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Thread: Deardorff Identification Help

  1. #21
    Tracy Storer's Avatar
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    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    I don't think that's a serial #. Many manufacturers stamped batch numbers on sets of parts where fit may have been particular, like sliding front rise panels.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingPicks View Post
    When you say the serial # was behind the front rise, can you be more specific? I would love to find a number on this one but all I have found is the V11 stamp as depicted in my original photos. That was located on the rear plate underneath the film back.
    Tracy Storer
    Mammoth Camera Company tm
    www.mammothcamera.com

  2. #22

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by KingPicks View Post
    When you say the serial # was behind the front rise, can you be more specific? I would love to find a number on this one but all I have found is the V11 stamp as depicted in my original photos. That was located on the rear plate underneath the film back.
    When I loosened up the screw on the face plate that allows the lens panel to move up and down I believe I found the number 3 when I pushed the lens panel down. Tracy may very well be correct that it could very well be a batch number. That being said if you look at the same place on your V11 and find another number then the hypothesis might not hold water. Let us know what you find out.

  3. #23

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    I was incorrect in my assessment of where the number was on the V11 Marine. It is actually on the bottom of the lens panel so you have to move the lens panel up to see it. I made a quick pic of the number 3 on my V11.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Time to take this beast to the field.

  4. #24

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    I was incorrect in my assessment of where the number was on the V11 Marine. It is actually on the bottom of the lens panel so you have to move the lens panel up to see it. I made a quick pic of the number 3 on my V11.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Time to take this beast to the field.
    Thanks for the info. I checked under the lens panel and found the number 2 so I guess mine rolled out the door just in front of yours.

  5. #25

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Here's the serial number I found behind the lens panel.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26

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    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but my V11 has #41 stamped in that location and it's ser #289. Is the number a batch # or is it applicable just to the Marine v11's? No such #'s on my V8's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #27

    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis-F-S View Post
    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but my V11 has #41 stamped in that location and it's ser #289. Is the number a batch # or is it applicable just to the Marine v11's? No such #'s on my V8's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Luis. Great to hear from you. I am inclined to believe the Marine V11 imprinted number is legit for one fundamental reason. It is my understanding that the military awarded a contract on a specific lot of cameras to be produced by Deardorff for the war effort (I believe I read somewhere that the contract was for maybe 40 V11's) and there are no other serial numbers that I could find on my Marine V11 camera. The later V11's were open production dictated by the Deardorff and records were maintained for accounting and historical purposes internally hence a formal serial number.

  8. #28
    Deardorff Sales and service
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    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Huh? The stamp number on the front was merely a number to keep it in order at the factory in production has nothing to do with a serial number. The V11s and all the early cameras had no serial number or External ID at all because Merle Deardorff didn’t think it was worthy of it. He thought the camera was recognizable by its design and its design only. Somewhere on that front is another number three stamped into it that is maybe on the sliding panel. I worked for Deardorff I was their historian I still maintain their historic records of which I have no idea what ones you are talking about. Deardorff used a rather primitive method of keeping track of production while the cameras were being made. Starting with the very first 8 x 10 which took a 5 1/2 x 6” lens board. The number was written in pencil on the bottom side of the top piece of wood of the rear frame where the handle is attached. One through 11 because they made 10 cameras. They did the same with the baby Deardorff but only the first 10 cameras after that there was no serial number on that camera. Then on the V8 that came immediately after the 5 1/2 x 6 lens board version they want to a 6 x 6 Eastman style board with a 1/8 inch thick rabbet. They were 25 these they were numbered one through 26 and the backs were stamped with a metal stamp the fronts were stamped somewhere on the bed it’s stamped but usually it’s underneath the wood separator strip and the rear frame was stamped sometimes underneath one of the corners. Then the next batch came and they were stamped with 1B through 26B. Then another batch with C And finally ending up with a big batch of about 150 cameras that were marked 1D- 151D. I interviewed Merle Deardorff at length about the company in its early days. You had a father Laban, a son Merle two other sons Russell and John Milton. All three finished their cameras differently. Merle put absolutely no decoration on the camera. No nameplate no decal nothing he did not believe the camera required it. It was unique anybody could figure out that it was a Deardorff. And he did not stamp the date in the bottom rear turntable plate either. But his brothers did John Milton stamped it horizontally in other words parallel with the film plane and his brother Russell stamped the date of manufacture vertically which meant it was parallel with the side of the camera. This was on the bottom turntable plate of the rear swing mechanism. It wasn’t until 1950 when the 8 x 10 number 500 which I own had a Serial number added to the lens board retaining strip. I want to add things to make it even more confusing let us not forget the 5000 series 8 by tens. There are some cameras that are out there that have the same serial number. In fact there’s one example that there’s six cameras all with the same number. How did that happen well the company that stamped those Lens board retaining strips with the serial number on them didn’t catch the fact that every time it cycled it wasn’t advancing the number on the rotary die that was coming down hitting the metal. Deardorff not being one too Throw away anything used everything up and made a note of it in the serial number Books. After all it only matters who that camera was sold to when it was new. They knew if it went to an individual or to a dealer and the camera seldom came back for repair. Click image for larger version. 

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    Ken Hough Deardorff Refinisher since 1982
    Deardorff Factory refinisher / remanufacturer 1982-88
    Deardorff Factory Historian 82-88
    Deardorff Cameras on Facebook
    www.deardorffcameras.0catch.com

  9. #29
    Deardorff Sales and service
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    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Since I retired from this wonderful business when I got sick and disabled. my website went down and it is now at the archive. It mostly works and I thank whoever found it for me

    https://web.archive.org/web/20190330...as.0catch.com/
    Ken Hough Deardorff Refinisher since 1982
    Deardorff Factory refinisher / remanufacturer 1982-88
    Deardorff Factory Historian 82-88
    Deardorff Cameras on Facebook
    www.deardorffcameras.0catch.com

  10. #30
    Deardorff Sales and service
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    Re: Deardorff Identification Help

    Ken Hough Deardorff Refinisher since 1982
    Deardorff Factory refinisher / remanufacturer 1982-88
    Deardorff Factory Historian 82-88
    Deardorff Cameras on Facebook
    www.deardorffcameras.0catch.com

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