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Thread: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

  1. #1

    Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Hi All,

    Having just reached a birthday that you think will never come when your 21 a group of friends got together and bought me this camera as a gift to polish up, I have looked at it in the local antique store several times.
    I am looking for information as to what anyone thinks it is and how old. The only labels are Made in Tokyo and the Japanese metal tag translates to Photo Specialised Tokyo Photo Material Company and gives an address in Tokyo for a building that had something to do with the Tokyo Photography Association.(Internet search found nothing)
    The lens is a Voigtlander Braunschweig Collinear 1:6.3 F=31cm serial number shows produced in 1867. Has some serious fungus issues.
    The screen and plate holder are 6”x 6”. The shutter still works but unfortunately the bellows have seen better days.
    I have done numerous searches on the internet but have not found anything. Any information anyone has would be appreciated. I know it was imported into Melbourne Australia at some time and am trying to work out how it can have got from Tokyo to a small country town in North West Tasmania, Australia.

    Thanks
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    I doubt anyone here is able to say much without research first!
    The Japanese text will give the camera model, company and “place of birth” as you have discovered. This may be just be a big photographic retailer in Tokyo and the real maker was an anonomous skilled workshop elsewhere.



    It is very obviously a rework of the “Century” style bipost studio stand, which was introduced in 1899 and carried on by Kodak Eastman well into the 20th C.
    The lens is not from 1867 as the patent for the collinear is around 1900 too.
    I think it arrived by ship ! A guess would 1905 - 1920. Japanese cameras are well made as there was a long tradition of working both with fine woods and metalwork. The woods used were local to japan and traditional metal work styles continued.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
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    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinstrap View Post
    The lens is a Voigtlander Braunschweig Collinear 1:6.3 F=31cm serial number shows produced in 1867. Has some serious fungus issues.
    1867 is impossible. Why do you believe it?

  4. #4

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Thanks very much Steven.
    I was really only hoping that someone may point me in a direction of a possible manufacture so I could further research them. I have seen the Century style cameras you talked about while researching but none seemed to have the same style base. I agree it would have been shipped across. The research was only for my own personal interest.

    The lens year I now realize was a typo it should read 1896/7. ? The serial number starts 44,,, so following a link from an entry here some years ago I came across the list of serial numbers and the years they were made and just assumes as one should not.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyway again thanks for the help I will keep looking.

  5. #5

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for replying my mistake in typo/reading error. I have put where I got the info from in the reply to Steven If you thinks its wrong then any suggestion as to where else to look would be appreciated.

    I am only looking for curiosity sake to find out about the camera.

    Again thank for taking the time to respond.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    5,415

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Maybe someone has better translation skills than myself, but maybe something like this:

    Nomon professional business personnel

    Ryo Shichimachi Taimin Minami Higashi Miyahigashi

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,295

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    The text on the label is written in an old style, right to left rather than left to right. The last line specifies an address in Tokyo, Nihombashi Hongokucho 4-chome.

  8. #8

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply ic-racer.

  9. #9

    Re: Help with identifying this Japanese Camera Please.

    Oren Grad, many thanks for replying the something I can start to follow up on.

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