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Thread: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

  1. #1

    C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    Hi everyone,

    I posted this recently on subreddit r/colloidon, and a user suggested I post this to LFPF. I found three lenses in the crawl space of a home I just moved in to, and I was wondering if anyone has more information. I'm particularly interested in building a large format camera and bringing these lenses back to life but am unsure if these are for 8 x 10 or for a 20 x 24 camera (I am aware that there are a couple of posts referencing C.C. Harrison. I have also consulted CNUM, Camera Eccentric, Keh.com, etc. per the 'stickied' posts).

    Here are specifications for the three lenses, images below.
    1. Measures 8" tall, the front element is 3" in diameter, there is no iris or aperture blades inside, but a slot which allows for a Waterhouse stop to be inserted. The inscription reads: 7862 C.C. Harrison New York.

    2. Measures 7" tall, the front element is 3" in diameter (maybe an 1/8th of an inch short?), there is no iris or aperture blades inside, but a slot for a Waterhouse stop to be inserted. The inscription reads: THE PORTRAIT Rapid Rectilinear No. 718 18 x 22 to 20 x 24 O.H. PECK Sole Agent MINNEAPOLIS. The brass hood is removable. This one came with a Waterhouse stop. From what I understand, O.H. PECK was the dealer/distributor.

    3. Measures 4-1/4" tall, the front element is 2-1/2" in diameter, again there is a slot for a Waterhouse stop. This one does not have any inscriptions.

    From what I understand so far, these are all Petzval lenses? Does anyone have any more information? value?
    Attachment 202935Attachment 202936 Attachment 202937Attachment 202938

  2. #2

    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    Attachment 202939Attachment 202940Attachment 202941

    Thank you so much in advance for any help.

  3. #3
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    Valuations aren't allowed here, but if you're planning to use them, it's just trivia anyways. The nicest is the CC Harrison, which should cover while plate (6.5 x 8.5 inches) or maybe 8x10, and it's a Civil War era American Petzval. The Rapid Rectilinear isn't a Petzval, it's a Rapid Rectilinear, a different design of its own. RR's are more common and on the market, less desirable, but yours is made for those very large plates, which is kinda rare and very cool if you're into very large cameras and plates. Not much I can say about the third from the photos, probably a wider angle Rectilinear, but that's a wild guess.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    The first lens is most likely for full plate and probably will not fully cover 8x10. Second lens will definitely cover 8x10 but it will be a very long telephoto. You might or might not have enough bellows for it--have to measure the focal length. It's also going to be heavy and will take a pretty substantial camera to hold it. Third lens is probably for quarter plate, maybe half plate if it's a rapid rectilinear.


    Kent in SD
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    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    A useful crude test would be to project the image onto a white wall of something far away from an open window and roughly measure how far the lens is from the wall...

    At least you will get a rough idea of the focal length which will be useful to know if you use, sell, or communicate about the lenses...

    Steve K

  6. #6

    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    That Harrison appears to be a fake. In that serial range, the serial number was stamped, not hand engraved. Also the entire engraving is off to known Harrison lenses. Sorry for the bad news.

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    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by CCHarrison View Post
    That Harrison appears to be a fake. In that serial range, the serial number was stamped, not hand engraved. Also the entire engraving is off to known Harrison lenses. Sorry for the bad news.
    Interesting. I've seen a few fakes, but never a fake CC Harrison. Still, Harrison had a stellar reputation, so it's very possible. I wonder whether it has a radial drive. (No drive visible in the photos.)
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8

    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    December 1852 article mentioning guarding against fraudulent CC Harrison lenses.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 840_1852TT.jpg  

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    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: C.C. Harrison, and Rapid Rectilinear, and... Unknown Lenses?

    Thank you, Dan!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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