Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Glen Gem Camera. 1891

In Cameras > Box Cameras > Show & Tell and Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Johnsmith's loves157 of 1849WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!!Art made to be Thrown Out
20
Love it
0
Like it

Nordicman32Nordicman32 loves this.
WatchsearcherWatchsearcher loves this.
lisalisa loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
dlpetersendlpetersen loves this.
friscofrisco loves this.
f64imagerf64imager loves this.
kwqdkwqd loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
AnnaBAnnaB loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
SpiritBearSpiritBear loves this.
JohnsmithJohnsmith loves this.
BenBen loves this.
yougottahavestuffyougottahavestuff loves this.
JohnKratzJohnKratz loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
ToyrebelToyrebel loves this.
Vynil33rpmVynil33rpm loves this.
See 18 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
    (322 items)

    For a while, this very rare Glen Gem Camera was the smallest camera in my collection. Years ago it went to another collector - who specialized in miniature apparatus - as part of a lengthy cash / trade negotiation. When the dust settled, he got the Glen and I acquired the only known 1886 American Optical Mignon Bicyclists’ Camera (also posted here on CW). We were happy with the outcome.

    The Glen Gem Camera is amazingly small and crude, but that’s what you got for $1.00 back in 1891; about $27.74 adjusted for 2018. This primitive camera made 2½ x 2½ inch exposures on glass plates. Yet what is unusual is the lens ... actually the lack thereof. The Glen’s instruction booklet mentions:

    “The Lens portion of the Glen Camera is made on scientific principles and great care must be taken to have the small aperture in the disk free from all dust or dirt. Hold to the light and should the hole seem closed up pass a fine needle through. Care must be taken not to enlarge the hole, which would spoil effect of negative.”

    In other words, this was an early pinhole camera! The instructions recommended standing about fifty to one hundred feet from the subject. And there was no shutter in this tiny apparatus; 2 - 3 minute lens cap exposures were recommended on clear days. (As background, the equally primitive 1890s Student Camera No.1’s shutter was a finger ... it too is posted here on CW.)

    Shown with the camera are its original lens cap, cardboard box and small wooden tube that would have held powder / chemistry.

    Anyhow, it amazes me that a few of these tiny novelty cameras managed to survive 100+ years.

    logo
    Box Cameras
    See all
    Kodak Beau Brownie Art Deco Brown Model No 2 Box Camera 120 Film Old Vtg Antique
    Kodak Beau Brownie Art Deco Brown M...
    $90
    Antique 1900s Eastman Kodak No.1 Panoram Panoramic Film Camera - *Parts/Display*
    Antique 1900s Eastman Kodak No.1 Pa...
    $200
    Vintage NOS Kodak Baby Brownie Bakelite Camera Boxed - Verichrome 127 Film
    Vintage NOS Kodak Baby Brownie Bake...
    $89
    1950's Tower Twin Lens Reflex | 620 film | Tested | Rare | $20 |
    1950's Tower Twin Lens Reflex |...
    $20
    logo
    Kodak Beau Brownie Art Deco Brown Model No 2 Box Camera 120 Film Old Vtg Antique
    Kodak Beau Brownie Art Deco Brown M...
    $90
    See all

    Comments

    1. fortapache fortapache, 3 years ago
      Amazing that the box survived. Luckily not everything gets thrown away.
    2. Toyrebel Toyrebel, 3 years ago
      Now that's a true box camera.
    3. JohnKratz JohnKratz, 3 years ago
      All I can say is WOW!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      Toyrebel
      Vynil33rpm
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 3 years ago
      Hard to believe one of these still exists, much less with box, instructions & chem. container ! When are you going to show us your unicorn ?
    6. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, fortapache! Surviving boxes are usually messed up yet the very good condition of this small example, with full labels, surprised me.
    7. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      JohnK
      Michael
    8. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      Ben
      yougottahavestuff
    9. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      SpiritBear
      Johnsmith
    10. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      AnnaB
      vetraio50
    11. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      dlpetersen
      frisco
      kwqd
      BB2
    12. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, Sean!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Lisa!
    14. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Nordicman32
      Watchsearcher

    Want to post a comment?

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