Posted 8 years ago
Cameras made by Simon Wing (1827 –1911) are rare and highly prized by collectors worldwide. Wing first learned to make daguerreotypes at the age of twenty and became accomplished in other photographic processes. However he is best known for his studios and innovative multiplying cameras.
Wing was one of the first (if not the first) builder to make multiplying cameras that took numerous pictures on a single plate without removing the plate from the camera. This revolutionized photography by overcoming the problem of making multiple, inexpensive portraits.
Interestingly, Simon Wing also helped organize the Social Labor Party in 1892 and was its first presidential candidate. That year Grover Cleveland (D) won the election with over 5.5 million votes. According to two different sources, Simon Wing received a total of 21,000 or 70,000 votes.
In the early 1970s, the collector community learned of Simon Wing's great-grandson and the family's estate of photographica. The Wing / Nilsson estate included thirty cameras, of which six (6) were new condition examples of Wing's View Camera. One other 4 x 5 example was found in Japan. The camera shown here is from the Wing / Nilsson estate.
As described and illustrated in Wing's 1887 patent (361,387) and catalogue a distinctive feature not found on other cameras has panels to shift the lens board vertically. The camera has several other interesting features including a fixed ground glass frame held in place by a pair of brass strips, ¼ inch thick(!) patent metallic plate holders, and a simple rail lock beneath the camera.
Taken in whole, the camera is a handsome and remarkable instrument, but in reality few if any were sold.