View Full Version : This is a new one to me. Century Imperial View Unit 1924

Louis Pacilla
5-Feb-2010, 11:09
Hi All

I really think this is worth seeing. Apparently, This was made during the days of art deco days. Century must have been going for the HIGH end studio's seeing the price was $485. for 8x10 (the only format they made it in) At the same time you could buy a Century 8A complete for around $145.
It really was a good idea as the Victorian thing was kind out. Well hell,it was Really out in 1924 . If your New York N.Y. studio was art deco in design the Victorian Century 10A would stick out like a sore thumb. I want to say I love the 2 posters the best Nothing prettier IMO. This ones just well different.

The camera Functions GREAT In all respects. I did the fine tuning. Replaced one wheel(not an easy job like w/ the Semi Centennial ). Replaced a hinge that is part of the tilt mechanism, put proper front hinge pins in (they had nails) I Lubed all parts in need. Bellows had a couple of holes (very small) & over all they are in fantastic shape. The silver piece in the middle is original. It has a wheeled pedestal & combines the two bellows for full extension of 33". The stand rises to 49" & lowers to 33"( Not the best for shooting children). As you can see it has a built storage for 8x10 holders

BTW If any one out there has any info I would appreciate you sharing it. I did receive a copy of Century Imperial sales brochure but aside from that I can not find anything online. My guess is maybe 1000 where made & that may be a high #.

I'll make an additional post w/ a few more photos

Louis P

Louis Pacilla
5-Feb-2010, 11:13
Here are a few more.

Louis Pacilla
5-Feb-2010, 11:17
I forgot to post the copy of the brochure.

Mark Woods
5-Feb-2010, 11:23

Robert Hughes
5-Feb-2010, 11:33
That's a hunk of hardware! It reminds me a bit of those huge television cameras and pedestals you'd see in TV stations of the 1950's and 60's.

5-Feb-2010, 12:20
Looks great-
The form and lacquer makes it look like moulded bakelite,
I wonder was that a stylistic consideration?

Jon Wilson
5-Feb-2010, 12:27
Super sweet Louis. Nice find and functional to boot! Jon

David M. Woods
5-Feb-2010, 12:30
This camera is amazing! I got to see it in person, its like no other i have ever seen!

Pete Watkins
5-Feb-2010, 12:48
Put it in your lounge and shine some spotlights onto it. It's too beautiful to use. Even the Ebony freaks must be dribbling at this beauty. Theirs might be black, but this is better.

5-Feb-2010, 13:01
Incredible. I'd love to hear the story of how you found it.

Thom Bennett
5-Feb-2010, 13:12
That is really a beautiful camera. I love the design. I do hope you will use it.

5-Feb-2010, 14:27
Very Buck Rogers! Enjoy.

Scott Davis
5-Feb-2010, 15:11
Now I have a quest to find another one of these! That's just drop dead gorgeous! WOW.

5-Feb-2010, 15:31
Very nice!

Clarence Rhymer
5-Feb-2010, 15:54
Hello Louis,



5-Feb-2010, 16:09
Love the film holders' slots. The design of the camera and stand are very beautiful and elegant.

Jim C.
6-Feb-2010, 00:42
It's a thing of beauty.

Mark Sawyer
6-Feb-2010, 14:55
Never seen one, but I always wanted one! You're a fortunate man, Louis!

From "Catalogue No. 36" of the Eastman Kodak Stores, Los Angeles, California, (no date):


Louis Pacilla
8-Feb-2010, 14:14
Hi Folks

Sorry I have not been active in the post I made. I bet no longer than an hour after I posted we got SLAMMED w/ 20" of snow. Well actually it had been snowing when I made the post. I just lost all power an hour after. so sorry.

Thanks to the kind reactions but other than posting photos I have nothing to do w/ the beauty.

Incredible. I'd love to hear the story of how you found it.

Hey Barry. the story goes I almost passed on the camera. the price was right. I just could not wrap mind around the year style & hell I have quit a few of these already & you can have to many but still want them all(at least me).

The story was my friend wanted the lens. Seller did not want to split the two up. I told my friend if the price was a set amount I'd help him get the lens. I was Eddies party when the deal was going down & my friend wanted an answer. I did not get to see the photos he had emailed that Sat. I had to flip a coin. No shit. That's how I wound up w/ the Black beauty. I really almost past. When I returned home & took a look at the photos & I was pleased.

Never seen one, but I always wanted one! You're a fortunate man, Louis!

Hi Mark. Thanks & yes I guess I am. I really did post post because I figured that few are around & wanted to share.

Man Thanks for the info. It looks like the print I received w/ the camera was from the catalog. I was glad it was w/ it or I might have thought it was a one off.

Mark ,if I sell the camera one day . I'll give you 1st shoot. You would have to make a trip out of it cause I would never ship it.

From "Catalogue No. 36" of the Eastman Kodak Stores, Los Angeles, California, (no date):


9-Feb-2010, 16:43
Nice catch.

Jim Galli
9-Feb-2010, 17:05
Excellent Louis. Never heard of or seen one before this post.

John Kasaian
9-Feb-2010, 17:38
Congratulations, that's one impressive camera!
It would look at home on the set of one of those old Republic Serials (perhaps with Yakima Knute as the evil photographer's assistant?)

Louis Pacilla
9-Feb-2010, 22:23
Thanks Jim. Yep me neither. well you know, see one or even hear about such a thing until this came into my house.

The best part is, I figured it would preform sub par . Far from it.This thing is unbelievably solid & smooth as hell( After I worked on her)

Louis Pacilla
11-Feb-2010, 10:37
Trying to make the front end look more to the original. Had no mounting hardware when I received camera. Fashioned this out of a brushed aluminum door kick. The original was trimmed on all four sides & not sure how the lens board attached.

I think it looks a little closer to original & the holes around the front from original trim out look better covered. I used the same holes so the next owner can restore w/ original hardware If they wish. This way They will not have a bunch of random screw holes

What do you think? I think it looks better. I do know I could have done a better job but it's not crappy either. I guess It's good enough for who it's for.