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Thread: Another 'age' question R & J Beck lens

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    39

    Another 'age' question R & J Beck lens

    I bought this lens - marked R & J Beck, 11" Rect, whole Plate - with a serial number of 682 (I used to operate a Beck made MTF test rig many moons ago so I have a soft spot for their equipment). I can't seem to find any really definitive dates for when they started to make photographic lenses and this is a low serial number and so presumably an early lens from them. Can anyone point me in the right direction for dating it. (I'm hoping to have it ready to shoot with a 5" x 4" camera in just a few weeks time).

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    5,599

    Re: Another 'age' question R & J Beck lens

    Before 1865, they were Smith, Beck & Beck. After 1895, they became R &J Beck LTD. Lenses and Cameras were a minor interest (Microscopes were the big thing!).

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    39

    Re: Another 'age' question R & J Beck lens

    Indeed. As its marked R & J Beck it would appear that it was made somewhere between 1865 and 1895. From searching on the web it looks as though a lens with a serial number in the 4-5000 range is thought to have been made c. 1890 (because of the date of production of the camera it is on) so I'm assuming that Beck entered the photographic lens market some time before this. Various web searches suggest that Beck were building cameras (and presumably lenses for them) by at least 1880. The trouble is that everything is vague with nothing concrete (scanned adverts and suchlike) before about 1900 that I have found as yet.

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