No real question here, just a happy camper story.
I have written more than once about my friend Dick Welch and his vast horde of photo "stuff." Last night I was helping him get ready for the PHSNE show and sale today and he suggested that I look around for things to bring to the show. I did and it was a gas. Highlighted, I thought, by a set of Graphlex reflex cameras in various sizes tucked up on shelves hidden behind boxes. We brought a 5x7 in great shape to the show and it got a lot of interest. Bought before the show even opened. As we were beginning to pack his car he thought out loud, " Gee, I wonder what's in this box. I can't remember." We opened the leather covered wooden case and found an 8x10 Universal field camera by the Rochester Optical Company in very nice condition. It has four double plate holders, 8 film sheaths, numerous wooden inserts to allow for the use of smaller format plates and a set of tripod legs, folded up in the case. The tripod has a 1903 patent on it. If this is part of the original set, it would make this camera date to the last year of this model's manufacture and the year that Eastman bought the company. I had to buy it.
Unfortunately, there was no lens board or lens. The board isn't a problem, I can make some. The lenses I have that cover 8x10, however, are all old brassies. Time to haul out the packard shutter (or the hat, or the patented Galli dark-slide special) and get to work, I guess.
My first purchased 8x10 - borrowed ones don't count. Zippidy damn doo da!