Good morning, all;
I encountered the question of the age of my own Speed Graphic soon after it arrived and I saw the serial number
stamped in the metal on the inside of the top. It turns out that it is really not possible to come up with a
specific date of production for an individual Speed Graphic or Crown Graphic or Pacemaker. Spending some time
in communication with Fred Lustig in Reno, Nevada, has shown the limits of just how close we can come.
There are two ways of learning probably at least the year that your Graphic was made. The records that still
exist from the Folmer-Graflex Corporation from that time period only show the date when a specific range of
camera serial numbers was "authorized" or "approved" for production. The actual production date should be after
that date, and probably before the date of the "approval" of the next range of serial numbers "authorized."
Parts and materiel during World War II and in the period immediately following WW-2 were always in short supply,
and they could not just let the workers loose making cameras. They had to make only the quantity they had parts
for completing the assemblies. Yes, "rationing" affected the photographic industry also, unless you were thought
to be "essential to the war effort."
I did have a source with a listing of models and serial numbers and the approximate range for corresponding dates,
but I cannot find it right now. I will keep looking.
For the cameras made in the time from 1960 up to 1973 when the Singer Corporation took over (Yes, the sewing
machine guys. They were into all kinds of things, including making a very nice TTL IC chip based controller for
running traffic signals.), there was a date-of-production code ink stamped inside the camera. The URL address
for that is shown below.
There is also a code found in the lens serial number for a Kodak lens that was originally fitted to the Graphic
that will show at least the year that the Kodak lens was made, and, if the lens is still on the camera, it
should be fairly close to the time of the final assembly of your Graphic. For a long time, they were both made
in Rochester, New York, so the transportation time to get from the EKCo plant to the site of the
Folmer-Graflex Corporation facility should have been no more than a couple of hours of driving even in traffic.
For information on the Eastman-Kodak Company Two-Letter Lens Date Code, we can go to the Graflex.org web site at:
and you can look in the section with the URL entitled:
The Graflex.Org web site has an abundance of information about the Graflex cameras.
Latte Land, Washington
When was my Graphic made? Before I was born.
is this the list you were talking about?
apparently someone decided they wanted to keep it all to their self so now the only way you can see it is find somewhere that it is archived. I printed it for future reference
Thank you, Brian;
Yes, sir, that is the list. Now I also have a printed copy here for my own reference. I wonder about permission to post a copy of it where others can find it conveniently also.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
Glad to help. I was wondering about posting the list here too but, I didn't want to cause any trouble for APUG