View Full Version : A different Wayne attends a different auction for Petzvals.

Wayne R. Scott
16-Mar-2008, 20:30
I attended a country auction in town 60 miles from home to look at the "Antique" portrait camera and about 30 antique cameras they had listed in the bill of sale.

I came home with a couple of brass lenses. One of them is marked Darlot Paris U Statzer and then on the other side of the water house slot, BF & C. It appears to be about an 8" focal length.

The other brass lens is marked Waterbury Lens, Scovill Mfg. Co., New York. No 41 C.
It has only the rear lens element with a black disk brazed inside the front lens barrel approximately .40 inches from the front end of the lens barrel. Two black disks with progressively smaller diameter holes in their centers are retained in front of the brazed one with a spring clip. I assume these disks were to function like waterhouse stops.

In addition I brought home the portrait camera which has a Wollensak Rapter 9 1/2" lens and is marked 241mm f4.5. It had 2 Packard No.6 synched shutters with it.

I am not having much luck looking up information on these brass lens.

Any help would be appreciated. I'll see if my son can use his digital contraption to post photos of the brass lens tomorrow night.

I also brought home a Leica IIIc with 50mm collapsible f2.0 Summitar, a Premo Pony No. 4 5x7 with a B&L lens and a 5x7 Elwood enlarger. I had fun but don't know if I got any real bargains or gems.


Jim Galli
16-Mar-2008, 21:39
Wayne, here's a blog (http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Bokeh/HallBensonWaterbury/CheapOldBrassLenses.html) I wrote about a couple of old lenses I bought one time. One is a Waterbury just like yours.

Wayne R. Scott
17-Mar-2008, 04:49
Thanks Jim. Your Waterbury looks just like mine. I think I'll put it on my 5x7 and have a shooting session with it.

I'm thinking I'll use it for some wet plate photos. I picked up 4 5x7 "Book" style plate holders a while back. I'm going to try them with my Korona 5x7.



17-Mar-2008, 06:19

You done good. Way better than I did. To make up for my disappointment in New Braunfels Saturday before last, I drove over to Wichaita Falls last Saturday and brought this home in the back of the wagon.


Total: Lunch for 3. 10 1/2 hours of my time. 1 tank of gas. Nice folks you meet on Forums like this one trump misrepresented auction stuff everytime.

Robert Richardson
17-Mar-2008, 12:58
You might want to contact David Silver concerning ID and info on lenses and equipment. www.photographyhistory.com
He has helped me ID equipment.

Ernest Purdum
18-Mar-2008, 09:15
Aabout your Darlot, this company was a prolific maker of lenses in the 1880's and 90's. Benjamin French & Co. was the US agent. I draw a blank on "U Statzer". Chances are that the lens is a Petzval type. If the glass reflections in the back are very different from those in the front, i9t almost surely is.

Like the Darlot firm which had ancestry going back all the way to the very beginnings of photography, Scovill was a very old manufacturer. They started out by supplying the plates used for daguerrotypy. Eventually, they were the principal rival of E. & H.T. Anthony, supplying everything needed for photo purposes. "Waterbury" was their home town. The Waterbury lens is a "landscape" type, as opposed to the poirtrait variety. It was a simple achromat. As Jim's article mentions, it was inexpensive. The alternative would have been the Rapid Rectillinear, substantially more costly. Because thre is no front cell, you can find out the aperture just by dividing the size of the hole in the washer into the focal llength.

Wayne R. Scott
18-Mar-2008, 14:26
Thank you Ernest.

I used your formula and came up with approximately f16, f32 and f45 respectively for the three washers that I have with this Waterbury lens. It is roughly a 14" focal length.

I don't really know what I am looking for with the reflections in the front and rear glass of the Darlot. Do you shine a small flash light into the lens and count the reflections, or do you shine the flash light from the back of the lens toward you and count the constellation of reflections? When shining the flash light from behind I am reminded of Orion's Belt when looking at the reflections.