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Thread: World's largest camera in 1909

  1. #1

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    World's largest camera in 1909

    I just posted on the Lens part of the Forum to see if any of those lensheads had ideas about what Bausch and Lomb lens was used in W. S. Lively's 1909 camera, the largest camera at the time.

    I have just learned about him - a prominent turn of the 20th century American photographer. In 1909 be built a camera to take 30 by 60 inch glass plate portraits. His 3 portraits were celebrated at the time. The camera was destroyed when his school of photography burned down in 1928.

    The Eastman Museum has 2 of this ULF works and one of the negatives.

    Check out the Youtube about a museum that has some of his works - and copies of the 3 ULF works

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1unPgFLV2cU&t=132s

  2. #2
    DannL-USA's Avatar
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    Re: World's largest camera in 1909

    Here's a link to a copy of Studio Light (1911) on Google Books, where it gives details of the project. The article is titled "Larger than Life". It also has a sketch of the camera.

    https://www.google.com/books/edition...sec=frontcover

  3. #3

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    Re: World's largest camera in 1909

    Dann-USA,
    Thanks for tracking this down. The portrait of the wonderfully white bearded man is William Henry Meadows.

    I have read and head that the Smithsonian has some of W. S. Lively's works but I have not found them on their site. The Eastman museum website shows that have prints and negatives, but you can't view the ultra large format ones.

    W.S. Lively's obituaries in the New York Times and Time magizine both credit him with having the largest camera in the world at the time (1907). However that distinction should go to George R. Lawrence who build a much larger camera in 1900 for his Alton train photograph. Interesteingly, Mr. Lawrence's New York Times obituary also credits him with the world's largest camera for the time. Fact checking was hard even back then.

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