Posted 10 years ago
One of the most beautiful of all pre-1900 American box form cameras is the Antique Oak Detective made by the Scovill & Adams Company. The camera is constructed of oak wood, instead of more traditional mahogany or cherry, and finished in a light golden oak color.
It was an inexpensive 4x5 inch plate camera offered to youths and "those who want to make a moderate investment in photography appliances." It was also advertised as "certainly lighter and more compact than any other cheap detective camera in the market."
This particular example is in fine original condition with its leather strap and felt lens plug (often lost). The second picture shows the camera’s simple string-set shutter.
The Antique Oak camera sold for $15 in 1891 ($377.45 in $2012 currency) and was $2.50 less expensive than the same model with a leather covered body.