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American Collodion Wet Plate Camera by John Stock, late 1860s

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Vintage & Classic Cameras1 of 115Early instant photography: the Quta Photo Machine, c.1904-11Waterbury View Camera (unused condition). 1885-86
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    Posted 11 months ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    In looking at early wood photographic apparatus, you really get an appreciation of how far we’ve come with digital cameras even though the basic principal of photography is largely unchanged.

    This camera was made during the ‘wet’ collodion photography era which was replacing daguerreotypes. Although technically a better process, collodion chemistry was just about as toxic and nasty as its predecessor. Collodion was also quite caustic and a reason these early cameras have heavy construction.

    John Stock, a former cabinet maker, was one of the earliest American builders. He joined the photography market during the 1850s and quickly became well known. Stock's advertising included Camera Boxes, plate holders, glass baths and ambrotype equipment.

    Most any Stock camera is rare and this 4-1/2 x 5-1/2 inch daguerreotype half-plate format ‘camera box’ has two sets of lenses; a 4-tube gem lens set and the early Holmes, Booth and Haydens radial drive lens shown here. Some brass components on the body include the Stock name with a patent year of 1864.

    This particular camera has dove-tail construction details (very unusual for an American camera because the majority of examples have box joints), a rise-fall multiplying back, and a wet plate holder with brass registration hardware for side-to-side movements.

    Overall, this is a classic example of American equipment made during photography’s second generation technology, the collodion wet plate era.

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    Comments

    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 months ago
      Surely, this wasn't in this condition when you got it ?
    2. rniederman rniederman, 11 months ago
      Yup, BB2 … condition as found! The back of the camera has a lot of collodion staining.
    3. Newfld Newfld, 11 months ago
      Fabulous antique camera, great find
    4. rniederman rniederman, 11 months ago
      Thanks!
      TimeTraveller
      hunterqlee
    5. Mrstyndall Mrstyndall, 11 months ago
      Very nice!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 11 months ago
      Thanks!
      Newfld
      SpiritBear
      fortapache
    7. rniederman rniederman, 11 months ago
      Thanks!
      Daddy_Nobucks
      Thomas
    8. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks, f64imager!
    9. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks, Sean!
    10. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks!
      Beachbum58
      chrissylovescats
      crswerner
    11. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks!
      snowman3
      vintagegirl66
      Lady_Picker
    12. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks!
      trukn20
      mtg75
      AntigueToys
    13. darrin, 10 months ago
      hi rob... I still need a shutter for a simon wing ajax.. lol
    14. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
      Thanks, Vynil33rpm!

      Hi Darin ... I'd love to find that shutter for you!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 9 months ago
      Thanks!
      Lisa
      Calvinkearns
    16. rniederman rniederman, 7 months ago
      Thanks, Sean!

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