Posted 8 years ago
I don’t have a pithy story about how this camera was acquired, but its design is interesting in the world of portable wood field cameras. This is a Reversible Back field view camera made by the Blair Camera Company (Boston, USA). It is an exceptionally fine condition traditional front-focusing view camera sold in the 1880s and 90s. The body is polished mahogany mounted on top of cherry wood focusing rails.
In its basic form, the camera has all the traditional features photographers needed such as rise/fall front standard, tilting rear standard, folding rails, and a reversing back for portraits and landscapes without having to rotate the entire apparatus.
This outfit is also quite unique because it includes a lengthy extended rail system and Blair's patented extension back (the truncated wood box at the rear of the camera). The rationale is that the extension offered itinerate photographers the ability to change format sizes without having to carry a second camera outfit. The extension back shown here--patented in May 1882--upgrades the basic 4 x 5 inch camera to a larger 5 x 7 format.
Also included with the camera is an original Blair wooden box, backs for 4 x 5 and 5 x 7 inch plates, matching lenses with shutters, and plate holders.