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Tele-Photo Cycle-Poco Camera, 1897-99

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Wood Cameras11 of 270Blair Tourograph Camera Advertising Card with Original Photograph; 1880.Reko Box Camera by Rochester Optical Co.
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    Posted 2 years ago

    rniederman
    (312 items)

    This Tele-Photo Cycle-Poco is another camera that used to be in my collection and rediscovered in some old pictures (long before digital photography). Self-casing, red bellows folding cameras such as this were originally a uniquely American design and very popular throughout the 1890s.

    The basic design pattern for this leather covered, polished mahogany 5 x 7 inch glass plate camera was extremely popular and similar to another series by the name of “Premo” (more on that in a bit). The Poco line of cameras first appeared in 1895 by the Rochester Camera Mfg. Company. The uncommon company name variant appearing on this camera’s badge is the “Rochester Camera & Supply Company”; which was only around for a couple of years (1897 - 1899).

    And a bit of trivia explaining why “Rochester” marked cameras can be somewhat confusing even to experienced collectors ...

    In the 1890s, there were two “Rochester” camera companies operating in the region at the same time. The “Rochester Optical Company” (renamed from the "W. H. Walker & Co." when taken over by W.F. Carlton in 1883) introduced “Premo” cameras in 1893. The other, the “Rochester Camera Mfg. Company” was started by W.F.’s brother, H.B. Carlton, in 1891. H.B.’s company made Poco cameras.

    So there you have it; two camera operations with similar company and camera names started by two brothers. Furthermore, Poco and Premo cameras look very much alike and are difficult to identify without their maker’s badges. But the story continues ...

    The brothers’ companies merged in 1899 with three other builders to form the “Rochester Optical and Camera Company”. Then along comes George Eastman who, in 1903, bought the companies and renamed everything as the “Rochester Optical Company”, the same name as W.F. Carlton’s original 1883 company. Eastman then slowly absorbed this company into Kodak’s operations through 1917. All during this time, both Premo and Poco series cameras continued appearing in catalogues.

    Whew ... and this is only a summary ... there were at least seven company name changes in all!

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    Comments

    1. MyCountry MyCountry, 2 years ago
      Nice write up Rob..enjoyed it much....
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
      My French company is Poco Aviation. Taken from "poco poco" in papiamento which means "easy easy". Under the heading of, interesting, but totally useless information.
    3. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Toyrebel
      flashlarue
    4. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 2 years ago
      Gorgeous piece !~
    5. racer4four racer4four, 2 years ago
      Fantastic photo of a good looking camera. The write up makes it all better.
    6. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      SpiritBear
      Newfld
      Johnsmith
    7. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      AnnaB
      MyCountry
    8. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Caperkid
      fortapache
      BB2 ... "poco poco" is good useless info!
    9. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Phil
      Ben
      kyratango
    10. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      antiquerose
      kwqd
      Poire
      TimeTraveller
    11. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      sugargirl
      shughs
      Vynil33rpm
      Michael
    12. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Longings
      Roycroftbooksfromme1
      Sean
      Daddy_Nobucks
    13. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      sanhardin
      trukn20
      leighannrn
      farmlady
    14. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      chrissylovescats
      Vynil33rpm
      Collectables59
      Designer
    15. worthit2, 2 years ago
      So precious!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      vintagegirl66
      antiquerose
      AntigueToys
      Lady_Picker
    17. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      MountainGirl
      worthit2
      GeodeJem
    18. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Malkey
      Toyrebel
    19. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Sean!

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