Posted 2 years ago
I thought to post another ebonized pre-1900 wooden camera. It’s a refreshing change from the normally yet nicely polished mahogany or cherry interiors with red bellows. In contrast, this ebonized camera has bright nickel plated hardware with a red leather bellows that gives it a distinctive look.
This Marlborough camera was made by E. & H.T. Anthony about 1898. Aside from what I consider it being a handsome device, it is historically important as the first self-casing camera (able to fold into its own protective case) with a back that can be turned to make portrait or landscape images as shown in the second image. Although it makes the camera large, the advantage is that the entire apparatus didn’t have to be flipped on its side.
Then again, this 5" x 7" format camera is extremely large for what it is and measures 10-1/2" high x 10" wide x 9" deep. An 8" x 10" version (also offered) must have needed a pack mule! Competitors recognized the merits of a reversing back and quickly embraced the concept and improved upon the design. The 5” x 7” version showed here sold for $60 in 1898 which is about $1,630 in 2012 currency – a very expensive camera for the time.