View Full Version : Mystery Century stand

Ben Syverson
16-Jun-2010, 11:53
Does anyone know what model this stand is? It has a Century nameplate (see attached). I've never seen one like this -- it looks very early.

Any hints would be greatly appreciated!

16-Jun-2010, 12:11
Ben, I don't know the model but I've got it's twin brother in my garage. Certainly different from all the others I've ever seen.

Louis Pacilla
16-Jun-2010, 12:35
Hi Bro

This is Pre-" Semi Centennial "(double post) Century Stand .I think they are referred to as "Century Stand #1-#2".
Century Camera Co. or Eastman Kodak bought the Patent & works of the designer (E.C Fisher)of the Semi Centennial in Boston Mass. & moved the operation to Rochester N.Y.. From that time on this was the Century Semi Centennial stand #1-#2. BTW Great rig. Kind of the polar opposite of this... How far they came before falling completely out of fashion. Man I still love em'.

BTW- Go to Google books & search Century camera stands or Portrait camera stands. You will have a whole host of articles & adds for all types of portrait camera stands.

16-Jun-2010, 14:39
Your stand dates from between 1900 (the founding of the eponymous Century Camera Company) and 1907 when they were acquired by Kodak--as Louis outlines.

The following ad shows your stand: http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=century_1

Ben Syverson
16-Jun-2010, 19:17
Thanks guys! I have tried Google books, but it's a bit hard to sort through all the information. After looking around, it seems like this stand is a No. 2 Century Studio Stand. (http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=grand_studio)

A friend bought this thing, and we're trying to figure out how the raising/lowering lock works. It's definitely broken on his.

17-Jun-2010, 10:12
That is a very slick dark beauty you have there! What is it?

Louis Pacilla
17-Jun-2010, 13:44
Hi Bro

Sorry. posted yesterday & did not see this well,,, until now.

Well this my friend is a very short lived "Century Imperial Studio Unit". Made in the early to mid 1920's from what info I have found or posses . Here is what I gather. in the 1920's Portrait studios (High End) Had shed the Victorian interiors for a modern Art-deco interior . So Century designed & built these Beauties. I don't think Kodak made many of as they where quit expensive. For example in 1924 they cost double the price of an 11x14 Century 8a I know this is the only one I have seen.

It's unbelievably well built with all kinds of machined parts. The stand has a three wheel lift kit under the carriage. After camera is in position you just lower a the unit w/ a pedal on the rear base of stand.The same pedal raises it back up to reposition.
The finish is like a Seneca w/ black lacquer. The camera body is attached to the stand directly so it becomes one unit . The camera is attached by three hinges. two in front. one in the rear the stand has tilt ,rise & fall. Also unique to this Century camera focuses by worm drive & the front standard moves forward to focus. The bellows are very cool as well. Two sets attached in the middle w/ a Vandium (name of metal finish by EK) finish. It has a wheel that moves as you focus front standard out. Keeps em from sagging.

Sorry for the hijack & hope this sheds some light on the Century Imperial View .

Gotta go cut the grass. Oh well:(

Oh what the hell plenty of light left. I think this is kind of funny. this is directly from printed Eastman Professional Catalog 1921

"The Century Imperial Studio Unit provides the setting around which a more attractive camera room may be built--One which is different--distinctive, and at once stamps a studio as progressive and up to date." Now that's funny.


That is a very slick dark beauty you have there! What is it?