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Reko Box Camera by Rochester Optical Co.

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    Posted 3 years ago

    (813 items)

    Well, I don't know too much about these old wooden cameras (yes, it is covered in leather), but this one is a "Reko" by Rochester Optical Co. Serial(?) 63568. The mechanism for the lens says "Unicum". 1890s-1900s? Auction buy.
    I'm guessing this one is the same:

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. fortapache fortapache, 3 years ago
      Looks like an old one. rniederman should know something about this one.
    2. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      The "Reko Camera" is fairly obscure and wasn't widely advertised or offered in many dealer catalogues. In 1899, the camera was listed for $15. This is another example of the popular style of "self-casing" cameras I often refer to in my Show & Tell postings.

      As a side note, the Historic Camera website shows a "Reko" camera but the description and title are for the "Cyko Reko". It's a subtle thing but, for accuracy, your camera is listed in the Rochester Optical catalogue as "The Reko Camera." The difference is that the "Cyko Reko" is an export model having a thinner body that fit into a side-by-side case that could be strapped onto a bicycle frame. The "Reko Camera" (your camera) has a deeper body that could store three plate holders.

      What's also interesting is that the Reko Camera was designed to use a cartridge roll film holder for 12-exposure roll film. The cartridge holder cost $5 and each roll of film was 90 cents.

      "Unicum" is the name of the shutter and is correct for the camera. It was a very popular shutter.
    3. Trey Trey, 3 years ago
      Very cool camera :)
    4. SpiritBear, 3 years ago
      Hello, Fort Apache, thank you.

      Hello, rniederman, thank you. I was wondering where they got "Cyko" from since their example looked identical to mind (though in better shape). Thanks for the additional information.

      Hello, Trey, thank you.
    5. Windwalker, 3 years ago
      ...nice score Bear, looks like a cool project...
    6. SpiritBear, 3 years ago
      Yes, today I removed the red-rotted leather on the case. I hand-sanded it all off, and, man, that was a big pile of dark brown-coloured powder!
    7. Windwalker, 3 years ago
      seems to be plenty of parts out there for it...
    8. SpiritBear, 3 years ago
      Thank you, Windwalker.

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