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  1. #1

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    Folding Rochester- seeking info

    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
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1220-front view.jpg  

  2. #2
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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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.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #3
    Photographica's Avatar
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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. #4

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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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails back.jpg   side.jpg   top view2.jpg  

  5. #5
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    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.
    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. #6
    luvcameras's Avatar
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    1893 Rochester Optical Premo A. Can send catalogue page if you wish

    Dan
    antiquecameras.net
    Antique and Classic Camera BLOG
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  7. #7
    luvcameras's Avatar
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    Catalogue page here

    http://books.google.com/books?id=gjY...3#PRA1-PA25,M2

    Current ebay values run $ 150-250. It is a beautiful example of the early folding plate cameras, but not rare by any means. Read an article I wrote on these cameras..... http://members.aol.com/dcolucci/vidi.htm

    Dan

    Dan
    Antique and Classic Camera BLOG
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  8. #8

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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 bdial; 01-16-2008 at 08:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    luvcameras's Avatar
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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
    Antique and Classic Camera BLOG
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  10. #10
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    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
    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

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