View Full Version : Seeking Original Burke and James 4x5 Ground Glass

Michael Garner
16-Aug-2012, 10:35
Does anyone know of a source for original-manufacture Burke and James ground glass?

I need to replace a cracked 4x5 ground glass on a Burke and James Rembrandt Portrait Camera I. The ground glass measures 4 3/16 x 5 1/4" is .048 inches thick (1.219mm). It has the following lettering along the long side of the glass: BURKE AND JAMES, INC CHICAGO MADE IN USA.

The grid lines and the lettering appear clear(ish) compared to the frosted glass and seem as if the glass itself was acid-etched with some sort of resist -though, I am not sure how the manufacturing of glass like this would be done in a production setting. I'd like to hear if anyone knows how this type of production was done.
But mainly, I am hoping someone knows who has some of these original B and J ground glasses still kicking around and is just waiting for me to get in touch with them.

Here are a couple of photographs of the broken glass I am trying to replace:

16-Aug-2012, 11:15
I might have one of those. There's nothing particularly special about their glass though.


Michael Garner
16-Aug-2012, 13:52
Thanks for your reply. Even though there may be nothing special about the Burke and James glass, I like the idea of using OEM replacement parts for a vintage camera of this sort. Would you verify if in fact you have this glass and are willing to part with (sell) it?


Jim Jones
17-Aug-2012, 18:41
The grid lines on my original 5x7 B&J GG were apparently screened on with clear paint. The clear paint filled in much of the GG testure, and made it relatively clear. I make my own GG and scribe the grid in with a hard sharp tool which makes less obtrusive and more durable clear lines than the original B&J grids. Sometimes sacrificing originality improves function.

Lynn Jones
21-Aug-2012, 12:46
I was one of the last employees of B&J, the last cameras we assembled were 25 8x10's half of which were grey and the rest were beautifully finished, that would have been in about 1977. We had a supplier at the time which made the ground glass but by then it was unmarked. The only way you could find one would be on a very old camera. Your camera probably wasn't made after the early 1970's. The sister corporations of B&J and BBOI failed in about 1978 when I had a business in Texas.

Jim Jones
21-Aug-2012, 14:33
Michael, I just checked, and my 4x5 B&J press camera has an original B&J GG with a 1/4" grid apparently screened on as mentioned in an earlier post. A central spot was painted with clear paint and cross lines inked in for aerial focusing. Most of that alternation is gone, but so are some of the grid lines. Otherwise it is in fair condition. The GG measures 4.100x5.098" and .067 thick. I and many others can make a better GG than this for use, and it's condition is hardly up to museum quality. PM me if you want it for $10 plus postage.

21-Aug-2012, 14:46

I checked and mine no longer has the original glass.