View Full Version : Help Identifying an 8x10 studio camera

28-Dec-2011, 13:04
Hello all, I recently acquired a mystery 8x10 studio camera that I'm trying to identify. In my searching I stumbled across this forum and it looked like a great place to dig up some answers!

My dad (a woodworker) and I plan to restore it for display and hopefully some usage!

I haven't been able to find much on Fowler and Slater other than it was a big camera club in the 1920's.

From my research I'm thinking it might be a Burke and James? Tail board style?

The lens has me pretty intrigued as well being that is so beastly huge and apparently fast.

I've attached grid of images and here is a link to larger versions:

Gallery (http://bluiron.smugmug.com/Personal-Works/8x10-Camera-Project/20785523_vKtRcC#1649782345_VBTZG8P)

Any ideas on age and where I might be able to track down some further info?

Thanks for your help!

28-Dec-2011, 13:11
Oh and the lens reads

Portrait Lens Series C,
Fowler & Slater
cleveland, O.

Apertures run 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32

No other serial numbers or makers marks to be found

28-Dec-2011, 13:22
Nice find--it's literally perfect for wet plate work. The lens looks like it might be a Bausch and Lomb 8x10 Portrait lens. Strangely--it's mounted backwards. In any case, Fowler and Slater would have been the distributors. The camera is nice and someone should be able to ID it with those distinctive levers. It doesn't look like any of the Century Studio cameras I've seen.

28-Dec-2011, 15:33
Thanks! I'll look into some Bausch and Lomb literature

It does look like someone mounted it to the board backwards.

28-Dec-2011, 19:59
It looks like an Anthony or Scovill camera to me. That back is interesting. Does it open with a hinge? You may have a wetplate or multiplying back on it. Can you show a few closeup pictures of it, and any mechanical parts on the back?

Steven Tribe
29-Dec-2011, 15:34
Not much wood-working required here!
A frame for a ground glass screen. 2 new moveable cross pieces for different sized glass plates. There is one which, although damaged, shows what they look like.

29-Dec-2011, 17:08
The back is hinged.

Would this be for glass or metal (wet plate)?

It is in surprisingly good shape.

Steven Tribe
29-Dec-2011, 17:45
The single spring looks like it was largish glass plates (wet). The black painted back shows foresight by the maker for it not to show silver nitrate stains.
But the back could be used for any type of process. Or a replacement insert back fitting could be made with ground glass and spring back to accept "modern" plate/film double holders.

John Conway
29-Dec-2011, 18:15
I have an Anthony wet plate studio camera that looks identical, including the levers. Mine is a beautiful Climax Imperial made by Star camera. Many of the cameras from that time look similar. But yours is the first one I have seen with similar levers as mine.

30-Dec-2011, 18:37
John - very cool, do you have any image of your camera that you could share?

When does yours date to?