View Full Version : Century 10A and Semi-Centennial Stand 1A

18-May-2010, 07:51
Just picked up a Century 10A camera and Centennial 1A stand. Both pieces are beautiful examples of engineering and construction from the early 20th century.

I have a couple questions for people who have experience with these pieces:

Does anyone know how to adjust the tension on the coiled spring that acts as a counterweight for the platform/camera?

Is there any way to adjust the mechanism that is supposed to lock the pinion on the height control of the stand? Mine tends to slip when the platform is at its greatest height. Perhaps adjusting the counterweight spring tension will solve this.

What length of replacement bellows have people used? There's quite a bit of extension available on the 10A. The bellows on mine were completely shot, so it's hard to estimate the extension on the original.

Thanks in advance.


18-May-2010, 10:39
hi dan

mine has what look like keyholes on top outer-side of each " column "
i put a screw driver in it and ratchet it to make it so it doesn't slip..
mine also has a lock on one of the cross members under the main bed ...
it applies pressure ON the columns where the coiled springs are ....

there seem to have been a few different versions of the centennial stand ..
some more ornate with more features, and others more basic ...
both are pretty nice though, the rolls royce of camera stands
made by and for photographers.

good luck !


18-May-2010, 16:07
Thanks, John.

I just looked at my stand and it doesn't look like there's a keyhole slot for a screwdriver on mine.

18-May-2010, 16:16
Mine Century was not a 10A, but I did measure the bellows before I replaced it and it was about 800mm long.
Since my camera was a field camera, and I only had one extension rail, I made the replacement only 600mm.

18-May-2010, 19:03
I'll tell you one tip you may already know. There is a removable pin where the wooden brace attaches to the platform. If you push it out, you can collapse the platform for easier moving, through doors and such.

23-May-2010, 17:41
I am in a similar situation as I just picked up the same combo a few weeks ago. As for the lock on the column, mine seems to slip if merely engaged after cranking the platform up and down then engaging the lock. It seems to hold much better if after adjusting the height, throw the lock and then slightly move the elevation crank so the lock completely engages the track. The spring on my lock seems to lack the strength to drive itself into track to completely engage it. I'll get back to you on the bellows and spring tension as soon as I get back to the house tomorrow.

I'm diggin the tip to collopse the platform!

24-May-2010, 06:40
Thanks, Matt. I've managed to make a set of bellows for the camera that will handle the full extension- love that nifty little bellows support block that slides out with the extension. Still haven't figured out how to adjust the counterweight spring tension on my stand, but the stand is still perfectly usable and very nice indeed.

Garrett, thanks for the tip on collapsing the platform.

All the best,

27-May-2010, 03:33
the spring is like a garage door opening spring. you will need to add some twists to the spring to add tension. be careful. were gloves and eye protection. if you loose your grip that baby will spring very fast whacking your hands on the way by....removing big chucks of flesh.

if you have an overhead garage door company near you they would probably do it easily in a flash.