kodak

    "You can't win!" say police placards to crooks. Fresh reason for the statement was announced by John E. Seebold of Rochester, N. Y. Aided by General Electric Co. experts, Mr. Seebold had perfected a detective camera for installation in rooms likely to attract burglars. As soon as the burglar (or any moving person or object) passes between a light sensitive fixture at one end of the room and a light at the other, the camera quietly takes any number of photographs (up to 160) of all that is occurring in front of it. Even tampering with the light by which the camera "sees" to record intrusion, puts it into action.
    The very first security camera?
    Last edited by bjorke; 04-15-2007 at 10:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    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?
    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. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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 David A. Goldfarb; 04-17-2007 at 09:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  9. #9
    reellis67's Avatar
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    The rear rail and the stabilizers seem to be rare as hens teeth - you did good!

    - Randy

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Shinnya made his own stabilizers for his Korona 7x17, and they seem to work perfectly well.
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