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Help in identifying camera in this cabinet card

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell and Photographs > Cabinet Card Photographs > Show & Tell.
Photographs714 of 29481969  My VW Camper  from Ca. to Flor. to NY, to Canada, Mich., Yellowstone, Idaho and home! With my 16 yr. old wife!  For awhilGyor, Hungary WWI memorial and dramatic villa by train station
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Posted 1 year ago

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scottvez
(682 items)

Any help on an ID of this camera and years of production would be greatly appreciated!

The camera is in an 1890s cabinet card image.

scott

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Comments

  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 1 year ago
    Well I'm just going to Like this till Rob shows up to tell us what it is! :-)
  2. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    This is an "Ideal" camera made by the Rochester Optical Company. This particular version (there were some design changes over the years) dates from about 1885 to 1891. My Rochester reference says it was made of Cuban mahogany. The camera appears to be 8x10 (difficult to assess), but if so it would have sold for $34 in 1886 (that's about $856 in 2012 currency) without a lens.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks much rob! Do you have one of these?

    The image shows a husband and wife team of photographers with their camera on a tripod. I'll post a full view once it arrives.

    Thanks again,

    scott
  4. walksoftly walksoftly, 1 year ago
    Well done Rob, now I can love it.
    Can't wait to see the pictures Scott!
  5. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    I had an Ideal years ago but sold it. Not a difficult camera to find and it appears for sale a couple times each year. It would be a nice camera to pair with the image!
  6. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks for the ID rob-- searches led me to this site (now in my favorites):

    http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/roc/ideal.htm

    scott
  7. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Update ... according to my 1888 reference, the model variation shown in the image was offered up to a whole-plate (6.5 x 8.5 inches) format. It's a subtle thing based on the rear standard hardware design. Let me know if you want me to scan and post the reference.
  8. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    It would be greatly appreciate rob.

    Thanks again for your time and efforts in educating me!

    Let me know if I can be of help with any antique image questions (I know them much better than the actual cameras).

    scott
  9. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Rob-- pls confirm that this is an "Ideal Variation 1".

    scott
  10. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    You must be looking at Larry Pierce's website ... 'Variation 1' is his designation to distinguish between design variations. I'll have a reference post done in just a bit and you'll see how the camera was offered.
  11. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks for looking david and gargoyle!

    scott
  12. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks for looking tony.

    scott
  13. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks again to rob for the camera ID: Ideal by Rochester Optical Co..

    Shown is the full cabinet card of "The Drakes" with their camera. Research has shown a "Mary Drake" of Aurora, Indiana listed as a photographer in the Aurora business directories of 1915 and 1916.

    I haven't found anything to suggest that MR Drake was also a photographer.

    An identified female photographer from the 19th century with her camera is a highly unusual occupational image.

    Reproduction of these images in any form is not authorized.

    scott
  14. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Scott ... this is a long reply that covers two topics: capabilities of the Ideal camera and women as professional photographers. I also attempt to add commentary on why occupational images of women photographers are somewhat rare.

    As far as the Ideal apparatus (mid 1880s to early 1890s), it is a fixed format field view and not designed as a multiplying or repeating camera that could shoot more than one image on a plate. However, photographers could shoot smaller images by making masks for insertion into plateholders. This would allow use of smaller plates (reduced weight when traveling and costs). Photographers would then mark the ground glass with a pencil as a composing aid. It is very common to find field view cameras with marked up ground glasses outlining a variety of formats. FWIW ... the camera is shown with a lens/shutter. This tells me that lens is most likely a rapid rectilinear design. In other words, it is an all purpose lens capable of portraits, landscapes, architecture, etc ... which might tell you something about Mary Drake's work.

    In regards to Mary Drake herself, at the time of the cab picture she might have been an amateur learning photography and taking pictures for pleasure. Although the Ideal camera was sold to professionals and amateurs, it was primarily amateur equipment. When you think about it, the photographer is the skill and the camera the ‘means’. The Ideal camera would be a reasonable choice to learn on and gain confidence to become a professional by 1915. It had an interchangeable lens board to use specialized lenses and such. Yet by 1915, Mary would have moved on to more modern cameras and lenses for professional work.

    And yes, women as photographers were not the norm at the time your image was made, but interestingly this topic was widely discussed and debated early on. My library of references and early books includes writings about women as professional photographers. For example, I have an original (rather lengthy) June 1873 dated article entitled “Photography as an Industrial Occupation for Women”. Below is an excerpt from the article that notes photography is maturing, will stick around, and that women have skills to be professionals. Keep in mind that the commercial announcement of photography was in 1839; and the discussion is roughly 34 years into this nascent industry.

    “Seeing then, that is so widely spread, so well established, and so likely to remain a permanent industry, is it one that is adapted for female talent, and, if so, are there a sufficient number of women employed in it?

    To these queries I can very definitely answer, that it is a very proper and legitimate field for female skill, and that there is no adequate reason why the number should not be largely increased. It may be stated that from the beginning to end of the production of a photograph there is nothing that might not all be done by a woman.”

    The author continues with an overview of the ‘class’ of women that would find work in photography and so forth. Yet for whatever reason, women with in the occupational business of photography in the 1890s (~60 years into photography and 20 years after the article) and later was still a rarity.
  15. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks much rob. I too think this represents an "early foray" into her photography. I would think that she would have had her own studio cards if she were a full professional photographer.

    I do not known the earliest listing of her studio. She died in 1916, so the city directory references that I found represent the end time of her work:

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41472377

    scott
  16. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks for looking vetraio.

    scott
  17. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Thanks for looking tom.

    scott
  18. scottvez scottvez, 10 months ago
    Yep-- it went real cheap.

    Thanks for pointing it out. Interestingly it is green mount, rounded corners and a blank back (very similar to your card) AND based on the camera, we know it dates from 1888 AT THE EARLIEST!

    scott
  19. scottvez scottvez, 10 months ago
    FOR robwill about the "Holliday" image:

    Here is a green border cabinet card that has been dated to 1885 at the earliest BASED ON THE CONTENT (The Ideal camera wasn't made until 1885):

    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/97346-help-in-identifying-camera-in-this-cabin

    Interestingly-- the format and style of the card is the SAME as your card AND this image came in the album that contained your "Holliday" image!

    Over time, I can post several more similar style blank back cards that carry era ink dates that also show an 1880s- 1890s date! I have thousands of images, so it will take me a couple of days to sort.

    With contrary evidence available right here, it is rather juvenile to continue the "You are Wrong" postings!

    Since you are a fan of Wiki, here are thoughts POSTED FROM Wiki about photos of Doc Holliday:


    "There are three photos most often printed (but of unknown provenance) of Holliday, supposedly taken by C.S. Fly in Tombstone (but sometimes said to be taken in Dallas). Holliday lived in a rooming house in front of Fly's photography studio. Many individuals share similar facial features and faces on people who look radically different can look similar when viewed from certain angles. Because of this, most museum staff, knowledgeable researchers, and collectors require provenance or a documented history for an image to support physical similarities that might exist. Experts will rarely offer even a tentative identification of new or unique images of famous people based solely on similarities shared with other known images.[34]"

    Here is the wiki link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Holliday

    scott
  20. scottvez scottvez, 10 months ago
    Thanks agh.

    scott
  21. scottvez scottvez, 10 months ago
    Food for thought from wiki on Doc Holliday photos but applicable for anyone who believes they have found a photo of someone famous:

    "There are three photos most often printed (but of unknown provenance) of Holliday, supposedly taken by C.S. Fly in Tombstone (but sometimes said to be taken in Dallas). Holliday lived in a rooming house in front of Fly's photography studio. Many individuals share similar facial features and faces on people who look radically different can look similar when viewed from certain angles. Because of this, most museum staff, knowledgeable researchers, and collectors require provenance or a documented history for an image to support physical similarities that might exist. Experts will rarely offer even a tentative identification of new or unique images of famous people based solely on similarities shared with other known images.[34]"

    scott

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