Share your favorites on Show & Tell

1860s Carte de Visite Studio Camera

In Cameras > Wood Cameras > Show & Tell.
Cameras797 of 1297Montauk Flex-Front Multiplying Camera c.1912Lionel Linex stereo
Love it
Like it

courtenayantiquescourtenayantiques loves this.
WandlessfairyWandlessfairy loves this.
scottvezscottvez loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
miikemiike loves this.
AntigueToysAntigueToys loves this.
LongingsLongings loves this.
sanhardinsanhardin loves this.
trukn20trukn20 loves this.
gearpunkgearpunk loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
ericevans2ericevans2 loves this.
miKKoChristmas11miKKoChristmas11 loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
See 12 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 6 years ago

(292 items)

Lots and lots of Carte de Visite (CDV) images appear on Show & Tell; so I thought everyone (especially the image collectors) might want to see an example of an 1860s - 1870s style CDV camera.

The camera shown here is referred to as a 4-tube Multiplying Camera (American Unknown Maker - possibly Peck). It is definitely not portable and the heavy construction was meant to deal with the caustic collodion chemistry that invariably dripped on everything. Photographers could set up the camera with different lens combinations. Lens boards could hold anywhere from one lens to 16 'tubes' and sometimes more.

The 4-tube set shown here is standard configuration for CDVs or cabinet cards depending on the plate size. Higher numbers of lenses (i.e. 9 or 16) made smaller images called 'gems.' Lenses are mounted in simple brass tubes with the preferred petzval optical formula for portraits. Because lenses always had minor variations in focal length (keep in mind they were hand-ground), makers spent many hours matching the optics so that everything focused at the same plane.

For the setup shown here, four pictures were made at the same time on a single glass or tintype plate; however, some photographers crafted wooden 'flap shutters' to shoot stereo pairs (top pair / bottom pair).


  1. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks officialfuel, miKK0, and Eric!
  2. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks Phil and Sean!
  3. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks, blunderbuss2!
  4. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks gearpunk, trukn20, and sanhardin!
  5. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks, Longings!
  6. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks, AntigueToys!
  7. rniederman rniederman, 6 years ago
    Thanks, miike!
  8. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Thanks, Scott!
  9. courtenayantiques courtenayantiques, 1 year ago
    Amazing piece! Thank-you for sharing the information on this, I had no idea what this was.
  10. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago

Want to post a comment?

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