Help a kind lady find out the story behind her big camera
There's this kind lady in my town named Phyllis. She used to run a photography business before she retired and still has a lot of gear. She has given me a bunch of it because she wants to see it used instead of just collecting dust.
Phyllis has a giant camera in her basement that she's trying to find out the truth about. It's a big studio 8x10 with a 5x7 reducing back and giant geared wheels for the movements. This camera dates back to long before the time Phyllis owned the photography business, so it's seen a lot of history.
Here are all the markings on the lens, with what I think I know about it in italics.
Betax No. 5 (The shutter)
U.S. 12# No. 234541 (The serial number)
Wollensak ELOstigmat (Name of company that made it and the model, which I'm guessing was Velostigmat with the V rubbed off)
Series II (the generation of the lens)
F.4.5 (We all know what this one is)
The lens is mounted on a wooden lensboard and is at the very least a Copal 3 hole, if not bigger. The leaf shutter is jammed, and there is a second shutter mounted to the back with an air hose attached to it (Packard shutter? There i a module on the front of the lensboard that says Packard Shutter, but its electrical contacts aren't connected to anything).
There is also an interesting plate on the front of the integrated cart that supports the camera. It says:
Eastman Kodak Co.
Century Camera Co.
Century No. 7
On the back is a plate with some patent dates. One is 1902.
I've been doing some googling and such and finding bits and pieces here and there, but I would deeply appreciate any knowledge the forum members could share with me about this beast. It would mean a lot to Phyllis, and also I might be giving away some of her gear on this forum in the future. She just wants to see it put to use and enjoyed.