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E.I. Horsman No. 33 Eclipse American Field Camera, c.1890 - 1900

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Vintage & Classic Cameras26 of 115Chambre de Voyage Camera. European, 1890sScovill Waterbury View Camera. c.1888
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    Posted 4 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    Although straightforward in appearance and function, there is an understated beauty to American tailboard (rear focusing) field cameras made of polished cherry or mahogany woods. While I try not to acquire cameras that are too similar to each other, which makes a boring display, there are times when an example appears with a truly unique feature or design such as this No. 33 Eclipse by E.I. Horsman (purchased years ago).

    At first glance, this cabinet image format camera looks like most any other American tailboard camera (including others I have posted here on CW). What makes this particular model special is the factory addition of a distinctive feature in which the front lens board has a rotating secondary board. This seemingly simple design was patented by H.W. Hales (#423,682).

    Hales’ rotating lens board patent allows a photographer to fine-tune the composition without having to move the camera and tripod. Similar tailboard cameras typically have a lens board that only shifts in one direction; either vertically or horizontally and rarely both. In contrast, a rotating lens board gives photographers greater flexibility by being able to rotate the secondary lens board at any angle (as shown in the patent illustration) and then shift the lens.

    While an ingenious idea, it does not appear to have been popular. In fact, this No. 33 Eclipse with the Hales patent is the only example I am aware of.

    As background, E.I. Horsman was one of several American camera builders that offered entry level field view cameras for beginners and students. In addition to cameras, the company also sold lawn tennis equipment and bicycles.

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    Comments

    1. Nicefice Nicefice, 4 years ago
      Interesting Camera...Very Nice !
    2. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Caperkid!
    3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
      stunning my friend!!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Thomas
      BB2
    5. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Michael!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Nicefice!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, NevadaBlades!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, valentino97!
    9. Windwalker, 4 years ago
      Hi rniederman,
      I’m always going through you post because I enjoy your collection very much and it’s great to have someone of you caliber to shear your collection and knowledge with us and offer advice as to find information to advance our own golds …I notice on your profile your shooting some scopes …I’m guess it a commercial account shoot… My question is what brand scopes are they …smiling ..hope you didn’t already go over this in another post…thanks …WW
    10. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Hi WW ... thanks for the "love" and compliment. I have been photographing M40 rifles and parts for my son who was a USMC Marine. Although he is no longer active (having deployed in Fallujah as a sniper team member and returned unharmed), as with anyone who has served in the USMC, he's still and will always be a Marine.

      Anyhow, my son is an expert on M40 rifles and has been doing extensive research cataloging parts (scopes, mounts, stocks, barrels, etc.) and authenticating which were used in actual combat. Most of the scopes are Redfields (gorgeous greenish finishes), wide-field Redfields, Unertls, some really interesting rarities, and very cool prototype Leatherwood USMC M16 scope. (Many of the parts takes on an artistic / sculptural quality when photographed.) He's very active on the M40 Rifle forum, and the owner dedicated a sticky link to his research.

      I'll post some scopes for you later on.
    11. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      David
      fortapache
      vetraio50
    12. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Alan2310!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Phil!
    14. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Trey!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, kerry10456!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, pops52!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!

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