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Scovill & Adams Compact View Camera, c.1892

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Vintage & Classic Cameras57 of 115St. Louis Reversible Back Camera, c.1887The 1883 Pearsall Compact Camera and its Maker
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    Posted 6 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    Time for another odd looking yet rare camera. The Scovill & Adams Company made a variety of interesting cameras, almost all of which are relatively uncommon today. This rarely seen Compact View is believed to be in production from 1892 to 1896. It is constructed of polished mahogany featuring a tapered bellows, lacquered brass trim, interchangeable lens board, and a reversible back to make it easy to shoot landscape and portrait images.

    In an age of boxy straight lined apparatus, Scovill’s Compact View is rare and unusual, distinguished by its shaped front mounted on a pair of solid brass posts topped with beautifully milled "pineapple" decorations to grip and unscrew (or screw) the posts.

    The concave quarter-round shapes at each corner of the front standard are purely ornamental and not found on any other American camera. The design was certainly a radical departure from traditional square and rectangular fronts. Looking at the front standard, I wonder what inspired this exotic look. From a manufacturing perspective, it must have been expensive to fabricate and finish yet the result is esthetically pleasing.

    Although having appeared for nearly 5 years in Scovill’s catalogues, the camera is quite rare. Using the camera is complicated because the brass posts must be unscrewed from the bed when closing the camera and screwed to the bed when opening the camera. No matter how a photographer used the camera, the brass posts were always being removed or changed. I believe these unconventional actions were too difficult compared to competing apparatus.

    Realizing the problem, it appears that Scovill & Adams changed the design to a traditional (square) front standard at a later time.

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    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
      Very beautiful!!
    2. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Moonstone!
    3. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Sean!
    4. officialfuel officialfuel, 6 years ago
      Another awesome camera!

      Michael
    5. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, aghcollect!
    6. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
      Fantastic camera, I love the features they included not because they had to but because they wanted to!
      Another great addition to your collection!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Phil!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Michael!
    9. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, blunderbuss!
    10. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!
    11. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, David!
    12. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, geo26e!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, mtg75!
    14. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, leighannrn!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Eric!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Leah!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Longings!
    18. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Designer!
    19. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, trukn20!
    20. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, vanskyock24!
    21. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, vetraio50!
    22. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, sugargirl!
    23. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, shughs!
    24. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, chrissylovescats!
    25. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, egreeley1976!
    26. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, f64imager!
    27. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!
    28. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, tom61375 and farmlady!
    29. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks again, Sean!
    30. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks, Chevelleman69!
    31. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
      Thanks antiquerose and Scott!
    32. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Camera_turk!

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