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How do I open ANTIQUE, The Folding Gem Poco

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    Posted 2 years ago

    (5 items)

    This was in my Moms attic. I have not a clue on how to open it. On the backside there is a clip I pushed down and the back slides off revealing the inside back. I looked up picks of it opened and see how it should. It appears the top of the front pulls out and I see the hinges on the inside bottom but there isn't anything to grab on to to pull the top down. Someone PLEASE help. I feel so stupid as I'm sure I'm missing something simple. Thanks for ANY HELP, Brian

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    1. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Hi Brian … here's how to open your camera. Look at pic #2. It is the front of the camera showing the drop bed. Now look for a hidden button underneath the leather carrying strap. The body leather has an embossed circle; it is the hidden button. Push with the pad of your finger … not your nail because the leather is thin and could tear. When pushing down, the bed should pop out, drop downward and lock in place. You will then be greeted with an inside of polished mahogany wood, red leather bellows and brass hardware. The drop bed locks are two brass struts at the sides.

      You will see what is called a front standard (panel). It has the lens opening and shutter controls. Gently pull out the front and it should slide along the recessed brass rail located on the drop bed. Do not over extend the bellows. The bellows are fragile and could tear from the stress.

      Please post a picture of the open camera. These are not rare but very attractive if in great condition. Maybe replace pic #2, #3 or #4. FWIW, the camera dates somewhere around 1897 to 1898. - Rob
    2. briangg57, 2 years ago
      WOW! Thank you SO MUCH rniederman ! So nice of you to take the time to help me out. I truly appreciate you! Have a GREAT THANKSGIVING My Friend.
    3. briangg57, 2 years ago
      Next and last question, How do I test the shutter to see if it is in working condition.
    4. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      It's been a while since I've played with a Folding Gem Poco. As I recall, the camera has a sector shutter. It is very simple and rarely ever breaks. The round knob on the front panel cocks the shutter. It turns the opposite direction (clockwise and counterclockwise) for every other shutter release. A shutter release lever (or knob) is probably on the left side of the panel as you face the camera. You first turn the knob then push (move) the release lever or knob. It might already be cocked and the shutter winder probably won't turn until the shutter is released.

      There might also be slides for "T" (Time) and "B" (Bulb) shutter controls. Another slide will move a brass plate (inside the panel) that regulates the amount of light coming through the lens; similar to a diaphragm.
    5. briangg57, 2 years ago
      Thank you so much for all your help. Really appreciated.

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