Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Flammang's Patent Revolving Back Camera (rear focus pattern), c.1883-98

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Vintage & Classic Cameras23 of 115Student Camera No.1 (with accessory rock): late 1880s - 90sMorley Wet Plate Field View Camera. Mid-1860s.
28
Love it
0
Like it

vintagegirl66vintagegirl66 loves this.
CaperkidCaperkid loves this.
Beachbum58Beachbum58 loves this.
AntigueToysAntigueToys loves this.
egreeley1976egreeley1976 loves this.
j_dazej_daze loves this.
beyemveybeyemvey loves this.
NeighborguysfanNeighborguysfan loves this.
LongingsLongings loves this.
courtenayantiquescourtenayantiques loves this.
trukn20trukn20 loves this.
mtg75mtg75 loves this.
shughsshughs loves this.
kerry10456kerry10456 loves this.
f64imagerf64imager loves this.
vintagelampvintagelamp loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
SpiritBearSpiritBear loves this.
Rick55Rick55 loves this.
ManikinManikin loves this.
walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
racer4fourracer4four loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
NevadaBladesNevadaBlades loves this.
pops52pops52 loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
See 26 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.


    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate


    Posted 3 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    This is a really great camera I sold many years ago. It is a handsome design but I simply ran out of display space. The body is made of fine polished mahogany with lots of nice brass hardware and a rotating back to change picture orientations (portrait to landscape).

    A little background ... An interesting design challenge for early large format view cameras was to figure out a way to reposition the ground glass (viewing) frame for portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientations.

    It's something you don't think about when taking pictures. Cameras from the early 1900s through today are small and easy to turn on their side for those "Kodak" moments.

    The earliest wood cameras were very heavy and had large square ground glass assemblies that could hold plates in either position. Another approach, for later and smaller 1880s apparatus, was to simply turn the entire camera onto its side. But most of the cameras were very large formats and it was impractical to have the equipment on its side.

    In 1883, Mathias Flammang invented a way for a camera to shoot portrait and landscape pictures relatively easily. His approach was to mount the viewing back so that it could rotate on a large brass ring. Flammang’s rotating back was patented on August 21, 1883 (patent #283,589) and offered by the American Optical Company in their front and rear focusing body patterns. (A front focusing version of this camera is also posted here on Show & Tell.)

    The American Optical camera with Flammang’s rotating back shown here is a large whole-plate (6½ x 8½ inch) format. The camera has a hefty, solid brass Prosch Triplex shutter. The lighter color wood finish and bottom hinged rear tilting design indicates this is possibly an early model, c.1885.

    An unexpected bonus was also found on the camera. The name L.B. Kirsten, Pho. is impressed into the wood under the front standard - most likely the owner of a small studio or an amateur photographer operating in the eastern part of the United States.

    Flammang's Patent Revolving Back Camera included a canvas bag and made in standard formats from 4 x 5 inches to 25 x 30 inches. Considering the large size of this whole-plate camera (15" high x 18½" deep x 11½" wide), I suspect that the 25 x 30 inch model must have been the size of a small tool shed. The model shown here sold for $45 in 1885. This was a very expensive camera to purchase at the time; which would be about $1,197 in year 2015 dollars!

    logo
    Wood Cameras
    See all
    Antique Decorative Folding tripod Photography Vintage wood Camera Decor Replica
    Antique Decorative Folding tripod P...
    $79
    Vintage Eastman Kodak Wood & Brass Tripod > Camera Photography Antique RARE 9700
    Vintage Eastman Kodak Wood & Brass ...
    $150
    Antique Wood Eastman Kodak Film developing  Tank 3-1/2" Vintage  Model B-2 1907
    Antique Wood Eastman Kodak Film dev...
    $80
    Korona VII 5x7 Mahogany Camera Regno Lens
    Korona VII 5x7 Mahogany Camera Regn...
    $365
    logo
    Antique Decorative Folding tripod Photography Vintage wood Camera Decor Replica
    Antique Decorative Folding tripod P...
    $79
    See all

    Comments

    1. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Thomas. Brady is historically important and I've always wanted to own something from one of his studios. Maybe someday!
    2. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse!

      Here is the front focusing version of this camera: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/158348-flammangs-patent-revolving-back-camera
    3. pops52 pops52, 3 years ago
      Always interesting!
    4. NevadaBlades, 3 years ago
      Awesome camera! [;>)
    5. Rick55 Rick55, 3 years ago
      The story adds so much... Thanks for sharing!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      pops52
      BB2
    7. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      fortapache
      NevadaBlades
    8. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      Michael
      racer4four
    9. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago
      FANTASTIC CAMERA!!
    10. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      Manikin
      David
    11. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, mtg75!
    12. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      shughs
      kerry10456
    13. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      trukn20
      mtg75
    14. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, courtenayantiques!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Longings!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Neighborguysfan!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      j_daze
      beyemvey
    18. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, egreeley1976!
    19. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!
    20. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Beachbum58!
    21. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Caperkid!

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.