Toronto. We had a wonderful time at the Show and Tell session this year. The event started with a bang when Clint rushed in like a hurricane and quickly set up the silent auction and ranked the presenters for the night. After a short announcement time, we held a draw for a trio of door prizes donated by Felix Russo. After the door prize draw and donation to winners, the night’s presentations began, followed by the gift exchange and silent auction results.
First up was Anne Harker from the St James Cathedral. She expertly covered the history of the cathedral, its architects, and historical financial difficulties as it sought to rebuild from a devastating fire over a century ago. While she spoke, her husband Bill Harker showed the two full plate cased daguerreotypes of the church’s plans. These are the two images restored by past president Mike Robinson, a modern day daguerreotypist (the PHSC made a contribution towards the restoration of these plates).
With cotton gloves on his hands, Bill carefully circulated with the valued daguerreotype plates. I was allowed to hold one plate and was surprised by its weight – much heavier than I expected. Anne held up and circulated two large digital prints of the daguerreotypes as well so the audience could easily see the images. Anne noted that the plans envisioned far more than the funding would cover resulting in a barn like structure which functioned as a parish church for many years. Eventually a spire was designed and constructed – taller than the originally proposed in the daguerreotype.
While the presentations continued, the audience was encouraged to get up and add to the bidding list for their chosen silent auction items. After Anne finished her talk, we began with the other presenters:
Mark Singer brought with him his Canon Photura, an early 1990s 35mm film camera. The design is similar to the video cameras of the day. One can be found at a fraction of the original price. It was intended for one hand operation – a 3x Zoom, built in flash with a filter-like fresnel lens that would automatically adjust flash coverage to match the zoom lens’s angle of coverage. Mark never took photos with the camera. The film was automatically advanced and at the end of the roll, it auto-wound back into the film cassette. Mark heard stories about the film jamming as it wound back. The owner or repairman had to extensively disassemble the camera to retrieve the exposed film.
I (Bob Carter) followed Mark. My first topic was an update on the Zeiss and Photography book by Larry Gubas. I noted the draft version I displayed was discussed by me two years earlier at the Dec 2013 Show and Tell. The 900+ page book has since been printed by Friesens in Manitoba and will ship mid January 2016 once the black cover material arrives. I mentioned the first two printers Larry contracted before Freisens (they both went bankrupt) and his lengthy years-long struggle to get this classic book written and out to all Zeiss collectors and enthusiasts. It will be retailed by Petra Kellers’ Camerabooks in Oregon. Ken Morton of that company assisted in completion of the draft version. PHSC will have copies available for members.
A Seibert-made Abbe Camera Lucida in its original varnished wooden box was my second item. Ernst Abbe designed this little instrument in the late 1880s and it remained in Zeiss catalogues at least to 1939. At the PHSC spring fair in May of 1984, I was approached by my friend Renaud Therrien of Quebec City. Renaud had an assistant from Holland that day who had this camera lucida to show me. I thought about it and went off to see other tables since the asking price was higher than I wished to pay. That evening, Ron Anger called me to say Ranaud had left him a box for me. Ron said that I could send him the box – or a cheque. The price was reasonable and the little camera joined my collection.
Felix Russo reviewed his fourth 3D edition of PhotoEd Magazine, the winter 2015 issue. Felix briefly talked about the articles in this issue. One article titled “Canada: the Early Years” is by PHSC member Bob Wilson. In another article, “The New Woman,” stereo views from Lorne Shields, another PHSC member, are used. In this issue there is another article by 3D artist and storyteller Christopher Schneberger, called “A Case of Levitation – The Story of Frances Naylor.” Stereo photography is alive and well today and two articles illustrate its uses in space exploration and in a wedding coverage. Images from the NASA site are reproduced as anaglyphs, and can be downloaded in high resolution from their site for free. (NOTE: The winter 2015 3D issue can be purchased online at www.photoed.ca or ask for it at any Chapters/Indigo store.)
Felix brought along two books that are featured in the publication – Women’s Views and Quebec eternelle. The latter is a wonderful history of one of North America’s oldest cities. The book comes in a slipcase and contains 480 pages. Extensively illustrated with rare stereo views and anaglyphs the book is well worth the price. Felix noted that the book is currently not held by the Toronto reference library and he will be initiating a petition to make sure that one is purchased.
Manuel Nunes, always one to tinker, offered new ideas on copying slides. This ranged from old commercial machines with bellows plus a base with both a built in viewing light and flash for slow films, to hand-held gadgets attached to a small digital camera and pointed to the sky or a light box for even illumination.
Bob Lansdale was next with an engaging story about finding an Ambrotype in a clean thermoplastic case at an antique store while visiting Pasadena California for the Daguerreian Society’s 2015 Symposium. Taking the case contents apart, Bob found some written references for research. Cleaning away years of dirt and grime brought forth a very clear and likeable portrait which immediately increased the value of his purchase. Bob also showed what turned out to be a very good fake chromotype print discovered by PHSC member Dr Marcel Safier of Australia.
John Linsky said he had an idea for show and tell during the night Tuesday and a quick search Wednesday morning brought forth his item – an unusually tiny camera he bought new from the late Erik Olsen at Queen Street Camera Exchange. The Petal camera was made in Japan and used a round inch diameter piece of film negative to snap six tiny circular negatives in a ring, preceding the Kodak Disc camera by many years. John demonstrated how a Petal punch could create the 25mm diameter disks from regular 35mm film. The tiny Petal came in a circular version like John’s or a rarer octagonal version. both versions came complete with instructions. John also displayed the camera’s tiny leather case – it was offered without a neck strap!
Bob Wilson displayed an album from the 1883 Great Fisheries Exhibition in London plus bound copies of The Graphic, an Illustrated London newspaper that covered the exhibition. His album of the Canadian Court was produced by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company. Bob mentioned that the company was previously called the London Stereoscopic Company and had expanded by 1883 to include two dimensional photography.
Clint (Lewko Hryhorijiw) presented his discovery of a hand coloured ambrotype of a soldier, possibly Canadian. It was included with the papers of Charles Shaw Junior. A photograph of Charles (or Chas) from the great war, was dated April 4, 1917. Charles returned to Canada and was discharged on January 30th, 1918 after being wounded and deemed no longer fit for duty. He was 48. Clint’s ambrotype may be Shaw’s father or grandfather. More research will be needed. Note: Louise Freyburger did her research and found the cemetery monument and CEF Expeditionary papers for Mr Shaw.
Ed Warner wrapped up the presentations this season with his hilarious fake Nikon lenses. The first lens looked like a telephoto but turned out to be a coffee cup to which Ed attached an old Nikon bayonet ring so he could mount the lens on a Nikon body. He next showed a long telephoto lens complete with a carrying handle and a logo Nokof made by a friend using Nikon style colours and fonts. The logo claimed the lens to be of 750Ml and a macro. Ed explained that Nokof means it is a Nikon Knock-off. It has 750Ml capacity vs 750mm focal length. He added the term macro to the label after discovering the two lenses he used at either end makes the Nokof a close-up lens on a working camera.
Ed asked the puzzled audience if anyone had a cell phone with a camera inside it? He then opened the old Nikon camera body and out popped a cell phone – it was a camera with a cell phone inside it! Ed pointed out he had to remove the camera internals to make room for the cell phone.
The night wrapped up with a gift exchange around Mark’s traditional little silver Christmas tree. As gifts were exchanged, the silent auction papers were collected and the winners notified. The auction of donated items raised $173 for the society. Merry Christmas every one!